How have you found juggling work with your study days?
As an apprentice I have one day off a week to complete university work. This consists of readings, watching videos, consolidating my knowledge and practical experience, and occasionally completing submitted unit tests which are marked, with feedback provided. I have found balancing my work and studies manageable and have rarely had to venture outside of my allotted study hours, unless I want to do some extra reading. Having already undertaken a paralegal apprenticeship, I learnt how to manage my study days and complete work in the most effective way. RPC is extremely accommodating of my university work – I am always given time to study, even if that requires moving other tasks around.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of being an apprentice?
The most enjoyable aspect of being an apprentice is developing through the opportunities and responsibility you are given. When commencing my apprenticeship scheme, I never expected to be as trusted and supported as I was. I am now given extremely important tasks, and regularly offered chances to learn and push myself. This keeps me engaged and excited about my job, despite the challenges and commitment it also requires.
What advice would you give to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
My biggest piece of advice is to research the various apprenticeships available. Apprenticeship opportunities are expanding each year so explore your options to identify the apprenticeship that will suit your career objectives. Second, get to know the firms that you’re considering applying to; understand the types of matters they deal with, and the areas of law they cover. This is important as, if you want to work in a particular part of law, one firm may be more appropriate to you than another. Similarly, look at how a firm’s apprenticeship programme runs. In joining RPC, I had to complete a two-year paralegal apprenticeship before moving to the solicitor one. I chose to do this instead of moving directly into the solicitor apprenticeship scheme so I could gain confidence and find out whether I really wanted to commit myself to the course. Above all, give the apprenticeship route a chance. It has been the best decision I ever made.
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