I’m an apprentice in the UK’s first ever economics degree apprenticeship program, working in the Civil Service. Join me for a day in the life…
8:00 – Arrive at the office. I work a hybrid schedule, which means I usually go into the office about 2 days a week. I head down to the canteen and grab breakfast and a much needed coffee to start the day off strong.
8:30 – Plan my day. I’m often working on multiple workstreams at the same time, and it’s important to stay organised so I don’t miss any deadlines. I also use this as a chance to catch up on my emails – there’s nothing as satisfying as an empty inbox! Planning my day before I meet with my line manager also helps me give relevant updates on what I’m working on.
9:00 – I have a quick catchup with my line manager at the start of every week. This is a chance for me to update him on my work plans for the week, ask questions, and receive feedback. My manager is my first point of contact for most things, so we have frequent catchups throughout the week. Sometimes he’ll involve me in a task he’s working on – this is always a really valuable opportunity to learn and absorb tips from more senior colleagues.
9:30 – I spend the rest of the morning developing a new model. Before I started my apprenticeship, I could barely navigate my way around Excel, but my manager was very supportive with helping me find the relevant learning and development. Whilst it’s definitely a steep learning curve, you’d be surprised at how much you can learn in a short period of time! I also had an Excel module as one of my first degree modules, which really complemented my work. I use my notes from the initial meeting on what the model should do to help me draft a first version, and send it off to my manager for initial comments.
12:30 – Lunch social with other apprentices! After staring at my screen all morning, I’m itching for a quick walk. There’s lots of great spots to eat near my office as well as a busy park. Whilst the other apprentices also work in my department, we are in different teams and work on vastly different things, so it’s always interesting to hear about their latest projects. We are choosing what posts we want to rotate into for the next year, so even more reason to keep an ear out for a project I might want to work on!
14:00 – I help a team member out with an ad-hoc quality assurance request. My team is really supportive and flexible with work, so if I happen to have extra time, it’s always nice to be able to help someone out! It’s also an amazing way to learn and be involved in different ongoing projects. This happens to be an easy but urgent task, so I prioritise this and work on it for the rest of the afternoon to get it back to my colleague as soon as possible.
16:00 – Home time! Rush hour in central London is never fun, but luckily flexi-work means I can choose what hours I work - so I can work from 8-4 instead of 9-5 if I want! This is really helpful for people with long commutes or even with balancing study and work. Sometimes I look at university readings on the train, but it’s equally nice to listen to music and people-watch.
One of my favourite things about my apprenticeship is how different each day is! The common thread daily is that there is always a new problem to solve and a new challenge to sink your teeth into. Some days are busier than others, but I like to think of a demanding workload as a day full of exciting opportunities.