Camilla Suggett, 31, has eleven years of experience working in Customer Service. She opted for a change of industry and a return to an office environment after lockdown when she started at Headlam, the UK’s largest distributor of flooring, in the position of Customer Service Manager.

After a conversation with her mentor, he suggested that the best way for her to progress even further was by getting a degree-level qualification and she decided that the Level 5 Operations/Department Manager was the best choice for her.

Camilla explained her reasons for choosing to start the apprenticeship: “My passion is supporting and developing people, which is why I love customer service, and I’ve always pushed everyone else’s development, so it was time that I pushed my own! I knew that it was the right time and I wanted to challenge myself so when the opportunity of the apprenticeship arose, I jumped at it.”

“I haven’t done any kind of qualification since my A-levels, so it was a bit of a culture shock for me. I’m so used to being asked questions, that I found it so strange to be the one that needed to ask them. However, because I’m living and breathing the role, it didn’t feel like I was doing something out of my comfort zone; every module I’ve done has fitted in perfectly with what I’m doing in my role. It feels like everything I’ve done in the past eleven years of work experience has prepared me for this apprenticeship and it will be so nice to have a qualification to recognise all of that hard work.”

One example Camilla gave of what she’s gained from the course was how to be more self-reflective: “The self-awareness module was such a nice way to start, because it allowed me to reflect on what I wanted to gain from the course. I’ve spoken to Simon, my course tutor, a lot about this and I’ve really enjoyed the process of stopping and thinking about things and how they can be viewed as learning opportunities.”

This process has allowed Camilla to better plan for the future and she outlined some clear goals upon completing the apprenticeship next year: “It’s allowed me to look beyond customer service and consider options like financial or project management. I want to build more of a complete, holistic grasp on leadership and hopefully that will lead to becoming a general manager one day.”

Finally, Camilla wanted to mention how valuable the support Simon has given her throughout the programme has been: “I feel really lucky to have such a supportive tutor in Simon; he’s always made sure that we know exactly what is expected of us and has given me positive feedback when I’ve needed it, whilst also knowing when to suggest looking at things in a different way.”

Simon, Apprentice Delivery Coach for Seetec Outsource, added: “Camilla has been an excellent learner who embraces everything she learns. She has a total understanding of how her professional development drives her future and the future of others and she is ahead of target with her coursework.”

For more information on the Level 5 Operations/Department Manager apprenticeship, click here.