Charlotte’s career journey started with challenges and uncertainty
I started sixth form with subjects I enjoyed but were predicted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I then decided to restart college studying public services, because I loved Police Interceptors. But due to the pandemic, I was thrown off my career path and I found it difficult to refocus again.
Throughout sixth form and college I enjoyed business and planning and I wanted to work for a government-based organisation due to the benefits they provide. Although university was always encouraged, I never liked the sound of accumulating debt and not having money for travel, savings, or personal enjoyment. Apprenticeships appealed as I could work, earn a salary, and study, with no debt.
National Highways offer different levels of apprenticeships within all areas of the organisation. My interest in this path grew as I had interacted with traffic officers in my part-time job, who were passionate about their roles and the organisation.
Fast forward a year. I’m now a Level 4 project manager apprentice, and it’s the best career decision I have ever made. I initially worried about being the oldest apprentice due to the two-year gap from resitting my Level 3, but I met a diverse mix of ages and career paths and quickly realised that apprenticeships welcome individuals of all ages and career stages.
The project management apprenticeship appealed to me because it allows for networking across various business areas. I did lots of research to understand whether this role was for me on Linkedin and YouTube.
Over the past year, I’ve gained experience in finance, procurement, communications, and management, among other areas. I currently work in a social value team within the customer service and stakeholder division, providing valuable experience and evidence for my learning.
I’ve come a long way since my induction. I’ve pushed myself to present in front of small teams and even become a representative in the Midlands for apprentices and graduates. I wouldn’t have accomplished this without my level 4 project management apprenticeship. National Highways is a caring organisation and has a real push for early talent, apprentices, and graduates. At National Highways whenever there’s an opportunity (which there always is), I always push myself and say yes!