Life as an HR Apprentice - Emma Chalmers - Case Study

Name – Emma Chalmers

Company and region – Story Homes, Carlisle, Cumbria

Job title – HR Apprentice

Department – Human Resources

What does your department do?

We deal with everything from recruitment, employee relations, young talent attraction, talent and progression mapping and the development needs for the business.

Essentially, our department supports the business with growing talent from within, attracting talent externally with the single aim to help our company grow into a regional house builder.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis as an Apprentice?

My role is very varied and every day is different. As a HR Apprentice I can touch on all aspects of the Human Resources department. Whether it is dealing with the day-day aspects of HR such as monitoring and updating employee’s personal records, chasing up documentation and sending emails or be the administrative elements of the new starter process, planning the welcome induction and communicating with the Senior Management Team, organising the implementation of our new HR system or booking training workshops and liaising with external companies

What do you like about being an apprentice?

Being an apprentice means that every day is different; being able to dip in and out of all the functions that the HR department performs so I am not tirelessly stuck to one task. I like the responsibility that comes with HR, being accountable and the need to be self-disciplined pushes me to do my best.

Why did you choose this career?

I always knew I was very much a people person. Working as a Saturday girl in a local coffee shop during school I was keen to serve customers, starting out as a pot washer I took every opportunity to tend to others requirements. During 6th form I studied Sociology which was very much focused on people and how they function and it was so interesting. HR deals very much with looking at people and how they work – using this to better the company.

One of my family friend works in Human Resources and she pushed learn more about what they do, researching it on the internet I found that my personal skills were closely linked with those of HR professionals; good communication skills, excellent organisation skills and a curious thinker – this steered me in the right direction of seeking employment as a trainee when I finished my studies at 6th form.

What qualifications did you need to get this job?

I didn’t have any formal HR qualifications as my intention was always to find an employer who would support my ambitions. I worked hard at school and gained a good level of GCSE’s and A-levels but I think it was my work experience that helped me get the job. I have always worked and that understanding of customer service and dedication to my job was something Story Homes spotted in me.

Is there any particular advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

Keep looking; if you are certain you want an apprenticeship in Human Resources opportunities will be there. Having a clear understanding of why you want to work in the department will come across to employers that you are committed to fulfilling your desires.

What hobbies or interests do you have?

After work and on the weekend I love going to gym classes. In my free time I do volunteer work with a local charity, running and assisting on events which is always lots of fun!

I am very interested in history especially modern world history where I am planning an inter-railing trip with one of my friends to travel Europe in the summer to visit historical countries such as Poland, Russia and Berlin.

What’s your favourite type of music?

Pop and dance music

What’s your favourite film / film genre?

I love crime films/documentaries/dramas – I find it so fascinating how people can actually carry out crime and the stages of how detectives uncover cases.

Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

Somewhere hot and sunny with a busy environment.

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