About me :
Hi I’m Harry, a Level 6 Chartered Management Degree Apprentice currently working within the Life Sciences and Healthcare Sector.
Prior to starting my Degree Apprenticeship with DHL I studied Maths, English Language and Media at college, and had previous worked as a retail assistant part-time. These mix of A-Levels gave me a solid grounding for helping me to move into a career with DHL.
Why an apprenticeship ?
If I’m honest I was torn between a Degree Apprenticeship and University right up until the very last minute. I achieved all the grades needed to go to University, and had the offers available, but something about taking on a Degree Level Apprenticeship just seemed to make more sense to me.
The thought of being able to study towards a degree (as I would have done at University), yet have none of the tuition fees, and earn a wage at the same time, was something I didn’t feel I could turn down without serious consideration. After deliberating for several weeks (maybe even months) I decided that taking on a new challenge was the right choice – and in hindsight it certainly was!
I think that now I’m well into the programme, I can see how I’ve set myself up to be in a great position for the future. I’ve become more confident in myself and my own abilities, and (hopefully) made myself a more employable candidate for future job opportunities. Aside from this the connections I’ve made within DHL have been invaluable. Finding the right people who want to help you develop is key in any career, and I can understand how some University students might struggle with this if they have never taken on a full-time role until they graduate.
Why did DHL Apprenticeships appeal to you?
DHL in particular, appealed to me as it was something of the unknown. When I first began I wasn’t even sure what ‘Logistics’ meant! Now I’ve been involved for the last few years, you really get an understanding of how DHL is the backbone for so many companies all around the world.
The sheer size of DHL was certainly an attractive feature for me when I was looking into my options. Being such a large company there are a wealth of opportunities in every sector; so much so that you may start by working in one function, but could easily transfer into another if you’re willing to put in the work.
I also read up on some of DHL’s development opportunities and available case studies too. What I found was a genuine investment strategy for their Emerging Talent programme; I felt it would be a great opportunity to develop myself both professionally, and personally.
What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?
The level of responsibility I’ve been given has certainly been something I’ve enjoyed during my apprenticeship. At first I was shocked at the level of trust given to me, and at times I didn’t feel I was ready to take on some of the challenges however, as I’ve developed during the Apprenticeship experience I’ve settled into my various roles and enjoyed the new challenges each day.
Being accountable for your own team of people is also something I’ve really enjoyed. Developing your team and work with them to achieve goals, has been something which I’ve
What has been your highlight so far?
I think some of my main highlights have come with supporting our Emerging Talent team on attending various events. We’ve attended the National Apprenticeship Week shows the last 3 years, and it’s a great chance to meet and talk with people about what we do as a business.
Getting involved with things outside of the day-to-day work is always refreshing, and it’s great to catch-up with some of your fellow Apprentices who you may not see that often.
In terms of my daily work, I would say a highlight for me would be presenting to our CIO (Chief Information’s Officer) for UK & Ireland about the new technology proposals we’re planning to implement onsite. It was great to be given the chance and trust to present in front of such a senior member of the DHL UK&I team. It’s also something that I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do several years ago, so it really highlighted to me how much I’ve developed since joining the business.
What advice would you give to people thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
I think apprenticeships tend to be perceived as less prestigious than going to university. I certainly had that thought process when initially applying for the programme. However, I think the Degree Level Apprenticeships DHL offer are a no-brainer for anyone sitting on the fence about going to University. It’s a practical solution, and opens your opportunities up massively. Very few people have four years work experience in a full-time role, and an undergraduate degree by the time they are in their early twenties. On top of that you’ll be amazed at the amount you develop yourself within these four years. To get the most out of it you need to throw yourself into as many situations as possible, and say ‘yes’ to every opportunity you’re given. You aren’t expected to be able to do everything perfectly, so you might as well give it a go and then learn for next time; that’s always been my approach (even though it isn’t always easy to do so!). I don’t think I could recommend the programme enough, as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort!
My top tip for those wishing to pursue a Degree Level Apprenticeship would be to stay on top of your studies and manage your time, because it’s very difficult to catch-up once you fall behind (I’ve been there a few times!). Dedicate time each week to your studies and make sure you do it little and often. Leaving it to the last minute and taking up an entire weekend, is rarely the best (or most enjoyable) approach…