Interview with an apprentice

Alexander Quang

Age: 22

Location: London

I started by taking the normal route; GCSE’s, A Levels. In the end I did pretty badly in my A levels so went to college to do a BTEC in ICT before heading off to uni. I ended up leaving university as I didn’t enjoy the course or the university. After that I trained as a Chef while I was volunteering. The volunteering was the best form of education for me, hands on and relevant to what I wanted to do! I’m currently applying for a Post-graduate Certificate in Community Organising too at Queen Mary University of London.

Have you ever been unemployed if so how long? If not how did you go about preventing this?Alex Quang

I was unemployed for about 3 months, but during that time I volunteered for a few different charities and made a lot of connections in the sector which ended up with me being offered an internship with a charity which worked with communities to tackle the issues that are important to them. Luckily I was mentored by an incredible community organiser.

How did you find out about the apprenticeship at O2 Think big? And how long have you been with O2 Think Big?

I actually applied for a business admin apprenticeship at O2 Think Big a while ago but didn’t get the job as they thought I’d be better as a youth work apprentice. When this one came up one of the charities that I volunteer with let me know about it before my current manager also emailed me about it! I’ve been here since November now and I honestly don’t think that I could have got here without the links I made volunteering!

What is your day like?

Busy! I interview a lot of people who want to run their own Think Big projects and liaise with 70+ youth partners. Luckily, it’s not all work. The team is amazing here and there’s never a day without a lot of laughs and spontaneous singing!

What do you love about your apprenticeship?

I think the thing that I love the most about my apprenticeship is that I feel like I’m really contributing to other young people’s work experience and futures. Not just by providing funding, but also the continued support that I can give them throughout their projects.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to young people?

If you’re hands on, and prefer learning by doing then absolutely! It’s opened a lot of doors for me and I’m sure it has for thousands of others too. It’s a great way to break in to a sector and get your name heard!

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