My name is Daniel Andrei, I am 23 years-old and I am undertaking the Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship. I work at Thurrock Council as an Information System Support and Data Quality Officer in the Performance Quality and Business Intelligence (PQBI) team. I am also a student at the University of Bedfordshire, studying a BSc Software Engineering.
I started 2 days before the first COVID-19 lockdown. Initially it was difficult to feel part of the team as I was working from home and the systems I was going to be working on were complex and hard to understand. It felt like a nightmare at first, but I have learned to persevere and be resilient on this learning journey, and I have built good relationships because of my eagerness to learn and hard work.
I am always keen to develop my knowledge and skills and I saw the Helpdesk Apprentice role as an opportunity to study, but also to play a part in supporting users of systems in Adult Social Care and Children's Social Care. I know that anything I do to make their use of systems more efficient will allow them more time to work with those vulnerable adults and children they support.
Our team enables stakeholders to access accurate information and intelligence to help them make strategic decisions. We also solve any queries or issues that arise, either internally, or through the involvement of external suppliers.
Over the last 11 months I have completed over 1,500 requests and solved complicated issues. I also recently created a dashboard in our helpdesk system, which enables clear sight of current open issues and the date/time raised. It helps me and my colleagues prioritise our time accordingly.
I have really developed my problem solving skills. One of the analysts was having error problems when trying to build changes for COVID-19 into a project they were working on. I volunteered to look at this and succeeded in solving the problem.
We pay for any time needed from external suppliers to help us with tasks we're not able to resolve in-house, so my colleague and our Strategic Lead were really pleased. I was glad I could be useful and I became more confident with the system after this. Afterwards I have been assigned to help with this implementation.
This apprenticeship has opened new doors in my life. My previous job was repetitive, but I now work in a remote 'office' environment which is complete different.
One big advantage of this apprenticeship is that I have gained lots of experience in Business Administration. I have also been exposed to the Thurrock Council business culture. Now that I have seen first-hand what benefits an apprenticeship provides, I've urged all my friends to try it.
Because of my hard work and my adaptability to integrate in the team and at college I won the internal 'Apprentice of the Year' award 2019/2020. I was pleased that my efforts had been rewarded. But it's a reward in itself to meet so many new and interesting people.
I am proud of working in the PQBI team and look forward to working here in the future. I would like to make a career here at Thurrock Council alongside such supportive, smart and hard-working people.
I have received feedback from my Strategic Lead saying she has been extremely impressed with my proactivity, eagerness to learn and the speed with which I've been able to learn new things and expand my knowledge base. Also that my commitment to improve the learning of others – through training sessions for a fellow apprentice and documenting processes – has been a great asset to the team.
Feedback: "Well done you – I'm very impressed!"
Daniel Andrei, February 2021.
You can hear more from Daniel in his video, below.
In this video, Daniel says:
"Hello, my name is Daniel Andrei and I am a Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice at Thurrock Council in the Performance Quality and Business Intelligence team (PQBI).
"I'm a systems helpdesk officer and I have chosen to do this apprenticeship because the role involves helping people. I am helping social workers easily access the information they need so that they have more time to work with the vulnerable adults and children they support.
"I'm working with the IT systems which works really well for me as I'm also studying software engineering degree. This apprenticeship has opened new doors in my life. I have gained lots of experience and been exposed to the Thurrock Council business culture.
"I've have also been nominated and awarded the Apprentice of the Year 2019/2020 award at the college. And I have to say it was amazing being recognised for my efforts.
"Now that I have experienced first-hand the benefits of an apprenticeship, I've urged all my friends to try it and just go for it."