Many University graduates are turning to apprenticeships to provide the hands-on work experience their degree didn’t give them.
History lover Kamran Chowdhury (23), enjoyed the subject so much he read for a degree in it, but now with the future firmly on his mind he is taking his first steps into a career in IT sales
Following his A’ Levels Kamran was still unsure of the direction he wanted to go in, so accepted a place to read History and International Studies at Nottingham Trent and do a degree he knew he would enjoy. But after completing his studies, learning about the past, Kamran set his sights on a career in IT sales, an industry that is set to grow massively in the future.
To help achieve his dream career, Kamran started an IT Sales Apprenticeship with London-based Exponential-e, a leading provider of Cloud, data, communications and cyber security solutions, supported by Remit Group.
“When I was leaving school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career when I graduated, so I went to University and studied History and International Studies which was something I had enjoyed at A Levels. Whilst I was at University, I was pondering what to do afterwards and a career in sales appealed, particularly in IT Sales, as that was an industry that was booming.”
“I knew there was a lot of money to be made, but I also knew that there was a lot of knowledge I needed, particularly around IT as I didn’t come from that type of background so I decided to do the apprenticeship to get the first-hand knowledge, because I knew that was what I needed to be successful.”
The transition from graduate to apprenticeship didn’t faze Kamran, he was more concerned by his skill set, or lack thereof, in terms of the technical element of the solutions he was selling. But as he found out, all the technical knowledge, as well as in depth sales techniques were taught as part of the 13-month programme.
“The apprenticeship has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect to be where I am now; I am a lot more independent, I know a lot more with regards to the technical side and my sales skills have developed significantly.
In addition, like many organisations employing apprentices, regardless of their background, Exponential-e uses a buddy system pairing inexperienced apprentices with more established colleagues, so they can learn good practice from their colleagues.
“The buddy system within the apprenticeship has really helped me”, admits Kamran.
“It’s allowed me to shadow and be mentored by more experienced sales people, see what they do, see how they structure their day, week, month, and stick to that in order to be successful.”
Looking back Kamran has no regrets about completing his degree before he chose his career but admits that if he had more clarity around his future career path, he may have chosen differently after his A Levels.
“I think doing the degree first worked for me because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. If I had known that I wanted to do sales, or IT sales, then the first step would have been an apprenticeship because of the on-hand skills and experience you get. You do 12- 13 months just focused on the job training and getting work experience, which is invaluable.”
If you are looking at doing an apprenticeship after or instead of university, Remit Group delivers a range of programmes with some great employers up and down the country.