Interview with Bambina De Marco

Name of Apprenticeship: Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 and Diploma for Leaders & Managers Level 5 Apprenticeship.

Firstly, many congratulations on successfully completing your Apprenticeship. How does it feel to have completed your Level 5 Apprenticeship?

"It feels amazing to have finally finished my studying. It has been a tough journey with learning interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the course taking longer than originally planned. I am immensely proud of my achievements but glad it is now all done".

Looking back, what’s been the best part of the experience?

"The best part of my course was my cohort and my tutor, who I now have a very special bond with. Learning with the support of colleagues who were there to debate topics with, was key to my success. Overall I feel the apprenticeship was worthwhile and I am proud of my achievements, especially at the age of 50! To have another qualification under my belt is so beneficial".

What was challenging?

"For me, virtual learning is not something I would choose to undertake. I prefer face to face interaction which is how the course started and thankfully ended. I was apprehensive about starting the course as I had not undertaken any study since leaving school, but soon started to enjoy the classroom sessions. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that learning had to be adapted and resulted in self-teaching along with virtual sessions with the tutor".

What would you like to have known before you started your apprenticeship?

"I don’t think any pre-knowledge would have changed my experience. I undertook the apprenticeship because I wanted to achieve a recognised qualification to underpin the role I am currently working in. The course lived up to my expectations. I knew the apprenticeship would be challenging but never anticipated how much work was actually involved, especially in preparation for the end-point assessment".

What did you gain/learn over and above your apprenticeship?

"The apprenticeship has identified tools I can use in my day to day role as a Team Lead/Manager. I found the coaching task particularly interesting and as a result of coaching, 2 members of my team have identified a staff member for career development who is now undertaking her own apprenticeship. Overall, I feel the modules were relevant to my role and have supported my development as a Senior Manager".

What’s next for you?

"I don’t think I am ready to take on any more intense learning at present – I am enjoying my freedom of not having assignments and tasks to complete! However, going forward I would like some development to become and coach and mentor for non-clinical staff. In a predominately clinical organisation there is a lot of support for clinical staff. I would like to use my skills and knowledge to help develop junior admin staff to progress in the organisation".

Congratulations Bam - a brilliant outcome, the whole team are rightly proud of you.