A day in the life of a Microsoft apprentice

With university costs rising, Joshua Uwadiae used a Microsoft-backed apprenticeship to pursue his dream career in IT

20 October 2014

Joshua Uwadiae, 22, was halfway through a BTEC course in IT when he decided to take a new direction. The turning point came when he realised he’d learned more during a two-week work placement at a bank than he ever had during his course.

Needing a qualification that was industry relevant, Joshua decided to enrol on a City & Guilds-accredited Level 3 Apprenticeship in IT Systems and Networking. From October 2012, Joshua alternated between training in college and working at Ecourier – a small, same-day delivery company. Joshua recounts here how a typical day might go:

9am: I arrive ready for a full day of work or study, depending on which week it is. I’ve always felt much more focused when I’m working, so learning on the job was definitely the best option for me.

9.30am: I check my emails. During my apprenticeship, I work in IT support so I am responsible for looking after the PDA systems used by the company’s sub-contracted drivers. Every day, I answer queries, as well as building, packaging and deploying the devices.

11am: Part of my job also involves looking after the desktops in the office. This includes solving IT problems, resetting passwords, creating new accounts and setting up computers. Perhaps the biggest perk of working for a small company like Ecourier is that you can get involved with more advanced projects. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a real depth of experience. 

1pm: During my training weeks, lunch is a great time to catch up with the other apprentices to find out how their placements are going.

3pm: I have regular reviews with my assessor from QA apprenticeships, the major apprenticeship provider for Microsoft. It is a great opportunity to look back on what I’ve learned so far and discuss where I want to go in the future.

5pm: The working day ends. As an apprentice ambassador, I’m committed to representing Microsoft at vocational job fairs such as the Skills Show at Birmingham NEC, and in local schools around my area. My time with Ecourier has been invaluable in terms of helping me to develop my professional maturity, so I’m always eager to make others aware of the benefits of an apprenticeship.

After Joshua’s apprenticeship ended in October 2013, he began working full-time at Ecourier. Within a year, he became IT manager and now runs his own team.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that an apprenticeship was the right choice. It kick-started my career, and helped me to get recognition in my field,’ says Joshua. ‘I actually came runner-up in the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2013. Now, I’m excited to build a future around technology.’

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