Growing up, I did not have a particular profession that I wanted to work in. I enjoyed science the most and decided to pick Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths at A Level. However, as much I was interested in these subjects, I just couldn’t imagine myself working in any of those fields.
After browsing around different courses, I stumbled across programming and was sure this is what I wanted to do. I applied for Computer Science at University, but later on decided to withdraw my place. I did this for two main reasons: Firstly, although a degree is desired, many job offerings did not require a candidate to have a bachelors degree for software development. It was, fortunately, a field that had many apprenticeship vacancies too. Secondly, the cost of university had deterred me. I did not want to spend years paying for a degree that was not necessary.
The process of being considered for an apprenticeship was incredibly lengthy and consuming. Often you had to make an online application, followed by a series of numerical and literacy tests, a digital interview and, eventually, face-to-face interviews. After applying for my first apprenticeship, I had gone through the lengthy hiring process and was placed in the ‘applicant pool’ – a limbo where you are neither hired nor rejected. I was frustrated that I had spent so much time and focused all my energy on one company, and after enduring the 5 months process I was still not hired.
Taking part in the Making The Leap Workshop helped me improve my employability skills in many ways. I became more organised, improved and tailored my CV, and developed my interview skills. With the help of Making The Leap, I was prepared when it came to the interview stage because I had the chance to practise my interview skills several times during the workshop and again with a professional software developer. The skills I learned on the Workshop were things that I was not taught at school and I will carry them with me in the years to come thanks to Making The Leap.
I am now starting a software engineering degree apprenticeship.
By Hana, aged 20