"So looking back more years than I care to remember, collecting my GCSE results filled me with equal amounts of excitement and fear. I remember it clearly, getting up early to go into school and collect that envelope that would start to play out the next stages of my life! I was never very academic and struggled in my last few years at school like most teenagers, worrying about fitting in with my peers, discovering boys and my parents separating.
After collecting my results, and to put in bluntly not doing overly well, then failing my entrance test for the RAF, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I completed my work experience in a garage as I really fancied myself as the next Charlene (from neighbours). However, that was a short-lived career once I realised that this was a dirty job. I jumped about from working in various bars and cafés and even tried my hand as a ‘Red Coat’ at Butlins in Skegness, which I have to say was the best fun ever.
At 21 I decided it was time to get myself some qualifications and plan a career path. I was lucky to secure an Apprenticeship with a franchise of a well-known national training company. During this time, I completed my Level 2 and Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship. On completion of my Apprenticeship, I went on to work for the Franchisor in a national role helping franchisees enter the funded training market and write funding applications. It was a role I loved other than the days spent driving and getting lost (my UK geography is now very good) and staying away from home 3 to 4 nights a week.
Driving back from Dover one Friday afternoon and spending 4 hours stuck on the M25 I decided to approach the Franchisor about setting up a franchise and DBC was born with a small bank loan with the support of my family. As we approach our 20th year in business, the message I have for the class of 2020, who to be fair have had it tougher than most school leavers and have had to endure the challenges of lockdown, closed classrooms and cancelled exams at a young age is - don’t let exam results define your career and personal aspirations. It’s okay to not know what career path you want to take, it’s okay not to take an academic route, it’s okay to take a job as a stop-gap whilst you work out what you want to do. As a former Apprentice, I am obviously a big advocate for this route and if I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be that I should have done this sooner.
DBC is the Business and Administrative Apprentice provider of the year for 2018 and 2020, which is something I am extremely proud of having taken this route myself. If you want advice on any of our Apprenticeships or just a friendly careers chat then visit: