This blog is written by Abdullah Ahmed, Digital Marketing Apprentice at Good Finance in celebration of national apprenticeship week

Hello! I'm Abdullah. This National Apprenticeship Week, I'm excited to talk about my apprenticeship journey in social investment. Having studied sport science and anatomy in college, I took a bold step into the social investment sector through an apprenticeship. Now, over 10 months in and working within the social sector engagement team at Good Finance, I’m eager to share my experiences, tips and some reflections from fellow Apprentices and ex-Apprentices.

Why an apprenticeship?

My reasoning for choosing an apprenticeship was due to the perfect blend of theoretical learning and practical application. Unsure of my next steps, talking with former apprentices convinced me it was the right move. They shared how much they grew personally and professionally, gaining skills and experiences that shaped their careers.

Abdullah at Locality Convention

Four tips for aspiring apprentices 

1. Don't be afraid to try something new 

The thought of starting an apprenticeship was daunting at first, especially in the field of social investment, of which I had no prior knowledge. It felt like stepping into unknown territory but let me tell you, taking that leap of faith was one of the best decisions I've made. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone proved invaluable. It’s shown me my strengths and led to personal growth. My advice? Don’t shy away from new experiences.

2. No such thing as a stupid question 

Starting out, my knowledge of social investment could fit on the back of a postage stamp, I quickly learned that asking questions, no matter how simple or complex was the key to better understanding the sector and your job role as a whole. Asking questions is also a good trait to have as it helps build a solid foundation and confidence once learning the answers.

3. Get involved as much as possible

Whether it's attending events or participating in work socials, make use of the variety of experiences offered throughout your apprenticeship. I've had the incredible opportunity to travel to places like Amsterdam and Bristol, attending workshops and events that not only broadened my understanding of social investment but helped me on a personal and professional level as well. 

4. Manage your time wisely 

Balancing work, study, and exams can be daunting. Effective time management and clear communication with your apprenticeship coach and manager can help manage this load. Planning and prioritising make everything more manageable.

Stand at Social Enterprise World Forum 2023

Reflections from other Apprentices in the sector

I'm part of a small but mighty team at Good Finance, but we work collaboratively with a number of organisations in the sector, including our Co-Funders, Big Society Capital. I asked a couple of Apprentices, past and present, to understand more about why they chose an Apprenticeship...

Malachi, an Apprentice within the finance team at Big Society Capital " My apprenticeship journey has been incredible, blending learning with work and boosting my confidence and experience. It's opened up so many doors for me."

Katie, an ex-Apprentice who works in the social sector engagement team at Big Society Capital  - " I completed my apprenticeship in 2023 and it was the best decision I made after leaving school. Its a great alternative to going to uni as you gain real time work experience whilst learning alongside. " 

You can also read more about the experiences of a former apprentice at Good Finance via Rosie Daly's blog, Looking back, moving forward: reflecting on my apprenticeship

To sum it up, my apprenticeship has been a game-changer, showing me the value of hands-on learning and real-world experience.

As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, I’m reminded of how much I’ve grown and all the incredible opportunities that have come my way. Whether it's stepping into a new field or gaining essential life skills, apprenticeships open up so many paths. Here’s to taking that leap and seeing where the journey takes us. Cheers to new beginnings and the endless possibilities ahead!