Joining Invotra in 2020 to begin a Level 4 Associate Project Manager Apprenticeship, Tom Cross is a great example of how an Apprenticeship can spark a career change.
What previous qualifications did you have?
BSc in Web Development
What previous experience did you have?
In a previous role as a head club builder for a Original Equipment Manufacturer in the golf industry, I would often have to plan and manage large customer orders to meet delivery deadlines and quality assurance, this was my first real taste of a form of project management.
During one of the modules within my web development degree, I decided to take the role of a project manager to deliver a random holiday generator website. This was the first real experience I had as a project manager in the software development industry, and I knew that I had made the correct division to pursue project management as a future career.
What led you to an apprenticeship?
I had made a 5 year plan to change my career path to project management in the software market. Initially my plan was to complete a Bachelor’s degree, gain experience in the web development market as a developer and build my way up to management over the next few years. At the time I hadn’t considered the apprenticeship route until talking to Ali from Invotra.
What led you to Invotra?
Networking. After I finished my degree I was unsure where to go or what were the best steps to help me progress in my 5 year plan. It was then when I was lucky enough to be introduced to Fin at the golf club, and after spending some time talking he introduced me to the team at Invuse.
What happened when you joined Invotra?
I was thrown straight into the deep end and asked to support the lead PM on his projects, this was to shadow him on calls and learn the tools used by Invuse to manage projects.
My responsibilities now have progressed to include taking the lead on several projects, managing the procurement submissions, act as project manager for the Groups Core compliance team (Including managing ISO 27001:20013 Audits) and support on the project and company budgeting and cost control.
How have your colleagues and organisation helped and supported you?
From day one I have had great support from the company as a whole, such as the HR department helping me with balancing work, the apprenticeship and personal life. My line manager took me under his wing and continues to support me on both projects and my apprenticeship.
The organisation has many current and past apprentices so there is always someone available to provide support, advice or talk to.
I have learnt a great many skills and identified my strengths and weaknesses. I still aim to be a senior project manager, but my learning focus is shifting towards gaining confidence and improving my customer facing skills.
What is next?
I need to complete my apprenticeship, continue to gain confidence in my front facing skills and responsibilities. And progress in my career, possibly moving more towards a Program Manager role in the future.
What more do you have to do to complete your course?
Complete my 12 remaining statements, and my End Point assessment and presentation.
What would you like to learn more about or gain more experience of?
I would like more experience with the customer facing side or project management. Where I feel I pick up and enjoy the backend and operational responsibilities of a project manager, I still lack confidence and experience working directly with the customers by myself.
What will you do when you finish your apprenticeship ?
I hope to continue working and learning with Invuse. I enjoy the culture and personalities within the company, and feel the direction they are taking is one I wish to be a part of.
Get in touch if you'd like any more information on our apprenticeship scheme, or to discuss your consulting needs.