In September, we helped Gatehouse Bank bring three apprentices into their workforce.  Anisa started the mentoring unsure if an apprenticeship was right for her but with the help of her mentor she quickly made her decision. Here’s Anisa’s experience.

Anisa, how did mentoring help you decide on an apprenticeship instead of university?

I was exposed to a lot during the mentoring sessions, the different fields of finance as well as the working environment. I knew immediately I wanted to do an apprenticeship and get hands on work and learn at the same time. I initially said I would do Accounting & Finance but during my mentoring sessions I realised there was so much more out there in the sector and didn’t look back at Accounting & Finance once.

How did your mentoring help to prepare for a role as an apprentice?

Coming every month really helped me get to know the workplace and the people. The day I started I didn’t feel nerves because I was so used to coming, I wasn’t intimidated by it at all.  Visiting monthly I got an understanding of the ethos of the office and knew what to expect when I first started, which was helpful as it’s a big jump from school into full-time work.

What were your expectations of the assessment day and how did you find the experience?

I learned loads from the assessment day and it helped me with taking things further.  We were introduced to different members of the business and given several presentations telling us about Gatehouse and its different products and services. We had an initial activity to do that was used as an icebreaker but also for them to see how we thought and worked as a team before being set a task to build a marketing campaign.  It was a very good day and not as nerve-wracking as I assumed it would be.

What skills and knowledge have you gained from being mentored by someone with experience in financial services?

What you know from school and your own research is nowhere near as good as being in the environment, speaking to people who work in financial services.  I saw so many things I never knew about and getting to hear about people’s careers within the sector was really interesting.  Everyone was very organised, they kept on top of their workload and I have also been able to do this since I started my apprenticeship.

Anisa’s story is a great example of how the mentoring programme can help you find your ideal pathway beyond A-levels whilst helping you prepare for life as an apprentice.