In this case study, Rebecca Kunzler tells us about her experience as an Apprentice on Watson Martin’s Level 3 Learning and Development Apprenticeship programme.
Rebecca, what is your role at Domestic & General?
I’m a learning specialist across D&G’s three sites in Nottingham, Brighton and Bedworth. I carry out lots of inductions introducing new people to our products and systems and teaching them how to sell insurance compliantly and successfully. I joined nearly 13 years ago as a contact agent and then moved around different departments within the company eventually becoming a team leader. I wasn’t really passionate about the management side of my job then but I enjoyed seeing people develop and grow which is why I moved into L&D in 2016 and have never looked back! I was furloughed until 15 June and the last few weeks have been very busy learning about the new virtual delivery of my role. I have always found it easy to build connections face to face but online delivery is more difficult.
Why did you want to do the Level 3 L&D apprenticeship programme?
As an established learning specialist I know the products very well and have lots of experience in delivering training but wanted to broaden my knowledge of theory. It will be great to have those new skills to apply to my role here or transfer to another company if I need to in the future. The qualification aspect of the apprenticeship is very important.
When did you start and when will you finish?
I started in February this year and we are on track to finish in March. We have just started our fourth unit and look to complete one unit a month.
What skills and knowledge do you hope to develop during your apprenticeship?
Initially I thought it would be all about the CIPD qualification. In fact before I started the apprenticeship, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough new learning at work to write about in my journal as I have been at the company for so long and delivering inductions for years but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Since returning from being furloughed everyone is working in a different way. As all the delivery has moved to online I have had to redesign the content to make it suitable for virtual learning which is all a brand new experience for me and literally a new job! The qualification is so interesting and having this new knowledge behind me makes me a more serious and credible learning specialist.
What do you think the apprenticeship will do for your future career?
I think it will open up doors in the future either within D&G where I could move into different roles or in another company. The main thing is if there is ever a shift in the organisation, the new skills I have learnt during my apprenticeship and through the qualification are transferrable so I can take them anywhere.
Is your manager supportive?
She’s brilliant and very supportive. She used to work alongside me so she knows the role and understands the expectations. She has also been through the programme and is now doing her level 5.
How are you managing the 20% off the job training aspect of your apprenticeship?
My time management is pretty organised and I record new learnings in my journal every week so I’m able to keep on top of everything. We do have an intense period of inductions coming up so it may be more difficult.
How did you find the Watson Martin start up process generally?
There was a lot of information to take in at the induction webinar but it set me on the right path. My adviser Tracey Lewis is fantastic, really quick to respond and gives me great feedback. I like to be ahead of my deadlines and she really suits my style of working. There is a webinar for each unit and then I work with my adviser to complete the assessment.
What are your views on the online materials and tracking your progress?
The VLE is really useful even though I don’t use it so much now that I have more of a feel for what is expected.
I’m just really enjoying the programme and have been very happy with the process.