Isaac joined Liz Earle in 2014 as a Business Administration Apprentice. Today, he’s a Finance Assistant working his way through the AAT qualification. Read on to find out more about Isaac’s thoughts on apprenticeships and his career journey at Liz Earle.
So you started out as an apprentice with us. What interested you about apprenticeships?
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to university or not, or what I wanted to do next following A levels. I liked that apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn money, being able to learn and work at the same time, so this was a great incentive. I would still be temped to go to university now following my apprenticeship.
Why Liz Earle?
Honestly, skincare was not my first thought, but it’s a big business for the island (Isle of Wight). The company was founded here and has a great reputation. I was drawn to the progression opportunities along with good things my family and friends had said about the company. I didn’t have any previous experience of working in an office environment and was very honest about that in my interview. I think that’s what got me through – that would be my best tip!
How did the apprenticeship go? We assume well, as you’re still here!
A big learning curve but fun! Over the past 5 years I’ve been involved in so much. From planning travel for International QVC shows, supporting with our website, to getting fully involved in day-to-day admin. Every project has helped me to find my place both in the business and in our finance team.
A few highlights…
Being part of our new website build at the time was a fantastic opportunity. I helped with testing the website features, ensuring they worked smoothly across a range of devices. I also had the chance to support our People and Development team, getting involved in HR admin, producing letters, printing and inputting data. This was a great insight into a different department.
The hardest part for me at the beginning using the phone – it’s not a strong skill of mine and I really didn’t enjoy it but it’s helped pushed me out of my comfort zone and you need that to grow.
Towards the end of the apprenticeship I spent time in the finance department, this is where I really found myself. It really suits my way of working. I like to have a set plan and regular time schedule of when tasks need to be completed. We have a great structure, it can be full on at certain times of the month but then you have quieter times to catch up and it all flows. I would say October and November are the busiest times before peak Christmas trading kicks off.
Are you continuing to develop yourself at work?
I’m currently studying for my AAT Level 2, it’s a great opportunity for further development.
Any plans for the future?
Yes! I am breaking out of my comfort zone completely and heading to South America in November. I will travel through Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and the Amazon. I can’t wait for a new life experience, although I’m terrified of spiders so we’ll have to see how that goes! It’s great that work is allowing me to take the time off as I’ll be gone for two months. I feel I’m really getting the best of both, being able to travel and progress in my career.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as an apprentice?
Try to get involved in everything you can. Ask questions, listen and go for it. I know with a lot of apprenticeships when they come to an end that’s sometimes it with that company but even if it is, you’ll have gained so much knowledge, information and experience. Plus you can take your qualification anywhere.