National Apprenticeship Week: What is it like being an apprentice at Hampson Hughes?
This week, (8-14 February) marks National Apprenticeship Week, which celebrates and supports both current and future apprentices by linking them up with companies and providing the information they need to thrive as an apprentice.
We sat down for a quick chat with our own administration apprentice, Lucy Ellis, to find out what being an apprentice at Hampson Hughes is like…
- So firstly, what made you decide to pursue an apprenticeship with Hampson Hughes?
I had started college and realised quickly that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Whilst a classroom setting might work for some people, it definitely suited me better to be learning ‘on the job’, not only so that I could be earning but also to give me practical experience within an office environment.
I knew I wanted to work within the legal sector, so when I saw Hampson Hughes advertise for an apprentice, I saw it as an opportunity to really get stuck in with a great firm and learn different aspects of my job whilst having my own independence and workload.
- What does an average day look like for you as an apprentice?
My daily tasks vary depending on whether I’m working from home or in the office. My day starts at around 8.30am and the first thing I do is check and reply to any emails I may have received outside of my working hours. If I am in the office, I also sort through any court post the firm has received that day.
Once I have dealt with this, I have time to complete any tasks given to me by my colleagues, which often includes finding and printing off client records. Throughout the day, I ensure all client post is being sent out using the correct delivery service. I also spend a chunk of the day answering calls from clients and transferring them through to the relevant file handler.
My afternoons are spent chasing clients on behalf of the file handlers, opening and sorting through post we receive from Royal Mail, and then scanning the documents to the correct file.
- What has life been like as an apprentice during the Covid-19 pandemic?
I was lucky enough to start my apprenticeship whilst the office was open, so I was able to meet a lot of the team face-to-face, which really helped my integration into the team.
However, I do think that achieving a good work/life balance can be more difficult when working from home, as you often don’t have anyone there to tell you go for breaks or log off at the end of the day.
Ensuring I am taking breaks is really important – I enjoy taking my dog out and going for long walks with a friend which really helps maintain good mental health and get much-needed fresh air. I’m lucky enough to live within a close distance to many beaches and country parks too, so it’s always nice to have a change of scenery.
- What would you say to people who are considering an apprenticeship currently?
I would say go for it! It’s a great way to get hands-on experience, both in the field you want to go into and in a general work environment, something which you wouldn’t get in a classroom. It would’ve been incredibly difficult for me to get the same level of experience if I hadn’t chosen this route, as law firms don’t open at the weekends and I would have been in college full-time during the week.
I would also say to make sure you get in with a good, positive team. Hampson Hughes has been brilliant at making me feel like an integral part of the team, which has really helped me when focusing on other aspects of my apprenticeship, like coursework elements.