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Apprenticeship focus – Denise Fleming

Senior Project Manager Denise Fleming has recently completed a Business Transformation Fellowship apprenticeship at LV=. This earned her a Level 4 Business Analyst qualification.

Why did you want to start an apprenticeship?

After many years in project management, I was keen to broaden my skills and challenge myself in driving change in the modern workplace. I jumped at the opportunity when it was offered within the Business Change team.

What qualities or skills make for a good apprentice?

You need to be organised and consistent in deciding priorities as it can be challenging to balance priorities of your day-to-day role with the apprenticeship deadlines. You need good attention to detail and to be able to critique your own assignments. The expected standard of quality in assignments and the end point assessments is high. I’m not naturally a confident presenter but throughout the apprenticeship there were opportunities to work on these skills and improve.

Describe your average study week

The expected time commitment is six hours per week within your normal working hours. This covers online learning, workshops, assignments plus time spent applying the learnings to your day job. I found it worked best to have two half days blocked out in my diary each week to dedicate to the apprenticeship. In the final week before an assignment was due, and in the run up to end point assessment deadlines, I found additional time was sometimes needed to complete the work.

How will the skills you’ve learnt in your apprenticeship translate into your current role?

I have a deeper understanding of tools and frameworks used in business analysis. Where I have previously been the recipient of business requirements or process models created by a business analyst, I now have better insight into the process and techniques behind these and can undertake these activities myself. It enables me to perform a joint project manager and business analyst role which I envisage will work well on smaller projects. To get the most benefit from an apprenticeship, you should have the opportunity to put learnings into practice in your day job. It worked well for me to be managing a number of projects at different stages in the lifecycle. I am more confident in my presentation skills which is beneficial to scenarios such as senior stakeholder meetings or large group discussions.

What doors can an apprenticeship open for you?

I enjoyed working with my cohort. It was a great way of meeting similar minded individuals from different roles and industries. I can contribute to defining project objectives, adopt agile ways of working and improve collaborative working across teams and functions. This can all help develop my career at LV= and enable me to take on new challenges.

What would be your one piece of advice to a new apprentice?

Get the support from your line manager, your team, and your family. Life gets busier so let them know you are juggling more priorities.

Fancy joining a team here at LV=? Take a look at our current vacancies.