Thomas Clinch

The Apprentice Journey

Small Business

The Apprentice Journey

TomCTom joined Lucidica back in August 2012 as an Apprentice. One year on he’s graduated as our newest Engineer and we asked him to reflect on his journey from college to joining our team for our blog.

I started my apprenticeship with Lucidica in August 2012, while I was at college studying IT and trying to choose whether to go to university or apply for an apprenticeship. I started to look at both university courses and jobs, but all the roles I looked at stated that you needed at least a year of experience to be considered. At the same time, I was looking at university courses and what they would offer me, but realised that I would spend three years learning about technologies which, as technology moves so fast, would most probably be outdated by the time I graduated. On top of which I would be sitting in a classroom learning and taking notes. However once I had graduated, I would still have to find a job and even though I would have a degree, I still wouldn’t have any of that necessary experience.

So after focusing on looking for jobs in IT, I had a few interviews for Junior and Trainee roles. I progressed with one in particular, and I only missed out on the job as the person they were hiring had done the role elsewhere.

After this, the idea of an apprenticeship appealed to me, as I would be able to earn money at the same time as getting on the job training. I searched online and found the Government apprenticeships website, however the offerings for IT where very slim. I also came across apprenticeships with BT Open Reach and QA Apprenticeships. QA Apprenticeships offer courses in Systems & Networking course, which I applied for.

Several months later I received an email from QA saying that I had been selected to come in for an induction day.  Feeling slightly nervous I attended the induction day with a room full of other hopeful apprentices. We were given tasks to do, then towards the end of the day we had a 1:1 interview with one of the placements staff to see if we were suitable for the apprenticeship. I tried to give as much information as I could about what I was looking for, after which my interviewer said that they had a few places in mind and that they would be in contact.

Less than 2 weeks later was invited for a telephone interview with Lucidica. I started to research the company, looking for what they did, who they have worked with, what kind of support they do. When the day of the phone interview came I was excited, but I had the dread of staring at the phone waiting for it to ring.

After the call I was invited to Lucidica’s office in Shoreditch for a formal interview with the General Manager and an engineer. When I went for the interview the nerves had sunk in. I was asked a variety of questions – everything from what was the last book I read to what I would do if someone called up saying they had no internet. I later found out that these questions are used so that they could gauge what kind of person I was.

I was offered an apprenticeship at Lucidica. They wanted somebody they could mould and feed information, which is what I wanted to do. I wanted to learn more about computers, technology and how things work. Being able to take an apprenticeship allowed me to discover how my skills and interests slot into the work place. On my first day I was nervous about what to do and how my colleagues would be. However straight away I found my fears gone and all of my colleagues were friendly and helpful. Over the next year I had training at QA for exams and assignments which were made to further our knowledge and to see things from a different view. QA were supportive and always able to answer any questions we had, assigning people we could contact in case we needed somebody to talk to.

The knowledge I’ve gained is invaluable, learning not only technical information, but how to deal with clients, their expectations, and to provide exceptional customer service. I believe that I have learnt far more in my time at Lucidica than I would have if I was in university.