Apprentices In The World Of Tech
Hear from Khamal and Mohamed, as they talk us through what it is like to be “Apprentices In The World Of Tech”. From the first interview to being a part of the UC team, to growing your confidence – these two have been through it all after their first months in the role. Interviewed by our Marketing Apprentice Farhan, read along to find out what it is like to be an apprentice at Redsquid and what their best advice would be.
You both started in the last 6 months, how has it been so far?
Khamal: Even though I’ve only been here a couple of months, I’ve already learnt so much and it’s been great so far. Especially the team has been very welcoming, and I’m looking forward to learning more about them and how we can work together with the best.
As an apprentice, I’ve now had my introduction to the Information Communication Technician Level 3 course. I now fully know what the course involves, and gained a greater knowledge of what is expected of me from the course, such as assignments, lessons and “off the job” working.
Mohamed: The adjusting period has been really smooth over the first 3 months I’ve been here, which is great! I’ve received lots of helpful support from the team, and I’m already starting to feel I really fit in well. After just a few months, I’m starting to really get the hang of my job role, and I’ve found my place in this friendly environment. Like Khamal, I’m also on an Information Communication Technician Level 3 course, although, I started it a couple of months earlier. It’s been really great and informative so far, where the best thing is that I’ve been able to use what I’ve learnt in my lesson and apply it to my job role right away.
How is Redsquid different to your previous places of work or school?
Mohamed: It’s been incredibly different. At Redsquid, we get taught something and immediately we have to put it into use. Asking for help doesn’t have to be daunting, however, you can make sure you put it into place and learn so much quicker. Practical work is how I learn best, and the part of my job I’ve really taken a liking to. With school or college, as a student, you’re not really committed to something, but now I have real responsibilities and my role make a real difference to our customers. At Redsquid, each employee is committed to our purpose, which is to “make a difference”. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it day-to-day, but the purpose truly does shine through the entire organisation.
Khamal: You have so much more support here compared to University. From previous experience, University was a whole lot of lectures and self-study. For me, that wasn’t enough, and not the most productive way for me to learn. If you wanted that extra help, it would most likely be after hours and tedious to do. In comparison, here you’re very much a part of a team, you work with the people who can deliver help to you and assist you whenever needed. That team feeling is the most special thing. Additionally, you’re also getting that first-hand experience, instead of just learning theory, and finally I get to put what I learn straight into practise.
What's it like having each other, while on this apprenticeship?
Khamal: Honestly, It’s been great! Whenever I find myself stuck, I would simply just ask Mohamed for advice, he’s always been happy to help. Since we’re the only apprentices in the UC department, it’s really been a helping hand to have him right next to me. There’s been so many things I’ve had to learn at a quick rate and having Mohamed there has been a great asset, especially when it comes to learning all the new systems.
Mohamed: I started before Khamal, so it’s incredibly refreshing having another apprentice on the team now. Firstly, not being the newbie in the team, is such a relief! But having someone at the same experience level is also very nice, knowing he’s going through the same things that I am. It’s great having someone else you can rely and depend on but who is also on the same boat as you. It’s definitely helped with the apprenticeship side of things aswell, before Khamal, I had no one to really compare my work with, so that change has been a great asset!
What's it like being a part of the UC team?
Mohamed: Your voice is definitely heard and your points are taken into account in the UC Department. There’s so much actual teamwork involved with this job role, which is great and something I’ve been looking for! It’s a lot of talking and asking for help when needed. When I first started I was scared to reach out and ask for help, but I’ve grown out of that stage and become more confident with asking for help whenever I need it.
Khamal: You’re not completely alone when working on something, and you have a lot of people you can rely on for certain tasks. For example, one of our team members has been assisting me with searching for data on our CRM system. They have been making it a lot less stressful and much more intuitive process. It’s always handy to refer to people and it makes me more confident with my work as I develop.
How did you prepare yourself before you got the role?
Khamal: Honestly, a lot of business research. I went through the Redsquid website and familiarised myself with what they do and who they are as a company. Other than that, interview questions, and getting used to the typical questions you would be asked, is something I really focused on. Also talking to different people who have office jobs was very helpful to me. Of course, I knew every office is different, but I wanted to get a general idea of what to expect.
Mohamed: Youtube was a lifesaver for me, and it was so helpful. Interview preparation and workplace etiquette was something I wasn’t familiar with, so I made sure to do my research. However, once I came into the office, there was a relaxed vibe and it wasn’t corporate at all. This was such a relief since I was looking for a work environment where I could be myself.
Does it help to have others your age in the business?
Mohamed: Absolutely, it’s comforting to have people in the same age range as you, mainly because you can relate to each other. We’re all from similar backgrounds when it comes to education, so it’s great to have people like that in the business. We are all in the same generation so we find it easier to get along with each other, which I feel every business needs. That sense of diversity is refreshing within a business.
Khamal: It makes me feel more comfortable and not really out of place. When you visualise a business, you expect people walking around in suits who are very experienced in their field. However, it’s great to have people in a similar situation as myself. It’s great that we can relate to each other since we’re all in a similar situation. Having the younger generation represented in a company is something that has really stood out to me, I feel it’s important to be diverse as a company.
What advice would you have for anyone coming into Redsquid?
Khamal: Just enjoy the experience, don’t take it too seriously and don’t stress yourself out. With Redsquid everyone is very kind and teamwork-based. It’s better to relax and show your best qualities through the work your produce. Coming into a company as a newbie can be a daunting thing to do, but in reality it’s really not. As an employee for a few months, I’ve already found my place here and I really enjoy my job role.
Mohamed: Being Apprentices in Tech shouldn’t be an intimidating thing, the people here are very nice and always happy to help. Coming from school or college, a full-time office job can seem tricky to get familiar with. But, I’ve amended myself to be comfortable within the business and my job role. With the whole 9-5 being a new aspect of your life, it’ll take some time to get used to it, but, once you have the hang of it the rest comes with ease.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve done, and how have you overcome it?
Mohamed: I think speaking out was the most challenging thing for me. Usually, how I tend to do work, is to put my head down and get into it.
I can spend so much time looking for a solution when I can just say “hey, can you point me in the right direction”. With just that simple ask, I can save time and complete my tasks with ease, so that has completely changed my day-to-day.
Khamal: Certain functions on our portal was challenging for me to get familiar with. There’s a vast amount of stuff you can do on the systems which can be tricky to get used to. Not to mention, the various log-ins to remember, which made it challenging at first!
Having access to training has proven to be very useful, and having my team members assist me when needed has also been extremely helpful. When I simply ask for help in areas where I’m stuck, my team members have always managed to take the time out of their day to help me out.
With the responsibility that comes with your job role, what type of effect does it have on your confidence?
Khamal: It’s definitely improved my confidence. When I first started, having a whole new system to learn was quite a big thing for me. Also, keeping in mind my team members already had pre-existing customers, and I didn’t want to ruin their reputation in any way. In comparison, now, with the training I’ve received, my etiquette to reply to customers has become very natural and something I can do with ease. I’m eager to take on new tasks from my manager rather than just take what’s assigned to me, which, I think shows my progression.
Mohamed: I think I struggled most with calls. I’m more of a texter or emailer, rather than a caller. I soon realised that I needed to get out of that habit to be able to succeed in the role. For the first few weeks, I would be sending email after email to customers which made the process very long. My manager advised me to call them.
In doing so, I’ve become more confident in making and taking calls, it’s made the process so much easier for myself and the customer, and has given my confidence a great boost.