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From Real-Life Apprentice to Business Owner: My Journey

Working with our clients BESA Group on their National Apprenticeship Week #NAW2024 campaign has inspired me to reflect on my own journey as an apprentice.

At 17, I found myself at a crossroads, uncertain about my future. Lacking confidence and academic inclination, I had completed a GNVQ in Leisure and Tourism—chosen mainly because I enjoyed holidays—and felt pressure from my parents to carve out a path for myself.

Old photograph managing director Lisa alongside friends in last year of school
Last year of school alongside my classmates

Motivated by a desire to fulfil my parents expectations, I registered for an apprenticeship in Business Administration at my local college and interviewed with two companies.

The decision I made next would set the course for my future. I joined a small organisation whose culture and team became the cornerstone of my personal and professional development. They saw potential in me and nurtured it, encouraging growth and achievement at every step.

Starting from the ground up, I embraced every task—from managing the mail to making tea rounds. My dedication to these tasks didn't go unnoticed, and with time, I earned more responsibilities. My organisation didn’t just celebrate my strengths; they also addressed my weaknesses in a constructive manner. I recall a pivotal moment during a review with my CEO, who highlighted the importance of accuracy in my work. This feedback wasn’t a critique but a challenge to improve, setting a new standard for me to achieve 100% accuracy in everything I did.

Over six years with iTx Marketing Services, I not only acquired an NVQ in Business Administration and honed essential secretarial skills, including touch typing and shorthand, but I also discovered my passion for marketing. My company supported me through my Marketing Diploma, reflecting their belief in my potential. This period was a time of immense growth, both professionally and personally, allowing me to build a strong foundation without the burden of university loans.

Now, 25+ years later, I'm proud to say I run my own blossoming business and witness my own children embarking on their apprenticeship journeys.


Lisa speaking at a conference in 2023
Speaking at a conference in 2023

To any youngster out there reading this and wondering if an apprenticeship is the way to go: Absolutely, yes. Grab it and don’t look back!


And hey, businesses, listen up! If you’re struggling to find the right talent, consider bringing an apprentice on board. It’s a game-changer. They’ll shake things up, keep you on your toes, and make sure your company stays in the loop for what’s coming next.

Thank you to Roger Crumpton, Rod Wardle and Amanda Gough for believing in me!

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