Apprentice diaries: ‘praying that the day’s not a disaster’

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FIRST days at a new job are always nerve-racking, and it was no different for two of Northbrook College’s latest apprentices.

Holly O’Neill, 19 and Jessica Cleary, 18, both work at the college, training in business administration.

They were asked to produce a diary tracking their experiences in their new roles.

And for Jessica, it was certainly an apprehensive start.

She wrote: “When I arrived, with my tail between my knees, and the blood pumping so hard through my body that all I could hear was my many indrawn breaths, I was praying that the day’s not a disaster.

“The first person I met was Jen, who was absolutely mad and as bonkers as me, exuding confidence from every pore. I liked her instantly.”

Quickly settled by the friendly staff, Jessica was given a tour of the facilities, before being introduced to some of the tasks she would be completing during her time.

And she left feeling much more at home.

She said: “It’s like a family, and the building is full of friendly faces who know their jobs well and do not shirk responsibility.

“It’s not all work and no play, and so far as the first days go, I survived.”

Holly, working alongside apprenticeship manager Brenda Cook, wrote of some of her daily duties, in a diary piece written during her early weeks.

She said: “I am helping with queries and looking for new ways to build Northbrook’s reputation. Perhaps we could do more blogs and events.

“I am constantly asking my co-workers for feedback on my performance, learning new skills for the programmes in the office, and creating new flow charts and spreadsheets to ease the workload.”

She added: “I have only recently started my apprenticeship at Northbrook College, and a lot of my friends and family have congratulated me.

“But they also ask what we do, so we decided to write diaries to let everyone know.”

Jessica explained how much she has enjoyed working at the college, which was much more than expected.

She said: “To my great surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

“I commanded myself to think positively, and as a result, the day could not have gone much better.

“Anything new will always make you sweat, and I can assure you, I was no exception to this. But you get used to it.”

The Herald and Gazette have been running a campaign in conjunction with the college, which has now seen well over 100 apprentice places confirmed or pledged.

For more information, contact apprenticeship manager Brenda Cook by emailing B.Cook@nbcol.ac.uk