22AUG From Apprentice to Account Executive: Heidi’s Journey
With more than 800,000 people participating in an apprenticeship in 2017/18, the desire for these opportunities is growing and it is up to organisations to provide the appropriate training and roles to fulfil the demand.
Heidi Scherrer has been on a year long journey with Reach, starting as an Apprentice Receptionist before being successful in her application to join our Premier Foods team as an Account Executive.
“I started my journey in August 2018 as an Apprentice Receptionist, completing two NVQs in Business Administration. Right from the start I felt welcomed at Reach and will always remember my interview. I got up to thank my interviewers and managed to get a magnetic pen holder stuck to my shoe. My interviewers were in stitches and actually helped me to free myself.”
It was the opportunities presented to Heidi whilst in her apprentice role that opened the want to progress and develop. Heidi said, “what makes Reach different from other organisations I’ve worked for is the emphasis they put on providing everyone with guidance and chances to grow their career.
“The support my colleagues have shown is incredible, they even wrote a recommendation for me before I went to interview for the Account Executive role and are continuing to offer guidance whilst I complete my NVQs.”
Being able to study towards recognised qualifications, whilst in full-time employment enables development in a structured environment – combining on-the-job learning with more traditional course-based teaching. As an Apprenticeship Levy paying organisation, Acosta Europe has access to fund further learning and apprenticeships for both new starters and existing employees from a central fund. This drives individuals to prosper within the business, not only growing their knowledge and experience but allowing the company to develop talent from within.
“My favourite part about working for Reach is the chance to progress within the company,” Heidi explained. “After a year, I felt I was ready to take the next step and saw the Account Executive role advertised on our internal vacancies bulletin.
“I had no hesitation in saying yes when the offer came as I know I can continue to develop within Reach.”
It’s not just support gained whilst in the office, for Heidi there is a much bigger inspiration at home. “Since I started my career, I have always looked up to my father. He has always been driven and that reflects in his success and where he is today. He works in a similar industry, so it is great to be able to ask for help and advice when needed. Ultimately, he supports the decisions I make and I know he is proud of where I am today.”
Ongoing learning is not just something for the here-and-now, it is important to continually reset goals and stay motivated to continually achieve. For Heidi this is based around graduating and continual growth in her role.
“I am due to complete both my NVQs in October and am looking forward to graduating early next year. I want to continue to progress at Reach and ultimately see myself in a managerial position, where I can share my experiences and help other people progress like I have. My overall aim though is to be successful and develop my skills at every opportunity I get.”
Heidi is one of several apprentices currently working at Acosta Europe, each story being individual and the support varying based on their courses. In addition to apprenticeships, Acosta Europe also use other personal development methods, including Graduate Schemes and e-learning that is accessible to all.
As an organisation it is key for us to develop talent from within and give the opportunity for our current team to be our future leaders. In the past 12 months we have seen over 9% of our employees receive a promotion or secondment – a trend we want to continue.
Find out more about #OurATeam and the opportunities that Acosta Europe offer by heading to the #OurAtTeam page. If you are interested in a career with Acosta Europe, you can find all the latest opportunities to join the team here.