Shereen Al-Qarni shares her apprenticeship journey with UMi

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2024 (5 to 11 February), we are sharing the stories of some of the team who started their journeys as apprentices. Shereen started at UMi in different department in 2021 and after realising she has a passion for events joined the team as a events apprentice, she has completed her apprenticeship journey with UMi recently and received her qualification of completion at the end of 2022.

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship at UMi?  

I decided to do an apprenticeship at UMi as I was already working for the company in another department and absolutely loved the work environment. I wanted to explore a new industry and start a new career in something I have always had a passion for. So when I seen the job opening I knew I had to apply.  

What did the apprenticeship involve? 

The apprenticeship I did was more on the job learning however I did have to attend a few classroom training sessions and I had a portfolio I had to continuously fill with proof of work throughout the whole of my apprenticeship.  

To complete my apprenticeship I had to make sure I had so much evidence in my portfolio, complete a large project on an event I had helped organise, and then I had a professional discussion where I had to present a comprehensive presentation about the large event I helped run and answer lots of questions about my role throughout the whole apprenticeship.  

What skills do you think the apprenticeship taught you and how did it help you to get to know UMi as a company? 

The apprenticeship taught me the foundations of the event industry from larger scale events to small workshops. It also taught me what to expect from a professional environment and how to communicate with colleagues and clients alike. My confidence, time keeping and problem-solving skills have greatly improved through completing my apprenticeship. 

How has your career progressed and how has the apprenticeship helped you? 

I started knowing next to nothing about the events industry, I was able to work with a great team and shadow and learn from the best. The team never made me feel stupid for not knowing something and instead showed and encouraged me throughout.  I have now completed my apprenticeship and become a Project & Events Executive at UMi. I am now a trusted member of the events team and I am able to organise and run small events and workshops on my own.  

My apprenticeship has gave me the skills, knowledge and training needed to be in the events industry. My confidence has grew and I am now able to speak in front of room of people whereas when starting this would have been terrifying to me. I am excited to see where my events career  will take me at UMi.  

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeships are great as you are not only getting a qualification but are getting the experience too. You are earning while you learn and not having to worry about student loans. I would say apprenticeships are for people that are practical learners and prefer a more hands on approach. There is loads of support and I loved completing my apprenticeship at UMi as I had a great team, manager and trainer who supported and encouraged me throughout the whole process.