How times have changed since I joined an apprentice scheme

I was once this teenager who had just left college and had no idea of what to expect. I hunted high and low for any type of job to earn money so I could party with my mates. I guess at 18 that’s what life is really about? After weeks of searching I found a vacancy in a bar where I ended up working for three years. This was brilliant in my eyes, as I was working in an environment which was pretty much like being back at school. The gruelling 12 hours shifts got the better of me though and I needed a change!

When I saw the Mitie Client Services apprentice scheme opportunity, I thought it was too good to be true that it would pay such a good salary while teaching me new skills but I applied anyway, along with over 100 others.  This apprenticeship, training people to work in the front of house industry, turned out to be in the position I’m working in today.

Interview day was here – I got out my smart suit, combed over my hair and splashed on my Dior to find there were no trains! I couldn’t believe it and had no other way of making it in time. I called up, explained what had happened and after a detailed chat with a very kind lady she invited me to the next and final stage – a little honesty and a good telephone manner were my saviour!

After this stage, the group session had finished and I anxiously awaited the email to find out if I’d been successful. ‘Over the moon’ are the words I’d use to describe how I felt. I handed my notice in at my current job and couldn’t wait to start.

The first six weeks of the apprenticeship were training sessions with Working Knowledge (the apprenticeship partner) and some of the team from Mitie Client Services. In that time I learnt new skills and developed current ones, as well as making new friends along the way. When the six weeks were over I was ready to start working on different sites in front of house positions.

I got quite lucky as I was sent to cover a site in the City that had a vacancy to fill so I worked continuously with them for about 4 months. It was my first job working in a corporate environment but the team were patient with me and my hard work was rewarded with a permanent contract. I was so pleased with myself as I saw this as progression. Progression doesn’t have to mean a pay rise or a promotion. You can set your own targets and as long as you reach them that is progression.

Although I passed my apprenticeship, even today I am asking questions. One thing I learnt is if you are not sure you should always ask. No one is going to tell you off. If you go ahead and assume you are right, you are most probably wrong.

How have times changed? Times have changed because now I don’t come to work just for my salary. I come to work to give an exceptional service to the client I work for. I help the client in any way I can, I can chat to them about topics not relating to work. I can have lunch with the client, I can also teach the client. All of this is why I like coming to work and this is how times have changed for me.

Ryan Christie is a Concierge Team member working for Mitie Client Services in London

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