From A-Levels to a meaningful apprenticeship

Micah Bhatti
About the author : Micah Bhatti

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion administration apprentice at Sodexo UK & Ireland,

Published on : 8/16/23
  • To coincide with A-Levels result day on 17 August 2023, Micah Bhatti, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion administration apprentice at Sodexo UK & Ireland, shares insights into her decision to pursue an apprenticeship post A-Levels and the valuable lessons she's gained.

    Micah BhattiReflecting on my choice to pursue an apprenticeship after completing my A-levels, I can't help but acknowledge how the Covid-19 pandemic abruptly altered my plans. With my second year of A-levels cut short, I found myself having little time to decide on a career path.  

    Recognising that university wasn’t the right path for me, I really explored my options and concluded that an apprenticeship offered the ideal route. This path allowed me to obtain a qualification while gaining hands-on experience, creating a truly enriching learning journey.

    Starting my apprenticeship 

    The field I selected for my apprenticeship was as significant as it was exciting: I chose to complete a Business Administrator apprenticeship within the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team at Sodexo. This was perfect for me as my passion for DEI was ignited during a previous job, aligning perfectly with my aspirations.

    My daily tasks and responsibilities during the apprenticeship were both diverse and rewarding. From raising purchase orders and managing invoices to creating educational content and updating the DEI page on the company intranet, I gained invaluable hands-on experience. I navigated tasks such as tracking impact data, maintaining employee network records, and even participating in various research projects. Each activity added to my skill set.

    Learnings during my apprenticeship

    Interestingly, my A-level education proved to be a strong foundation for my apprenticeship. Having completed a Business A-level, I found that the theoretical knowledge I had acquired was now being put into practise in my day job. It also helped me with my learning modules during my apprenticeship as I was adding to the knowledge I already had.

    Through the apprenticeship, I gained practical experience of project management. This transformed the theory I had learned into a tangible skill, teaching me the tools and people skills necessary to execute successful projects. On a personal level, my resilience improved when I made mistakes as I was encouraged to view them as stepping stones to improvement rather than obstacles or failure.

    My apprenticeship differed greatly to my A-levels as during school we were taught theory in a way that did not work for me. The hands-on approach of the apprenticeship was a breath of fresh air compared to the more theory-heavy nature of my A-level studies.

    Being able to immediately apply what I learned in a real-world context made learning more engaging and effective.

    The influence of mentors and role models

    Mentorship played an important role in my journey. Colleagues and supervisors provided guidance and wisdom, encouraging me to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process. Their support enabled me to seize opportunities and grow beyond my comfort zone, instilling a sense of confidence and assurance.

    Next steps 

    Reflecting on how my apprenticeship experience has influenced my career aspirations, it’s clear that it has been transformative. While I still would like to pursue a career in DEI, my perspective on further education has evolved. Apprenticeships have shown me that learning can be dynamic and tailored to practical application. Considering a higher-level apprenticeship in the future is now a distinct possibility.

    Advice for A-Level students 

    For students contemplating an apprenticeship after A-levels, my advice is clear: If the traditional university route doesn't feel like the right fit, explore the world of apprenticeships.

    An apprenticeship will allow you to get a taste for whatever career you are looking to get into and give you that first foot through the door.

    Also, you gain a qualification while gaining a significant amount of work experience, which is extremely important for you to progress your career.

    Find out more about apprenticeships at Sodexo