From apprentice to project manager

As we come to the end of National Apprenticeship Week 2021we speak to Georgia Wilde who completed her Project Management apprenticeship in September 2019.

Now over a year after her apprenticeship ended, she continues to develop her skills and build her career at DLG.

Here we talk to her about her journey from apprentice to Project Manager at Direct Line Group and how her role is contributing to DLG “revolutionising insurance again”

Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

I felt ready to experience the world of work and get a head start in my career! I believe the only way to understand yourself and the direction you want to take in life is to gain exposure to lots of different situations, this helps you begin to understand your personal strengths/qualities and then you can decide which role you are most suited to.

What are the benefits of doing an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships in general have many benefits, however the biggest benefit for me is understanding myself, my natural strengths and qualities, and then being given the opportunity to develop these qualities further and push myself to the next level!

What was it about DLG that made you apply for our Apprenticeship schemes?

The red Direct Line phone and Churchill (the UK’s favourite bulldog) have been around longer than me and both bring back childhood memories of old TV adverts that have stuck in my head to this day. When I saw that DLG offer a wide range of apprenticeship schemes I looked a little further to find one that suited me best and found a Project Management role based in Leeds. I didn’t know what a Project Manager was but decided to apply after deciding I didn’t want to go to university. Over the years I have learnt that DLG is an amazing place to work, everyone is great to work with and always willing to provide support and guidance where needed.

As an apprentice what has surprised you most about working at DLG and in the insurance industry?

Insurance can actually be really fun! For the past year I have been working on our online claims journey to make things easier for our customers. This has allowed me to put my ideas forward and work with a great team to help DLG become a market leading insurer. DLG also has a very friendly working environment and a great culture that promotes mental health awareness. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure everyone feels comfortable enough to be themselves at work – I think it’s important for people know they can speak out when they are not feeling themselves.

What is your biggest achievement as an apprentice so far? OR a point in your apprenticeship where you’ve felt proud in yourself or your work

I had a lot of great achievements over my two-year apprenticeship, however if I had to name one I would say it would be having my video published on the Association of Project Management Careers Instagram page. I was asked to create an engaging video to promote project management apprenticeships amongst young people. My co-apprentice (Luca Lowe) and I created a FaceTime style video to share our day-to-day roles in a fun and engaging way that young people would enjoy watching. This video was also shared with some established members of the APM and I am pleased to say that there were plenty of giggles in the audience!

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to develop their career through an apprenticeship?

Through my course I have been able to gain an industry recognised qualification and a wealth of experience in the project management sector. After receiving my A Level results, I gave up all hope that I would ever have a successful career as I wasn’t going to university. However, being offered an apprenticeship has really kick-started my career and helped me achieve my goals quicker than I could have ever imagined, so my only advice would be to just go for it! You have nothing to lose and you definitely won’t regret it!

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship qualification then click here to find out more and to keep updated on any 2021 apprenticeship vacancies.