Photo of Person's Hairstyle
June 30, 2020

Hi, my name is Samantha.

I left school in 2017 with six GCSEs knowing exactly what I wanted to do. Since I was little, I wanted a career in hairdressing – it was my passion and I loved it!

Tyne Met had a hairdressing course. I applied, was interviewed and got a place, going one day a week for summer ‘taster’ sessions, but it felt like school, so I declined the offer.

I started looking into hairdressing apprenticeships.

The gov.uk website was best, but Facebook was good for firms posting positions. A friend saw an ad in a hairdressers. I applied and was invited for interview.

I’d never been interviewed before and was quite nervous. I dressed smartly and arrived in plenty of time. The interview was informal and the boss outlined what was expected, talking about the training and how long the apprenticeship would be.

I felt I’d done well and was delighted when I got a call to ask me to work a few days to see if I liked it. I did two weeks paid work experience and was offered the apprenticeship.

Around 15 months in, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I didn’t like going to work, wasn’t enjoying training and lost my passion. I thought it would blow over, but colleagues and parents soon noticed a change in me.

I outlined my doubts and they said they would help me to rediscover my passion. I went at it with 100% energy and tried to love hairdressing again. For a while, it worked; but sadly I started hating going into work. I needed a serious chat with my parents.

My doubts came as a shock, but they told me to think carefully and said they’d support me in what I chose to do, which helped. It felt like I was letting everyone down, but I decided to leave my apprenticeship. I told my boss, wrote my resignation and worked my notice.

I didn’t know what to do. I thought I’d messed up and would never find an apprenticeship, but soon realised I hadn’t ruined everything and could still find my dream career.

Brainstorming ideas helped. Hairdressing was all I’d considered and I had no back-up plan. I had loved doing all the paperwork and my coursework in my apprenticeships, so decided to look for something to do with that.

I searched online and realised ‘business administration’ was for me. I looked for roles on gov.uk and registered details on lots of website, checking daily for new apprenticeships. I applied for a few, had interviews, but got nowhere. I remained enthusiastic and kept looking.

When scrolling vacancies in my area, a business administration apprenticeship came up for the NHS at my local hospital – a five-minute walk from home. I applied on the NHS jobs website, where all vacancies are advertised. A few weeks later, I received an invite for an interview.

I was so nervous! I arrived in plenty of time, checked in at the front desk and waited. When the person interviewed before me left, it started to feel real. Five minutes later, I was called in. I sat down and introduced myself and had a drink of water to calm my nerves. I was asked about myself and questioned on each of the NHS values. It lasted for about half an hour and when it was over, I thanked them for their time and they said I would hear soon.  

I decided to drive along the seafront, to calm down. My phone suddenly began to vibrate. I pulled in and answered. It was one of the women from the interview.

She asked how I thought my interview went. I thought it had gone well and she agreed. She then said that she would love to offer me a position. I was delighted and said yes. She said I would have an induction with other new apprentices and then would go to my department. I would receive an email nearer the time with all of the information.

I couldn’t wait to tell my family and friends, who were all so happy for me.

There was about a month between interview and start. I was counting the days. I received an email around two weeks before the induction explaining how it would work. It said there was going to be a busy day and to arrive in plenty of time. I am quite anxious, so the thought of loads of people I didn’t know was nerve-racking, but adrenaline took over on the day!

When I arrived, I recognised someone from school, so went in with him. The induction, outlined what we needed to know for our roles. On the last day, we were told the departments we would be in – I would be in Cardiology, working with the secretaries.

Monday arrived – I was nervous but excited! I gave myself plenty of time to get there and meet everyone. The manager took me to the department and introduced me to everyone.

That was in October 2019 and I’ve been in the department I love ever since. The opportunities are endless, people amazing, and support incredible! I do things that I never thought I’d be able to do.

My journey hasn’t been easy or straightforward but it shows that if the first apprenticeship that you go for isn’t the right one for you there is always another out there for you.

I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without the support of friends, family and everybody I have met along the way, and the way, especially since starting in the NHS. I have made best friends for life and am part of an amazing work family. I am the happiest I have even been and look forward to going into work every day.

Thanks for reading my story. Best of luck in finding your perfect apprenticeship! Samantha

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