After winning our Apprentice of the Year during the LDN Apprenticeships Graduation Ceremony this year, we thought what better time to unveil our latest case study with the winner herself!
This took us to the Funding Circle offices in central London, where we caught up with Ellie O’Reilly and talked to her about role as a Loan Closing Analyst and how her apprenticeship and job has progressed from when she started her level 3 apprenticeship, to her current level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship.
We also had the chance to talk with Ellie’s line-manager Hattie Spurrell, who gave us an overview of the importance of Ellie’s role within her team at Funding Circle and having hired a number of Apprentices through LDN previously, what the benefits are in hiring AWESOME apprentices like Ellie.
So what was behind Ellie’s decision to do an apprenticeship over university or looking for full time work?
Well, it was an opportunity to combine the quality of learning that a university degree provides and the immediate experience that comes with full-time work.
“When I was at school I wasn’t really enjoying it and wanted to dive in to the world of work and an apprenticeship just seemed the best way to gain experience.” Said Ellie.
“University wasn’t really a road that I wanted to take. So without having a qualification, an apprenticeship was the best route to take because I knew I could learn whilst working at the same time.”
The decision to do an apprenticeship brought Ellie through the LDN HQ offices in Stockwell, where she met Hattie at our Career Kickstarter event.
“When I went to the Career Kickstarter, Ellie really stood out,” said Hattie.
“She was really approachable and stood out amongst a strong group of candidates. To meet someone so young, yet so keen to get into the world of work was a huge positive for me straight away.”
After impressing Hattie and the Funding Circle team during a week long work trial, Ellie was then offered the role and given the fantastic opportunity to work with one of the fastest growing companies in central London.
Having hired a number of LDN apprentices in the past, Hattie talked to us about the process in hiring an apprentice and how she’s been able harness new talent by recruiting apprentices.
“Apprentices certainly bring a new dynamic to the team and being so young, they come with a certain sense of excitement and eagerness to learn new skills.
“Like Ellie, all apprentices have their apprenticeship work to do as well as their work with us, so it shows a huge amount of dedication to juggle both things at the same time.”
Having now been at Funding Circle for over two years throughout both her level 3 and level 4 apprenticeship, Ellie is now an integral part of the team and has picked up a variety of very useful and different skills.
The skills Ellie is learning covers all aspects of the learning and development of an apprentice. So it’s not just direct skills relating to her role within her job but also her soft skills and acclimatising herself to working within a high-performing and fast-moving workplace.
“Since I’ve been at Funding Circle, I’ve learnt so much about the financial world. On top of that though, I’ve developed a better understanding about working within a team and achieving things as a collective, something I didn’t have much experience with before I started.
“Over time, I’ve been able to take on extra responsibilities and have even begun training new starters which has been great. Having a supportive manager like Hattie means I’m able to learn a lot directly from her as well!
“It can be quite daunting at first going from a level 3 to a level 4 Apprenticeship and as I expected, is a bit more of a work load. The support I received from my LDS made the transition much easier and I get all the support I need throughout doing my level 4.”
Hattie can also see the improvements in Ellie’s skillset since she started her apprenticeship and having been her line-manager throughout her whole apprenticeship journey so far, it was inspiring to get her thoughts on Ellie’s progression over the last two years.
“Ellie has always been committed to the role from day one and it wasn’t really a challenge to get her up and running.
“She’s definitely one of the strongest performers in the team and her knowledge of the company means she now knows the role inside out.
“I don’t think we’d be where we are today without her in the team.”
With Ellie now coming to the end of her apprenticeship, with an Apprentice of the Year award in the bank and having learnt so much within her time at Funding Circle and as an LDN Apprentice, what would she say to another young person looking to kickstart their career with an apprenticeship?
“I would definitely recommend doing it!
“I’ve had no regrets and it definitely sets you up for a future career. It’s certainly a great path to take to learn some skills and gain some experience working at the same time.”
It’s not just Ellie that has benefited from apprenticeships!
Hattie is now preparing to recruit her next LDN Apprentice, so what would be her advice to fellow managers and employers looking to hire an apprentice for their team?
“To any employer thinking about hiring an apprentice, I would definitely do so!
“As I mentioned, apprentices add a completely new dynamic to the team and in my experience, are incredibly supportive of other people. We’ve had such success with Ellie that we’re looking to hire two more LDN Apprentices within the near future!”
We love working with companies like Funding Circle who are willing to invest and take time to unearth and manage the talent that can be found within young people looking to do an apprenticeship.
Congratulations to Ellie on all of her success so far with us and Funding Circle and thank you to Hattie and the team at Funding Circle for their continued support for Ellie.
If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!
If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!