In the spirit of National Apprenticeship Week, we sat down with Holly Garrett to ask her about her experience of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Higher Education (HE) Awards and Conference and what it was like being shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year.

Tell me a bit about yourself

I’m Holly and I’m a third year rotational degree apprentice. I’m currently completing my fourth and final rotation at Tesco within the membership and loyalty team working on all things Clubcard! My previous three placements included 8 months at Pearson College within the Business-to-Business Marketing team, 8 months at IBM within the Channel Sales team and finally one year within the Social Media team at Tesco.

How do you feel about being shortlisted for the award?

Being shortlisted as one of the top three degree apprentices was a huge achievement for me. It came at a time where I am just approaching the final stretch of my degree apprenticeship and to receive this recognition for all the hard work and dedication I have put in over the past three years is really something special! It is an achievement I am very proud of.

What did the ceremony consist of?

The CMI HE and Awards conference was a really exciting day! Along with presenting the six awards up for grabs we got the opportunity to hear from Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the CMI, lots of universities such as the University of Huddersfield and Coventry University to name a few and finally CMI student ambassadors sharing their stories on how the CMI has helped them with their career progression. There was also plenty of opportunity to network and meet new people with a champagne reception to finish off the day and celebrate the success of the award nominees and winners.

What do you hope to achieve after your apprenticeship?

Looking forward to September, I hope to graduate with a first in my degree and chartered manager status. In terms of where my career will go, I’m still undecided; however I hope to get a job in marketing as these are the placements that I have enjoyed the most from my rotational experience and it’s where I believe my expertise and passion lies.

What inspires you?

I wouldn’t say there is one particular thing that inspires me. I think that the managers I have worked under over the past three years have all been great inspirations both as experts in their disciplines as well as great, supportive managers. They’ve all taught me different things and have helped me develop both professionally and personally – something I would love to have the opportunity to do in the future.

I also think the other degree apprentices I study and have worked with are all inspirations as the demands of working and studying full time are not always easy; however we’ve all succeeded and supported each other along the journey.

What would you say to an aspiring apprentice?

I would tell any aspiring apprentice to work hard, take every opportunity presented to them and just go for it and apply! My degree apprenticeship has presented me with so many amazing experiences and it’s a journey I have thoroughly enjoyed.