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Doing an apprenticeship in your 40s

By Libby Adams

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  1. An apprenticeship has given me self belief
  2. My apprenticeship has made me more confident at work
  3. I’ve found my people on an apprenticeship
  4. I feel invested in on an apprenticeship
  5. My apprenticeship has been life changing

I never intended to do an apprenticeship. I didn’t even know you could do one at the age of 47, but it turns out you’re never too old for an apprenticeship.

I was at a key transitional point at work, thinking about my next steps. I was torn between leaving my admin role within the NHS or starting a Master’s in Spanish Translation. The pandemic threw a metaphorical spanner in the works and I reluctantly decided against pursuing the Spanish course.

That was when I stumbled upon a one-liner in the hospital bulletin. Something about a data apprenticeship. My interest was piqued. Clicking on the link, I realised it was exactly what I needed to flourish in my current job. At that moment I decided I had to do it. Just a few weeks later I was starting my apprenticeship and I haven’t looked back since.

Now I could tell you all about Excel formulas, programming languages, off-the-job training and assignments, but I want to tell you about the more unexpected benefits of what I now call my ‘Multiverse makeover’.

An apprenticeship has given me self belief

This apprenticeship is helping me remember my value. For a long time, I felt that I was lucky to have a job. Ten years ago, due to personal issues, I was redeployed from my role as a children’s nurse to a more administrative role. This meant a massive pay cut and a massive loss of self-esteem, but I have been able to turn things around and now I’ve realised what an asset I am to the team.

My apprenticeship has made me more confident at work

Everyone has noticed. First, it was one of the secretaries, then the nurses, and consultants. Now even one of the business managers has noticed: I am much happier and much more confident since starting my data apprenticeship. No doubt about it. I’ve found the leader in me I didn’t know was there.

Having a growth mindset is a phrase I’d not heard of until recently, but I am now developing mine. I no longer think I am powerless to make changes to things that affect me. What I used to think were stumbling blocks are now my climbing frame. Whatever role I'm in, my opinion counts and I can take the initiative.

I’ve found my people on an apprenticeship

My apprenticeship at the NHS has been a great opportunity to meet so many fabulous people. My coach, my cohort, the wonderful community team and my mentor have all been a big part of the journey so far. I feel blessed to have met them all. I am thriving in such a positive, upbeat community. There is power in creating a culture of encouragement and letting people know when they have done a good job.

I really get on with my cohort. I love the team I work with, but they aren’t data people and don’t always understand the data challenges I face. My cohort gets me. They know what I am talking about, and help me when I can’t remember which set of brackets to use in python code. They have my back and I have theirs. I would never have met them without the apprenticeship, even though some of them work at the same hospital as me.

A few people in my cohort even speak Spanish, which was a fabulous surprise. I made it my mission to try and insert some Spanish into our bootcamp chats. Even though I was unable to continue my Master's in translation, I still had fun setting the language to Spanish in PowerBI and when we recently covered Natural Language Processing I was excited to discover that it didn’t just apply to English. Thanks to my coach, I also realised learning Python code is not that far removed from learning Spanish.

I feel invested in on an apprenticeship

I had no idea that the Multiverse experience was so immersive. I thought I would just be learning data content. Nerdy stuff to help me at work, but that is not the case at all. I have such a wide range of resources at my fingertips aimed at the whole person.

The amazing resources that are available have challenged and inspired me. I’ve learned so much that has nothing to do with data. I have been soaking up everything about group facilitation, change management, leadership, feedback strategies, and public speaking as well as content on working through menopause, and overcoming procrastination.

My apprenticeship has been life changing

Since the beginning of my programme in September, I no longer feel old, past my best, or stuck in a rut. I have years ahead of me and I am convinced they will be the best years of my life. The impact of my ‘Multiverse makeover’ is propelling me towards a better future full of possibilities.

Multiverse helped me reevaluate what I needed to do and take the next step in my career, later than I expected. My life is fuller. I’ve made best friends, I’m smarter, and healthier. Oh, and by the way, I have even learned some stuff about data, I am doing a data apprenticeship after all.

Libby Adams

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By Team Multiverse

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