Benji Barley is an apprentice business analyst at NFU Mutual
What Apprenticeship are you on?
Business Analysis Apprenticeship Programme – Provided by Assist KD.
Why did you chose the apprenticeship route?
An apprenticeship is a great way to kick start your professional career and provides an ideal environment for you to learn and grow. It is also an opportunity to gain a recognised qualification in your chosen field, which along with the experience you gain could give you the edge when applying for different roles in the future.
During A Levels I had a real passion for Geography, but I also thoroughly enjoyed Business Studies. I knew if I wanted to pursue a career in Geography then university would be the way to go. However, the concept of university never really appealed to me, so
I decided that an apprenticeship in Business was the best and more practical route. I also found that I really enjoyed and thrived in the office environment during my work experience placement.
What does your apprenticeship involve?
My apprenticeship consists of two key aspects.
The first is my Apprenticeship Portfolio where I summarise the work I complete on various projects within the Business and discuss how each piece of work demonstrates the technical skills required to pass the apprenticeship. I will be assessed on this at the end of the apprenticeship.
The second is the various learning courses that need to be completed with each aiming to further develop my knowledge around different aspects related to my role. These involve periods of online learning, typically 2-3 day course to reinforce your knowledge and then a short exam, which I book at my convenience.
Of course, while completing these elements I also have the option to participate in a variety of non- apprenticeship activities and projects, which provide me with the opportunity to interact and learn from the people around me, gain valuable experience and expand my knowledge, all of which support my personal development.
How are you supported?
As I started my apprenticeship in October, the working environment was quite different to what it was at the start of the year. Despite this, I was given the opportunity to work in the office for the first few weeks allowing me to properly settle in and meet some of my team in person. Various training is provided to help introduce you to the company and educate you on NFU Mutuals ethos, culture and guiding principles.
I was also supported in my transition to working from home. I was provided with any extra equipment I required, and the business ensured that I was comfortable and had a suitable home office set-up. I also have regular meetings with my manager to discuss my working environment, well-being and any other concerns.
What advice would you give to somebody else thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
If you are thinking of doing an apprenticeship, I would highly recommend it. I believe unless you aspire to enter a field which requires you to attend university, then an apprenticeship is the best option. It develops your interpersonal skills, provides you with an opportunity to earn while you learn and is a great way to kick start a career in your desired profession.