Adnaan is an apprentice business support administrator and tells us why an apprenticeship was the right choice for him, and how he's found his apprenticeship experience so far.
Earning and learning
I'm working in the investigator academy at the service, where new investigators receive training and induction. My role is business support, which means that I organise team meetings and records and evaluate the different reports that my team produces, selecting the most useful pieces of information to share with colleagues. This helps us to stay on track, identify areas of priority and share insight.
Before I started my apprenticeship at the Financial Ombudsman Service, I’d been studying for a degree in business and finance at university. But I'd made the decision that it wasn't the right place for me, so I started looking for an apprenticeship. I've found that being trained, and getting to try things first-hand, rather than just studying, means that I get the practical experience as well as the support I need. And I use these real-life examples in my apprenticeship portfolio.
Part of a team, and a workplace
When I think about the highlights so far, one of them has to be the induction week "treasure hunt". Together, we had to figure out clues to help us hunt down nearby historically significant places or landmarks. It was a great team-building exercise and way to get to know each other and the local area.
One of the great things I like about working here is how easy it is to get along well with colleagues. Working in a team where most people are new to their role makes me feel like all of us are learning together. There's a real sense of unity and togetherness throughout the service and a really positive culture.
I like that the employee-led networks here enable you to get involved in lots of events and projects outside of your day-to-day work. I’ve joined both the Muslim network and the Christian Fellowship and, although I’m not a Christian myself, I like the “verse of the day” they share with members of the fellowship, as it often features ideas and points for reflection that are something to think about during the day.
My line manager is an Ombudsman leader. Although he has a very important and busy role within the organisation, we have a lot of contact time and he’s always happy to give me any support that I need or point me in the right direction. My other team members are so helpful and great to work with too - we’ve had many good laughs together!
Building my career
As part of my apprenticeship training I have a skills coach who guides me through the different tasks and projects I need to complete for my qualification. I have time set aside to do this within my working hours, which means my work stays at work and I have enough free time in my week to play football and snooker as well as help at my local community centre and Mosque.
Since starting here, I’ve learnt a lot about the investigation process and I’ve decided that after my apprenticeship I want to continue at the service. When my apprenticeship ends, I plan on applying to be an investigator. Right now, though, I’m focussing on making sure that I’m working hard and contributing to my team and am making the most of my time here.
Regardless of whether I stay or move on, I know that being an apprentice at the Financial Ombudsman Service will provide me with the tools necessary to have a fulfilling career. This is a great opportunity for me to learn and develop skills which are going to help me throughout my professional life.