William is 23 and lives in the West Midlands. He’s about to start the final year of his Level 6 chartered management degree apprenticeship. He joined McDonald’s in 2018 and is currently working as a business manager. We asked him how he’s found the apprenticeship and how it’s shaping his plans for the future.
Why did you apply for McDonald’s school leaver degree apprenticeship?
I’d never thought about working for McDonald’s but when I got talking to people about the opportunity,
It seemed to be one of the best-respected apprenticeships. By the time I started the application process, I was keen to join.
What was your background before?
I’d come straight from college, where I did a mixture of btecs and a-levels. I knew I was bright and hardworking, but I wasn’t good in exam situations, so I didn’t think a traditional degree was my best bet. I’d also done some part-time work in hospitality and enjoyed it – I was especially interested in the management side. It all seemed to fit together.
How do you find working and studying at the same time?
It’s not easy, but the rewards are great. I’m a year away from finishing my degree and i’m lucky enough to be working as a business manager already. I’ve built up confidence though working at McDonald’s and I’m learning new skills all the time.
What do you most enjoy about working at McDonald’s?
I like the fact that no two days are the same.
I’ve worked my way up from crew member and it’s amazing to have the opportunity to progress so quickly. Now i’m responsible for a business.
I also love the people. I used to be very quiet and shy, but the combination of friendly, supportive people and constant challenges has made me far more confident and outgoing.
What are your career ambitions with McDonald’s?
I feel like the sky’s the limit now. I want to go as far and as fast as possible. Head office, franchise owner… Bring it on!
What support have you received while doing your apprenticeship?
It’s all about the people at McDonald’s, they have become like family and helped me so much.
My mentor has been there for me from day one, as has the Business Manager and the Franchisee has given me so many opportunities – I feel really supported by everyone.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship with McDonald’s?
Think seriously about it. If you’ve got the drive and are prepared to work for it, you can gain a degree, four or five years of work experience, and great prospects. And all without the need for a student loan.