Danielle Cragg on her NECS100 career change

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Feb 8, 2023

Danielle Cragg joined the NECS100 programme in 2021, but like many people, she thought apprenticeships were only for school leavers but soon discovered they are open to everyone.

Danielle joined NECS in April 2021 after applying for an apprenticeship in the NECS100 programme as an Administrative Assistant within the NECS Consultancy team. Like many people, Danielle thought apprenticeships were only for school leavers but soon discovered they are open to everyone, and it was exactly what she was looking for.

“I had been a Visual Merchandiser for 6 years when health issues meant I had to give it up. I was devastated as it was something I had loved doing. After leaving visual merchandising behind, I worked in a temporary role in a local housing association but wasn’t happy – I needed something interesting and varied, not to be attached to a phone for eight hours a day, taking call after call.”

“I saw an advert for the Apprentice Administrative Assistant post within the Consultancy team and thought it was just what I had been looking for: a productive role with variety and a chance at making a career for myself in a new sector. I attended the assessment centre and loved it. The presentation, the people and the atmosphere all made me want to work for NECS Consultancy even more. I was so happy when I got the apprenticeship.”

“I had a designated learning day in which to complete my apprenticeship work, as the aim was for 20% of the role to be dedicated to off the job learning. I attended monthly meetings with my tutor, during which I would go over the previous month’s work, cover a new module and then go through the work I needed to complete for the next session. I had objectives and competencies I needed to complete in my job role to contribute to my apprenticeship work. “

“During my apprenticeship, I was involved in a number of different projects and pieces of work which have helped me gain a variety of experience in the Consultancy team, all of which have helped me grow in confidence. I enjoy learning new things, and most importantly trying things I am not sure of, knowing that I have the support of my colleagues if needed.”

“NECS have a wide range of training courses which I have taken full advantage of, and as a result, I am very confident in using Excel and in Project Management. I also received a lot of training and support from my colleagues, who allowed me to try things an apprentice perhaps would not normally have been trusted to. This helped me take a lot more ownership and responsibility for certain tasks and actions.”

“I would say the main highlight of my apprenticeship was becoming a finalist in the Management Consultancy Association’s Apprentice of the Year award category, back in March 2022. I was the first person in NECS Consultancy to become a finalist for that award. I was extremely surprised and pleased to be nominated for the award, as it showed the work, I had done over the past year had been noticed and was appreciated by my colleagues.”

“In July 2022, I passed my Level 3 in Business Administration with a Distinction. I really enjoyed my role as an apprentice within NECS Consultancy, so I knew I wanted to stay with NECS and ideally work in a project support role. The position of Programme Management Officer became available within the Yorkshire and Humber Consultancy team, I jumped at the chance to apply and was successful, all thanks to the training and experience I received from both my internal/client work and my apprenticeship. I began my new role at the beginning of September 2022 which is going great. I’m hoping to progress into a Junior Consultant role next. I am very proud of the last two years at NECS and my achievements as it shows the effort and dedication, I have put into both my apprenticeship and my roles within the Consultancy team.”

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