As CEO at ANS I’m obviously going to want to build up our ANS Academy and shout about its success, but it would appear perfectly bias and be a pretty pointless exercise. So in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, I sat down with James O’Toole, a recent graduate of the ANS Academy, to find out what really goes on in the ANS Academy and what our new recruits can expect…
Just under 12 months ago James took part in the ‘Day in a Life of An Apprentice’ blog, I think it’s safe to say that his career has been on fast-forward since then.
James, let’s jump right in, how are you enjoying your new role at ANS?
“My new role is Service Desk Coordinator and although the title is new, a lot of my day to day is the same. I was training and learning the role whilst I was still an apprentice. That’s one of the highlights of an apprenticeship here, you can get stuck in almost immediately, which means by the time you graduate you’ve got the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to make your new role a success.”
That leads me nicely onto my next question: how did your training and ANS prepare you for working life?
“First and foremost, as our service desk is based on ITIL standards you’re following an industry standard and gaining an extensive knowledge of how ITIL is used within a professional environment. Every day you’re working alongside experts in NetApp, VMware, Microsoft and Cisco so if you’ve got ambitions to succeed down that path- you’ve got banks of knowledge you can learn from and speak to on a daily basis. The team don’t dismiss you, or say ‘sorry I’m busy’ you’re treated exactly the same as any other team member, apprentice or not. Our 2nd line support team is mostly made-up of apprentices, this team deals with the large majority of tickets and have a huge responsibility on the desk, they are trusted and given the foundations to build up knowledge from day one.”
What do you love most about your role as Service Desk Coordinator?
“My transition from apprentice to Service Desk Coordinator was a natural progression for me. The apprenticeships at ANS are focussed on the individual. As an apprentice you aren’t pigeon–holed or pushed into any one discipline. Every trainee has the opportunity to explore various roles within the organisation. Whether you’re interested in the technical side or would like to experience finance or marketing, you are free to explore your passion. Everyone has a voice, whether you’re on the service desk or in sales, you’re opinion actually does matter here. It’s not a gimmick, I feel I can have a real impact on our success.”
So my final question for you may seem rather clichéd, but looking out 3 to 5 years where do you hope to be in your career?
“The end game for me is to be a Service Manager. Every individual at ANS is unique, but for me I’m focussed on completing my SDI course and passing my ITIL certification. I regularly meet with my manager to work through PDP’s and at present I’m working on a 3 month service improvement plan for the desk. This task is normally completed by a Service Desk Manager, so it’s a top notch compliment to be trusted to work on this. I’m getting hands on experience and again I’m being supported and motivated to work on tasks that go above and beyond my current role.”
Final words of advice for the readers?
“Uni isn’t for everyone, if you’re wondering whether or not to go into an apprenticeship at ANS, my advice would be just do it. Get in touch, find out more today. My industry training at ANS has given me the confidence to speak to customers, gain technical knowledge and get on the job training whilst earning money in a fun environment! For me when it comes to Uni vs the ANS Academy, there’s no contest.”
To find out more about how the ANS Academy can help to kick start your career click here.