Joanna Plested, Administration Officer, Security Services 

“Balancing the apprenticeship with my day job wasn’t too challenging in the end. My manager was very supportive and helped me to find time to work on it when I needed.” 

My current role involves overseeing the administrative side of the Security team’s office. This involves booking annual leave, registering sickness, plus ordering and invoicing. More recently, I have also become a ‘training champion’ which involves helping other members of the team with any training needs. 

In 2018, I wanted to boost my qualifications and applied for a College apprenticeship in Business Adminstration with the Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College. It had been 20 years since I left school and going back was a strange experience – getting back into studying took a bit of time. The course also involved a lot more independent study than I’d thought and I found this quite difficult in the beginning. I was worried I wasn’t fully understanding the course but I got a distinction, so I must have been doing okay! 

Balancing the apprenticeship with my day job wasn’t too challenging in the end. My manager was very supportive and helped me find time to work on it when I needed. I alternated one day each week either in College or doing independent study. The most enjoyable part for me was having one day each week out of the office to focus my mind on something completely different.  

I finally finished in April this year, which meant I finished at the height of the pandemic – not quite what I had envisioned! I’ve really enjoyed working from home as it’s given me a lot more time to play with during the day. Before COVID-19 I was commuting nearly two hours each way, so I get a couple of extra hours in bed now!  

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