Meet the Apprentices
Oscar - Management Information Officer
I fell into my apprenticeship by accident. Since at uni I studied Philosophy – surely the most focussed and employable of degrees – I bounced between many different jobs, including waiter and bartender; night-shift receptionist, security and cleaner; and data quality reviewer and then human resource administration with Devon and Cornwall Police. It was in this lattermost role that I applied for my current position – Management Information Officer at Devon County Council.
The job was advertised with the option to complete an apprenticeship if desired.
This is why I say I undertook it by accident; the job advert described the experience
required and the duties expected for the role. The write-up sounded varied and I had the necessary experience.
So, I applied, and I got the job.
Prior to this, I had already been
researching ways to continue my education while working. A knowledgeable friend
of mine pointed out that Exeter College offer many well-regarded
apprenticeships and that employers are often quite keen to engage. In
particular, the Data Analysis and Data Science courses appealed to me. I had
however relegated these plans to the backburner for the time being since no viable
opportunities seemed forthcoming.
During the phone call in which I was
offered my present job, they asked if I would like to do a Level 4
Data Analyst Apprenticeship alongside. I fear my stupefied response of “…yes?” may
have sounded a touch sarcastic. Fortunately they were unperturbed by this faux
pas and I started in July 2022.
Now, I am over a year in. The role is
varied – a non-exhaustive list of duties includes data matching, data cleaning,
satisfaction of subject access requests, IT support for our online system, and
production of reports and analyses for the department and other stakeholders. My
responsibilities change frequently in a way that keeps me engaged. I am trusted
to work on my own initiative. For these reasons I am able to learn and grow
professionally in this role.
College is likewise varied. We have developed skills in R, Python, and SQL, as well as touched on data visualisation in PowerBI; plus, of course, Excel. And, we’ve studied a lot of maths. Though a set of daunting formulae can be treated as a black box into which you simply plug your numbers and obtain a result, we have taken the time to work through and actually understand what the equations express in reality. This is enormously satisfying, and helps inform what method of statistical inference is appropriate for a particular situation.
So, overall, I wholeheartedly recommend
both DCC as an employer and Exeter College as an educator. Really, I was lucky
to be offered a course I wanted to do anyway; the more credulous among us might
here declare something about ‘manifestation’, but such speculation can be left
to the reader. I already have my eye on the Level 6 Data Science course, so I
am keen to see what the future holds for me.
Management Information Officer
Children's Management Information