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Apprenticeship: Associate Project Management Level 4

  • Job title: Deputy Chief of Staff (CARES) (Senior REF Project Coordinator during the apprenticeship)
  • Department: Research Office
  • Training provider: Provek

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I chose to do the Project Management apprenticeship as I had been involved in project work for many years, most of the roles I’ve held during the 15 years I’ve worked in HE included a project management element, but without formal training, I felt that I was at a disadvantage.  I wanted to increase my effectiveness in my job roles, and to add value to my teams.

What was your experience of the apprenticeship and training provider?

The trainer was excellent, I cannot praise them enough, they gave me so much support, guidance, and encouragement.  I could not have completed it without them!

What went well?

I enjoyed the learning journey, difficult as it was, and building my confidence. 

What did you learn?

Pretty much everything we do in our personal and professional life is a project, we just don’t think about it in those terms.  I realised that I already knew (instinctively or through experience) quite a bit about project management, this realisation also boosted my confidence, especially for speaking up at meetings with senior managers.

My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship in project management is that they need to obtain firm commitment from their line manager and team that they will be given the time to work on their apprenticeship, and that arrangements are made to back-fill that time, otherwise you end up working crazy hours, and it is not sustainable in the long term.  I also very strongly suggest that they find a mentor who is an experience project manager, I only wished I had known about the mentorship scheme at the time.  It was a very lonely journey at times, and I really could have used the support of a mentor.

What next?

I have become a member of the UK Association for Project Management and the Project Management Institute, to help me keep up to date.

I hope to take some further training via the Association for Project Management, they run day courses, some week-long courses, on specific topics, with an assessment at the end.  I plan to undertake some of these, especially on the topics that I found most difficult.

"Doing the Project Management apprenticeship was a challenge, but what I gained from doing it is so well worth it."