This apprenticeship has been the best decision I ever made and I would do it again in a heartbeat
Shannon didn't have any idea what she wanted to do after she left school and she found the amount of choices available to her overwhelming.
“I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do when I left school. I was conflicted as there was so many different choices and career paths.”
Like a lot of school-leavers, she knew she wanted to do an apprenticeship so she could earn qualifications while getting paid and gaining hands-on experience.
“Experience is essential in most jobs in today’s society and having the chance to apply what you learn to real life environments really helps you stand out compared to other applicants.”
After taking a business administration apprenticeship, Shannon was still unhappy, but that changed when by chance, she saw the apprenticeship vacancy for Network Rail.
“When I read the apprenticeship vacancy I immediately researched the different career paths on offer and I learnt about Network Rail’s main objective ‘A better railway, for a better Britain.’.
“I felt like it offered me the chance to be a part of something that is going to impact the whole country for years to come.”
Shannon decided to apply for Network Rail’s apprenticeship, and followed the simple four-step application, saying it was “incredibly easy.”
“Each step was explained to me and I had regular contact from the applications team who were able to answer any questions or solve any issues I had.”
After just a few weeks, Shannon found out she was on the scheme and since then has worked on lots of different projects. Shesays one of the main reasons she enjoyed the apprenticeship was because of the confidence it gave her thanks to the skills she learnt.
“Before I became an apprentice I was timid and very nervous and I didn’t have any confidence in my own ability.
“Throughout the apprenticeship scheme I got to see the progress I had made, going from someone who knew absolutely nothing about the railway, to someone who can comfortably list all the different components in a complex system and explain how they work.
She also got to meet and work with so many different people, which really helped in the initial training, and found there was a lot of support for new apprentices.
“I always feel supported at Network Rail. I had regular reviews with my manager and with my main instructor throughout the scheme, who actively made sure that I was enjoying the scheme and that I was getting any help that I needed.”
But what did her friends and family think of what she was doing?
“After seeing me go through it they all think it’s incredible. They have all said they've seen such a big change in me since I started and how much it has changed my life.”
So would she recommend it to others?
“I would recommend this apprenticeship scheme to everyone, especially women. You won’t be treated any differently to your male colleagues, everyone learns together, works together and respects each other.
“This apprenticeship has been the best decision I ever made and given the choice I would do it again in a heartbeat.”