Jared Freeman, one of our IT First Line Support Apprentices, gives the lowdown on what it’s like to be an apprentice at NFU Mutual.
Tell us a bit about you and your role.
I’ve been here since October 2017, when I joined as an apprentice. Before joining I looked at various different programmes and I picked it because I felt working for a national provider offered great experience and progression opportunities. Working in IT First Line Support, we’re the first people our users speak to when they have a problem. It’s our job to triage that person to the right place.
How would you explain what it’s like to be an apprentice at NFU Mutual?
I’m finding it very interesting and I’m learning a lot. The experience that we’ve had with the training provider has been great; we’ve done remote courses with teachers and students from around the country. Also, all the managers and my colleagues are ready to help if I need it– I feel very well supported.
What’s the most surprising thing about being an apprentice at NFU Mutual?
The qualifications that we’re doing are quite in-depth and reach quite a lot of areas of IT. We’ve spent time with other teams so that we cover all the different areas that are required by our apprenticeship, and that was something that I wasn’t expecting. It’s a great opportunity and means we’re moving around a lot more than I expected, experiencing lots of different things we wouldn’t see as just a normal employee.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship with NFU Mutual?
Go for it! The interview process took several weeks but it was a very positive experience. First of all my application was screened, next I had a telephone interview with NFU Mutual and then a virtual skype interview with the training provider, before a final face-to-face interview. It was a quite a pressing interview, there were quite a lot of challenging questions but it’s competitive, so I expected that.
What kinds of qualities do you think are important to being an apprentice at NFU Mutual?
Commitment to both your job and your training. You also need to be organised to make sure you get everything done; you have your apprenticeship tutors to follow and you also have your day to day job to do. NFU Mutual stated from the offset that they invest into their apprentices and they want someone who is really interested.
How do you balance your studies with working?
We have a study calendar that gives guidelines as to what we need to do and with specific class dates, but we have autonomy to make sure we get our study done and prioritise it over our desk time.
What’s the best thing about being an apprentice at NFU Mutual?
The best thing is that NFU Mutual is known for being an employer that looks after its staff and offers good opportunities for progression. Being part of a national business and well-respected brand such as NFU Mutual is great for my future prospects. I’ve been able to experience so many different areas of IT beyond First Line, and only a company with NFU Mutual’s resources could enable me to do this.