Jade Whiteoak
8 months ago

As apprentices in the classroom we all get to learn from each other.”

After GCSEs Jade felt like she had made the wrong decision choosing to study A-Levels. Read how she changed direction and is now finding it much more rewarding working as a Finance Apprentice at Papa John’s while gaining her AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Level 4.

“When I finished GCSEs, I felt like there weren’t many options. I felt like it had been drilled into our heads that we were supposed to go to university

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I just chose subjects that I thought would get me a good job – A Levels in Chemistry, Maths and Biology.

But I didn’t enjoy it, so I ended up dropping out of sixth form.

I’d always enjoyed numbers, so decided to look what college courses I could do.

I joined the AAT Level 2 course part-time at MK College, and stayed on to do Level 3.

During my Level 3, I decided I wanted hands-on experience through a job, so I signed-up to emails from the College where they’d send over any apprenticeship vacancies they had, and I could apply straight away. It was very straightforward.

I also spoke to Sonia in the apprenticeships team at the College. She would phone me and give me the details of the apprenticeships I was applying for – it was great to have that background knowledge before.

She constantly stayed in contact and kept me well-updated. It was nice and reassuring that I knew what was going on.

In April 2021, I was successful in getting a role as Finance Apprentice at Papa John’s. I was over the moon because after studying my Levels 2 and 3 it was great to be able to do my Level 4 while working, so that I could visually see what I was doing at college in real life.

It’s so rewarding to have this job. And it’s great being in college with other Level 4 apprentices. As apprentices in the classroom, we all get to learn from each other and get good insights into what each other are doing.

In terms of the future, I want to stay at Papa John’s and work in Finance, then go on to do further qualifications, like ACCA and CIMA. I don’t want to set myself limits, so one day when I decide exactly what to do, I can go on and do it.”

“I wish I had done it sooner!

Just be yourself. Interviews can be daunting especially for young people who haven’t done many, but mine didn’t feel like an interview. It’s more of a conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – there is no such thing as a silly question.”

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