"A hands-on approach to work was the best way for me to move forward with my career."
Matthew Bennett is a Level 1 Support Engineer Apprentice. He explains why an apprenticeship has not only helped propel his career forward but has also enabled him to make a positive difference in the lives of other young people.
How I got here
Whether you are thinking of going to college or doing your A-levels after finishing high school, life can seem pretty daunting. None of that ever felt right to me, but there seemed to be no way to get into an industry without higher qualifications.
That’s when I turned to one of my friends who told me about apprenticeships, a part of education that schools constantly seem to steer you away from, always talking about the importance of A-levels. However, for some people, that’s not how they learn. Personally, I found that a hands-on approach to work was the best way for me to move forward with my career and to learn the skills necessary for later life.
For me, Ideagen felt like a lifesaver. I was struggling with where I wanted to go and how to move forward. I applied for A-levels, college courses and even T-levels, but none of them ever felt right to me. I decided to take a year out as I was exhausted from GCSEs and didn't really know what I wanted to do with my career. So, I reached out to that same friend who had moved into his career through apprenticeships at Ideagen and was able to get me a referral.
I attended an induction day, handed in my CV, and had an interview. I was so nervous, but the people at Ideagen made me feel comfortable and confident. As a result, I excelled in the interview and other induction day activities, and I was offered a position on the Ideagen Customer Support team.
Ideagen is a forward-thinking and innovative company that strives to positively impact its local community. When I started, I was offered the opportunity to become an apprenticeship ambassador, which has allowed me to help people in similar situations. This is what really made me settle in at Ideagen and showed me that it was the right company for me. Ideagen is dedicated to helping young people in need of guidance, whether it's into apprenticeships or other roles through their Think Big programme.
My role as a Level 1 Support Engineer means I am a customer-facing individual who helps customers with any problems they may come across with our software. I answer tickets and take calls, regularly speaking with customers, which has really helped with my social anxiety.
So far, I have been trained on Ideagen's product Mail Manager, and have started training on another product. I believe my future looks great as there are plenty of opportunities within Ideagen, and this apprenticeship not only gives me a great qualification but also two years of work experience.
Why I was successful
I think the reason I was successful in this apprenticeship was because of my ambition. I knew that I wanted to have a hands-on experience with work, and I wasn't going to let this opportunity slip through my fingers.
I practiced interview questions and researched the company. Even my hobbies of live streaming and working as a team through games helped me get this apprenticeship.
Overall, I consider myself very lucky to be where I am today. That's not to say there wasn't a lot of hard work getting here. I worked hard and built my confidence, and I was able to land myself this role. I am very thankful to be here and glad that Ideagen was there when I really didn't know where my career was heading.
Find out more about the career opportunities available at Ideagen here.