When you hear the word ‘apprenticeship’ typically the first jobs that come to are builder, plumber or electrician and, whilst this may have been the picture many years ago, in today’s world it couldn’t be further from the truth.
There’s a huge choice of apprenticeships out there today. Mine will enable me to become a chartered surveyor and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a qualification that means I can work anywhere in the world, if I choose.
Having joined CBRE aged 18, directly after my A-Levels, I would say the toughest decision was to break away from the crowd and pursue my own career path. Coming from a grammar school background where attending university was the norm, the idea of an apprenticeship was met with concern and disagreement. Choosing an apprenticeship over a traditional university pathway was a challenge as I needed to prove to my parents and teachers that an apprenticeship would provide me with skills and knowledge to become a success within a professional service industry.
Two years into my apprenticeship I can confidently say it is without doubt the best decision I’ve made.
Now in the second of my four seat rotations with CBRE, I am currently in the Residential Development Consultancy department working with some of the best professionals in the property industry. I have gained a plethora of practical industry experience working for the world’s leading commercial property and real estate services. In addition to this, I’m enrolled on an undergraduate degree and studying part time towards a BSc in real estate management.
As my employer is funding my degree when I complete my apprenticeship I will be debt free, plus I have been earning a salary since I joined CBRE. The benefits seem clear to me.
If you’re someone who prefers a more practical approach to learning and doesn’t want to be fully engrossed in an academic environment then I would say that an apprenticeship is definitely worth considering. Despite not fully experiencing the ‘university lifestyle’ you will gain as many, if not more, life skills through being immersed in a corporate environment from a young age.
To me, an apprenticeship presents an opportunity for you to begin building your relationships with key players in the industry as, after all, your network is your net worth.