Find your greatness with an apprenticeship – Meet Cheyenne Zephaniah

9th August 2018

In our latest “find your greatness with an apprenticeship” series, we hear from Cheyenne Zephaniah who works in the Tenancy Management Team at Tendring District Council.

I first joined Tendring District Council in February 2017 as an apprentice in Housing Reception and Repairs.

I decided that I had reached a point in my life where I needed to stop hopping from one job I was not happy in to another. It was time to find a path that would lead me to a great career and applying for a Business and Admin apprenticeship with TDC was the first steps to gaining a qualification that would open many doors for me both within and outside of the Council.

Before I applied for the apprenticeship I was working in my favourite tea room. It was a lovely job but it was not a career. I needed something with more stability and goals to work towards.
I was originally very nervous about starting an apprenticeship in local government, I believed it was beyond me and I would not be good enough to have a career in a big important organisation like this.

I found that from the first interview everyone was so lovely, helpful and supportive. I never felt like I had been thrown in at the deep end because between my assessor, manager and colleagues there was always someone there to help and guide me through the processes.
Three months in to my apprenticeship I discovered a full time job opportunity within the Council that appealed to me. I spent days plucking up the courage to apply for it but feared I would not be taken seriously because I was a very new apprentice with only little experience. I believed my competition would have much more knowledge and experience than I would and this was an intimidating thought that played on my mind for a long time. Despite this, I kept telling myself “what do you have to lose? If you don’t get it, you are in exactly that same place as you are now. Go for it!” So I did.

I had the interview and I left feeling a little embarrassed because again, I did not think I would be taken seriously. Later that same day I received a phone call to tell me my interview was a success and I had been offered the position. And just like that, after only three months I gained a full time job.

Apprenticeships allow you to get your foot in the door to a business. I never thought I would ever have the knowledge and skills to be able to work for local government but becoming an apprentice allowed me to learn and gain the skills required to be successful.

Without the apprenticeship I would never have had the opportunity to be able to apply for my current job role as it was only posted internally within the Council and now I am finally in a job that I love that can also offer me career progression should I want to move up the ladder.
Gaining a qualification at the end of all that hard work makes it all worth it too to know that you are now open to more opportunities and you earned it. It is a great feeling. 

I would advise anyone to go for it and stick with it. It can be a struggle working full time and not getting a full wage but it is one year out of your whole life where you get to learn new things and take the first steps into a real career that seemed like a farfetched idea before. Be patient because all that hard work will be worth it in the end.

I now work for the Tenancy Management team at Tendring District Council, my job title is Tenancy Management Admin Support Officer. I support the Officers in my office by taking calls, logging complaints and other various admin duties. I am also responsible for the letting of Council garages.

 

Join our Get up and Grow campaign to raise awareness of the importance of apprenticeships to our organisations and economies and to help increase the number and uptake of apprenticeships across the region!

We are committed to helping to support the delivery of apprenticeship training; making sure that the apprenticeship levy money is spent in the most effective way. Working together is the best way to achieve this!

To share your apprenticeship stories get in touch with Janine Hodge, Senior HR Advisor (Maternity Cover) at the East of England LGA on Janine.hodge@eelga.gov.uk / 01284 758303

Find out more about the Get up and Grow campaign at http://www.eelga.gov.uk/employers-services/apprenticeships.aspx

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