We recently spoke to Maddison Owen who enrolled with the Growth Company Education & Skills on a Pre-apprenticeship, progressing her way to completing a Level 3 and starting a level 4 in Accountancy. Maddison tells us all about her experience from the start of her journey with GC to the present day…
Why did you choose to study with the Growth Company?
I originally looked at applying for university, however, big lectures aren't my thing - I prefer intimate classes, which swayed me towards an apprenticeship as I felt there would be more support. When I attended the Open Day at the Growth Company I spoke to Jill who sold the course to me, she made me feel at ease and explained the course in a great way.
What was your learning journey experience like?
For my Pre-apprenticeship, I attended a class in Manchester City Centre 3 days a week. Before progressing onto my Level 3, the Growth Company team helped us with writing emails and letters to different accountants across Manchester and ensured we secured interviews. All the staff were supportive, and I had the opportunity to be taught by 4 tutors over my 3 years here, including Jill and Sarah.
I started my Level 3 just before lockdown and the classes then moved to online learning, although this was difficult Jill recorded classes so we could go back over the content, and we still had access to the support just as much as in the classroom. We were supplied with the same if not more material to support our learning to ensure we were ready for our exams.
I have now completed my first unit for Level 4, and I am enjoying it. It’s a big step up from Level 3 to Level 4, but there is still the same amount of support from my tutor Jill, and I feel that she ensures we are ready before putting us forward for exams.
What impact has the course/apprenticeship had on your career and individual skills?
A role in Accountancy has given me the opportunity for a lifelong career. It has also boosted my skills such as speaking to clients in a formal but friendly manner and helps me evaluate things in everyday life in a way I maybe wouldn’t have done before maturing into an apprenticeship.
How did you feel like an adult learner returning to study?
I am one of the youngest on my course as I came from a Pre-apprenticeship (Study Programme), however, everyone makes each other feel comfortable no matter what their age. I wouldn’t say I generally look at people by age or even know people’s age on my course as this should not affect and does not affect my ability to work with a person. We are all there for the same reason and therefore treat each other with equal respect despite age differences.
What support did you receive from the Growth Company?
I receive support every day, I can message/email Jill for help with questions I’m working on, and she is happy to arrange a Zoom/Teams meeting if it’s something that needs a discussion, or she will mark my work and send this back to me. I have received support throughout all my apprenticeships from my classmates and tutors.
As previously stated, the Growth Company helped me apply for apprenticeships at accountancy firms around Manchester and initiated interviews for apprenticeships. Jill is also supportive within personal areas such as if you are not feeling well and/or are not yourself and is always there to talk to. Classes are supportive, and I feel comfortable asking questions in class even if I think they might be stupid questions.
Has your confidence increased whilst on your course/apprenticeship?
It has! I used to be confident but maybe not in the correct way. I believe this course has helped me mature and become more confident in myself, my studies and my work. Jill made me feel that any question is worth asking so long as it will help me and others in my class. Jill helped me learn a new style of learning which has given me confidence in my exams, I know I am answering questions to the best of my ability.
What’s next for you, following your course/apprenticeship?
I am currently on my Level 4, so my next goal is to finish this course and then hopefully move on to my Chartered Accountancy.
Have you faced any challenges that the Growth Company have helped you overcome?
Not really, just improving my study mechanism and passing my exams.
What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship/course?
I have enjoyed meeting new people and boosting my knowledge and passing my courses to secure my future career path.
Would you recommend the Growth Company?
Yes, to everyone! Especially if you don’t like the sound of going to university.