Future Leaders Apprenticeship
I’ve just completed the Future Leaders apprenticeship at Boots UK and what an amazing two years it’s been.
What attracted me to Boots UK was the great opportunity it was offering; a two year programme, which incorporated two different placements within a business function, learning and earning money at the same time.
My journey actually began at University as this felt the normal thing to do. But whilst my friends were loving uni life, I knew it wasn’t for me. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t going to get a job at the end of it and was told on numerous occasions that jobs at the end of my course were a rarity. I came across the Boots apprenticeship advert and thought WOW! I would be stupid if I didn’t go for this. Applying for this programme was the best decision I have ever made.
I originally started within the Construction Programme Management Team and even though I gained valuable experience, I knew I wanted to try out other roles at the business too. With the support of my managers I was able to get a placement within HR and I’ve never looked back. I was in the Colleague Engagement Team where I had the opportunity to manage and set up a conference for 2,500 people, and have regular contact with the senior leadership team to cascade communications to the rest of the business. This role gave me a diverse set of skills from designing and managing communication systems to having the confidence to approach senior leaders. I was even able to meet Stefano Pessina (the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance) - talk about sweaty palms!
Through the programme I completed an NVQ Level 4 in Business Administration, and balancing a full time job, college assignments, NVQ discussion and a social life was difficult. But the great thing about it was that I was able to directly apply knowledge from my academic work to my role in Boots UK.
As part of the programme we had the opportunity to support our charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support by creating #SpecialBecause candy canes, where colleagues around the business purchased candy canes to let their colleagues know why they are special to them. We raised an absolutely fantastic £814.64 for Macmillan which was an amazing thing to be a part of.
So what’s next for me? I have recently started my permanent role in HR, within the Apprenticeships and Access to Work Team. I currently look after the Healthcare Apprenticeship Programme which we recently launched in our stores. I have 78 apprentices around the UK from Scotland all the way down to Penzance, and it’s been so successful that we are preparing to take another cohort next year. But that’s not it; I want to continue developing my skills and knowledge within HR so I’m currently looking into my CIPD HR professional qualification, which Boots UK is supporting me with!
Healthcare Apprenticeship Coordinator