National Apprenticeship Week is an annual celebration of the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, employers and the economy.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Blaze a Trail’ – recognising how apprenticeships can help individuals prepare for roles or new career opportunities, as career starter or as an experienced professional.
At Allianz, we currently have 100 employees actively studying on a number of apprenticeship schemes across our business – including underwriting, finance, IT and cyber security.
We spoke to Claire Gujer, foundation business analyst about her experience:
What apprenticeship scheme are you on at Allianz?
I am currently undertaking an apprenticeship in Business Analysis. This is an 18 month apprenticeship which I expect to complete in December 2019. The Business Analysis Apprenticeship allows me to gain accelerated technical Business Analysis training with an external mentor while gaining invaluable practical Business Analysis experience on projects.
What types of activities are you involved in?
As part of the Apprenticeship, we are allocated an external mentor who has experience and knowledge of the Business Analysis field. We meet with our external mentor every six weeks for both small group work sessions as well as one-to-one sessions.
The small group sessions allow us to share our practical experience as well as any training with both the rest of the apprentices and our mentor. Often we are set tasks to complete during the six weeks, and these group sessions allow us to feedback. These tasks are aligned to the skills which a Business Analyst will need in the workplace.
The one-to-one sessions with our mentor are extremely helpful as we are able to get feedback from an impartial set of eyes. Our mentor gives us advice and different ideas for how to approach pieces of work.
The apprenticeship has allowed me the opportunity to attend the annual Business Analysis Conference held in London. This was a fantastic opportunity as I was able to network with BAs from around the world and share our experiences. During the day, I attended several talks throughout the day, where experts shared their views on the future of Business Analysis and current trends within the industry.
What’s been the most valuable experience you’ve gained?
As part of the apprenticeship, we attend external training courses. I have found these courses invaluable for two reasons. Firstly, the training we receive on these courses is delivered by trainers who have vast experience within Business Analysis field and therefore are able to bring the theory of Business Analysis to life with their own examples. We are then able to apply the Business Analysis theory to our day-to-day projects.
Secondly, these courses are a fantastic way to meet other Business Analysts from around the country all working in different industries and share experiences.
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Business Analysis Apprenticeship so far. The Apprenticeship has allowed me to gain accelerated technical Business Analysis training with an external mentor while gaining invaluable practical Business Analysis experience on projects. Without undertaking the Business Analysis apprenticeship, I would not have had the opportunity to meet other Business Analysts from around the world, get advice from an external mentor or complete my Business Analysis Diploma (industry recognised Business Analysis qualification) while also being able to apply the theory to practical assignments.
Additionally, the wider Business Analysis team has been so supportive of me and the other Business Analysis Apprentices. They have offered opportunities to shadow them, have given up their time to assist with queries and have supported on projects allowing us to ask questions while providing excellent opportunities to apply our learnings and experiences.