Stephen Donovan | Business & Administration Apprenticeship with the University of Bristol

Stephen Donovan

My apprenticeship

I found the vacancy advertised on the National Apprenticeships website and was interested by the list of duties on the job specification. I was also tempted by the prospect of working for the University of Bristol, because I knew it was one of the ideal places to be.

I did well in the interview, but I couldn’t believe it when I was offered the role - I was actually offered two apprenticeships on the same day (!), but this one impressed me most, so I accepted. 

What I do

I carry out reception duties, help organise special events, and handle email, phone and face-to-face enquiries from staff and researchers. I also provide administrative support to research projects, update the website and create a number of spreadsheets and databases, sometimes using my own initiative.

All of these duties represent a different challenge and no two days are the same, so I enjoy all aspects of my role.

My future

Working for the University of Bristol has been amazing so far and I’ve gained some incredible experience. Helping to organise events and creating large databases will be important for any future admin role, and dealing with a range of people has really improved my communication skills.

Being here has also done wonders for my confidence and I now have a positive approach to any task I’m given. My duties cover a wide range of administrative tasks, so I'm well prepared for the future.

The best bit

I am extremely pleased and a bit overwhelmed with the number of new skills I have learnt in such a short time, and I feel that I learn something new about my role every day. This helps me stay focused and appreciate the role even more.

I also enjoy interacting with colleagues and the students who come into the centre to carry out research. I get along with everybody so well and have made some very good friends both at work and at the college. 

Getting support

I have received great support from the college before and during my apprenticeship. The recruitment team were very helpful when putting my name forward for vacancies and since I started in my role I have really enjoyed learning at the college. The tutors have guided me through each unit with their knowledge of the subject and by creating a positive learning environment. 

Would you recommend it?

It’s worth it. An apprenticeship is a fantastic way of gaining valuable skills and experience for any future career, and you get excellent support along the way. It also aids your own personal development. Right from the recruitment stage, it is important to have a positive frame of mind and a can-do attitude, as this is your chance to show employers what you’re capable of.