McDonald's: Thando

‘I’d recommend it to anyone!’

Like Thando, you can embark on a McDonald’s apprenticeship and continue to learn while you earn with flexibility, and open yourself up for further promotion opportunities…

Thando started working at McDonald’s to save money for university, but after being promoted twice in a very short time she decided to stay and see what McDonald’s had to offer instead. When her son was two years old, Thando felt it was time to take on a new challenge: a Level 4 hospitality manager apprenticeship, equivalent to a foundation degree. She embarked on this programme whilst earning money in her role as a shift leader and has the option to complete a fully-funded degree apprenticeship through McDonald’s as a next step.

McDonald’s is the world’s leading restaurant group with more than 1,450 locations in the UK alone, and a diverse team of individuals from all walks of life. McDonald’s and its Franchisees employ more than 150,000 employees which represent all ages and backgrounds, from students doing weekend jobs to working mums such as Thando who are fitting shifts round family life.

The apprenticeship has offered Thando security and flexibility around her personal lifeensuring she is able to provide for her son and earn money, whilst gaining a nationally recognised qualification to further herself both personally and professionally.


What she’s achieved

As a busy working mum, dividing her time between shifts at McDonald’s and looking after an active toddler, Thando was feeling like she didn’t have the time or energy to think about how to move on in her career. A chat with one of her managers got her thinking about an apprenticeship, and as soon as she found out about the flexible structure, online modules, and the chance to earn while you learn, Thando was keen to sign up! In a few months, Thando will have completed her Level 4 apprenticeship with a final project on mental health in the workplacea subject she’s really passionate about and that is already influencing the way she supports her crew members in her role as shift leader.

How McDonald’s supported Thando’s journey

Thando’s apprentice mentor has been a great help, working with her to break assessments down into manageable chunks so that she can fit projects around her busy work and home life. Her restaurant managers have also been very supportive, encouraging her to make the best use of her time in work or home, depending on what works best for her and her son. The chance to gain a qualification while earning a wage has given Thando a way to balance her current needs with planning for the future. She is keen to take on a degree apprenticeship through McDonald’s one day, but thinks she’ll wait until her son starts school before taking on the extra challenge.


Thando’s timeline:

2015 Joined Maresfield McDonald’s as a crew member; quickly promoted to crew trainer and then shift leader

2019 Thando’s son was born. McDonald’s gave Thando the flexibility to fit her shifts around childcare so that she could continue to work

2021 Started a Level 4 hospitality manager apprenticeship and is currently preparing for her final end-point assessment which she’s chosen to focus on mental health in the workplace, including financial wellbeing.


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