Islam Fessih, 21, recently completed a Business Administration apprenticeship at Unicef, with Multiverse.
I was always pretty set on going to university. While I was in Year 12 and Year 13 I visited all of my top choice unis, and went to summer schools for law. I didn’t really consider any other route, and put in my applications. My school guided us towards university, and I had a preconception that apprenticeships were low-paid, junior jobs.
I was on LinkedIn when I first came across someone doing an apprenticeship. It was the first time I’d realised that apprenticeships were more than what I’d imagined - and they’re a route into exciting firms doing the sorts of jobs I had dreamed of doing. One area in particular stood out to me - Business Administration.
Making my values count
I saw a vacancy for a Business Administration apprenticeship(opens new window) at Unicef, with Multiverse. Not only was the role exciting, but working for a charity was something I’d always aspired to do. Being a child of immigrants who fled from a life of poverty and war and having migrated to the UK myself when I was only 3 years old, the values of humanitarianism have always been deeply rooted in my upbringing. I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility to fight for those who don’t have the pedestal to fight their own battle. So working for an organisation that embodies the very same philanthropic morals I hold dear to myself, allowed me to work towards a greater good.
My apprenticeship also enabled me to start working and earning straight away - and to start moulding my own route. I didn’t like the idea of putting everything on hold for four years with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.
Turning down uni for an apprenticeship
By this time, I’d already received an unconditional offer to study Law at the University of Durham. But I was so excited by the apprenticeship, I made the decision to turn it down. Everyone was a bit confused about why I would turn down such a good offer at first - and it was a big decision.
But I felt that the option for uni will always be there, so I didn’t feel too much pressure.
My apprenticeship enabled me to try new things, work on things that felt like they actually mattered. I was quite an academic student, but now everything I write, learn and do makes a real impact on a business and on people’s lives.
I’m 100% glad I made the decision to do an apprenticeship.