National Apprenticeship Week: Meet the apprentice who is now a key member of our team…

Nathan Whitmore joined Midlands Asset Finance on a Business and Administration Level Two NVQ in November 2016, and has recently passed the course to become a member of our operations team, working as sales support.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2018, we sat down with Nathan to get to know him and to discuss the benefits of doing an apprenticeship…

What made you want to do an apprenticeship to begin with?

I didn’t want to go through the process of university.

I find that the best way of learning is by being practical and getting things done, so I opted for an apprenticeship which meant I could gain work experience and all kinds of skills along the way.

Why did you choose Midlands Asset Finance?

I’d always wanted to work in a busy office environment and Midlands Asset Finance was just that.

I did apply for several other apprenticeships and jobs, but once I got to the interview stage, the atmosphere wasn’t quite what I expected.

Midlands Asset Finance was professional and friendly from the start.

Once I got my first interview, the people here were friendly and approachable, the business premises were nice and clean, and it seemed like a positive environment to work in.

What have you learned since you started your apprenticeship?

The main learning point would have to be the amount of legislation in the workplace.

The Equality Act, the Data Protection Act – just to name a couple – are things that must be taken into consideration every day. Before working here, I wouldn’t have known anything about them.

I think this helps you to be more diverse in your understanding of the people in the business world, and not just internally, but externally as well.

I have also picked up a few new practical skills when it comes to using certain systems. I have learnt about CRM systems, how to use social media in a business capacity and a few more spreadsheet formulas, which always come in handy!

Now you’re working within the operations team, what have you carried over from your apprenticeship to your new role?

Following on from the above, I would say that the Data Protection Act is a big part when working with the ops team. We handle a lot of personal data so making sure to understand the ruling on this is crucial in our line of work.

Another simple yet important skill I learned during my apprenticeship would be communication to others.

One unit was about all the different methods and techniques of communicating. Now that I’m working within the operations team, we are the first point of contact for our clients, so we must represent the business and its principles.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

The most recent hobby I have indulged in is golf. I’ve recently joined Ramsdale Golf Club in Nottingham and had several lessons. I’ve been playing it for around a year now, and whilst at times it can be a very frustrating game, it can also be one of the best if you can get it right!

I’m a big follower of football and I’m an avid Manchester United fan.

When I’m not on the course or watching United, I enjoy going to the gym to hopefully achieve that beach body I’ve always wanted!

Music, games and films are also a big part to filling my spare time – though my music taste does vary quite dramatically from Eminem to Take That – much to the team’s despair!

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I haven’t really planned that far ahead yet, although I think I will still be with Midlands Asset Finance, learning different roles and skills and hopefully progressing through the business.

I would also like to sit some extra business courses which can help me in my job role. I’d like to see myself in a newer, nicer car in five years too!

What do you enjoy most about the job?

The best part is working with and learning from my colleagues.

Every person has a different personality, set of skills, or ways of doing certain tasks, and I have learned a lot by working with and observing different people.

There is always something new to learn each day – that keeps things interesting and is a big part of why I enjoy going to work.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about doing an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a really good way of getting the experience and skills you need to succeed.

My apprenticeship was work-based, so that meant I got a feel for working full-time as I didn’t have to go to college.

I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone.

The best part about an apprenticeship would be getting a job afterwards, whether that’s part-time or full-time, and the fact that you get a certificate, degree or equivalent afterwards just makes it so much better.

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