Jess' apprenticeship experience

I've been placed with a fantastic team and have a great mentor who has made me feel so welcome!

Jess - External Funding Team

About you

I joined KCC on an apprentice programme, with my first placement being in the external funding team. My first few weeks have been great, and I have settled in well with a lovely team who have all made me feel so welcome. Outside of work I spend most of my time with my dogs, playing squash and paddleboarding (when the English weather allows it)!

Why did you apply?

I applied to the KCC apprenticeship as I wanted to focus on building a career while studying. I think we have been given an excellent opportunity to be offered this as we will be able to put everything we learn into practice.

How did you find the recruitment process?

The recruitment process consisted of 2 stages. The first stage we were given a task prioritisation activity and a group activity. The group activity was something I had never had in an interview before and honestly, I was very nervous, especially that we were doing it over Teams. At first, we all questioned how we would compile our ideas, how would we present it when not physically being together. However, it worked out better than we could have ever imagined, and we were surprised how well 4 strangers could come together to complete and present a task, which we all very much enjoyed. The second stage was an interview with members of the finance team over Teams. Again, I remember being very nervous as had never had an interview with so many people! However, they were all amazing, made me feel comfortable and it was a great way to meet some important members of finance.

For me, prior to these stages of the interviews, my biggest worry was always 'how will I portray myself fully over a Teams call?'. These were my first experiences of Teams calls for interviews and I questioned whether the motivation and eagerness I wanted to portray would be shown without the physical presence of an interview. however, all the members of staff involved presented and carried the interviews so well. Through each stage we were made to feel comfortable and confident, and everything paid off as we were lucky enough to be given a great opportunity by KCC.

How are you finding the apprenticeship so far?

I am finding my time here enjoyable and am learning new things every day. I have been particularly lucky to have been placed with a fantastic team and been given a great mentor who have made me feel so welcome with KCC. This is something I haven’t had anywhere else and reinforces all the reasons I applied to work within KCC. We have also had 2 fantastic managers who have bought us into KCC, showed us the ropes and made us all feel welcome. I am also really enjoying that KCC chose to hire 4 apprentices together as we can help each other out, personally and within our day-to-day tasks. My favourite part so far has been able to learn new things and understand KCC as whole. I have also liked being able to meet so many people during my first few weeks.

What has been a challenge and how have you overcome this?

For me, my biggest worry would be settling into a new team without physically meeting them. However, the team I have worked with have all been very accommodating and the use of Microsoft teams has made this possible and easier than I could have ever thought! We can share screens and talk through work, and it is like we are sat next to each other!

Where do you aim to be once the course is over?

At the end of the 3 years, I hope to be able to move into a team within KCC finance. We are lucky that during the 3 years of our placements we will be across the finance group, opening us up to all of aspects. Through this I am hoping that at the end of the 3 years I will be able to pursue a career in one of the teams that stands out to me. During this time, I hope to grow personally and professionally into the perfect role for me.

Tell us an interesting fact about you

I own 7 dogs!