Jess Final Interview
Last year, STERIS UK gained accreditation that enabled us to start offering Apprenticeships to our employees.
If you’ve been keeping up with this journey, you’ll know that we’ve been following Jessica Billington during the completion of her STERIS Apprenticeship.
Jessica has now completed her Apprenticeship and now has a Level 2 qualification in Customer Service.
We met up with Jess (virtually) one final time to speak to her about her experience, what she has learned and advice that she has for anyone wishing to complete an Apprenticeship with STERIS.
Read on to find out how she got on.
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship and what apprenticeship did you do?
I completed the Level 2 Customer Service Apprenticeship with STERIS.
In my current role here at STERIS, I speak to Customers on a daily basis, helping them with any queries that they may have. As such, this apprenticeship tied in really well with my position and provided me with the opportunity to improve my current skillset. Especially in Customer Service as this is extremely helpful in my role.
I always enjoy pushing myself and I’m always looking for ways to do that. This apprenticeship allowed me to do that as well as pushing me to learn new things and develop new skills.
Describe your experience of being on an apprenticeship?
I found this apprenticeship to be a really enjoyable experience. I enjoyed doing something different alongside my usual day to day role.
Every day, I tried to find some time to work on any assignments that was due or any of my daily pieces of work. I found that by creating the time each day, this prevented me from falling behind on any of my tasks. This also enabled me to get plenty off the job training hours logged for the qualification.
If there I had an assignment deadline coming up and the office had been particularly busy, my manager allowed me to take some time to do the Apprenticeship work and ensured that my workload for my role was covered.
The support that I received from my manager and team really assisted me with the completion of the Apprenticeship.
Tell me about some of the things you learnt while doing your apprenticeship?
The main focus of my course was Customer Service for example, “how would you deal with Customer complaints” or “how would you build relationships with your Customers”.
I gained a lot of knowledge about the business and how businesses in general operate. I completed a lot of research on laws and legislations, specifically those around consumer rights and health and safety.
I found that through shadowing my colleagues, I gained a lot of knowledge and insight into the work that they do. Especially around my colleagues who work within the warehouse, this is completely different to the work that I would usually do on a day to day basis.
I really enjoyed expanding my knowledge in new areas.
Talk to me about your off the job experiences – what sorts of things did you do?
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, me and the team regularly visited our Customers at the hospitals they worked in. During these visits, we would discuss products and shelf levels. Completing this Apprenticeship has really built my confidence for when I meet with Customers and these visits enabled me to put my learning into practice.
Additionally, I spent some time in the warehouse here. During this training, I picked and packed the orders that I had received from my Customers. The warehouse team showed me how orders were printed and the process that they followed through packing and shipping (either through courier or our drivers).
I also spent some time shadowing one of our drivers who delivers products to two hospitals. I was unable to physically carry out the work due to health and safety, but it was interesting watching and being able to see how the order goes from being entered to picked and then delivered.
What are you proud of?
I am extremely proud of how hard I have pushed myself, gaining knowledge on topics outside of my usual role.
I am also proud of how much I have built up my confidence during this course. I never used to be 100% sure on decisions I made at work and would always run them past my manager first, even if I knew it was the right thing to do.
This newfound confidence in my work also led me to be able to comfortably contact higher management for example, the Operations Director to ask them questions to complete my assignments.
How has doing an apprenticeship helped you?
This apprenticeship helped me a lot with my job. It helped me learn new skills so that I can deal with Customer complaints better and more efficiently.
It has also enabled me to grow my confidence at work and really helped me improve my knowledge on the work environment.
Who else was involved in your apprenticeship?
There was a whole team of people behind me as I completed my Apprenticeship.
My Trainer Assessor who taught me, gave me my assignments and guided me through the whole process. She was supportive, and I couldn’t have asked for a better assessor.
My Managers also supported me and helped with my assignments. Especially with my off the job hours and letting me shadow them and colleagues, giving me different tasks outside my usual work.
As I mentioned before, additionally members of the Senior Management Team also got involved to help me complete assignments.
How did the pandemic affect your apprenticeship?
The COVID-19 pandemic had a really big impact on my apprenticeship, but this wasn’t necessarily in a negative way.
Me and my Trainer Assessor were still able to complete assessments, they were just virtual instead of face to face. We were still able to record discussions to log into my Apprenticeship.
The pandemic unfortunately prevented me from doing many off the jobs hours as there is only so much you can do at home. Luckily, I was able to make up my hours when I later returned to the office.
What support did you get?
I received a lot of support from all over STERIS UK.
It was so nice to know that even the higher management supported me and helped me with assignments.
My managers were also very supportive all the way through my apprenticeship. Whether it was to help with assignments or to let me shadow them, show me their job and what they do.
I also had an amazing level of support from my Trainer Assessor. No matter the question or query she helped me straight away or gave me the resources to help me complete any work.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing an apprenticeship with STERIS?
Go for it!
I loved completing my apprenticeship. I have said before, it really boosted my confidence.
I now hope to do so much more with regards to learning with STERIS moving forward.
I really think it helps with development especially if you’re wanted to excel in your career.