National Apprenticeship Week: In conversation with Reilly O'Dowd, Apprentice at Cynergy Business Finance
Reilly O’Dowd currently works as a Take-On Administrator at Cynergy Business Finance, where he is undertaking an apprenticeship scheme. To commemorate National Apprenticeship Week, we spoke to Reilly about his experience so far:
When did you start at CBF, and what experience did you have beforehand?
I first started at CBF in January 2022, doing work experience for a few months. I’d always had an interest in the corporate finance industry, and had recently finished my A-Levels, studying economics, accountancy and maths. It was great to get a foot in the door at a company like CBF, giving me the opportunity to see the corporate finance world in action and gain invaluable experience.
In May 2022, CBF offered me a full-time job, however, I asked if I could take on a job as part of an apprenticeship scheme, which they happily agreed to.
How did you find the best apprenticeship scheme for you?
The important thing for me was to find a scheme that would give me the relevant qualifications for working in the industry. With so many different schemes out there, it can be quite difficult to find the right one. Luckily, the team at CBF were really hands-on in helping me to find a scheme that suited me best.
The scheme I decided was best was with BBP. It provides an accelerated scheme across 550 days where I can do all of my classes and learning online, allowing me to easily fit this around my work and other commitments. I also pick up qualifications throughout the course and will be a Chartered Banker in commercial lending by its end.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship scheme?
The opportunity to do an apprenticeship means that I get to gain qualifications whilst also getting real-time experience in the corporate finance industry. Working in the industry as you study helps to build a more comprehensive package of skills, meaning you’re set up with plenty of experience by the time you gain your qualifications.
With most people now having degrees from university or higher-level qualifications, it was also important to me to get qualifications to build more credibility and experience. The benefit of an apprenticeship scheme over university however is the experience you gain along the way.
What does your job currently entail?
I’m currently a Take-On Administrator, which means I sit between operations and sales. This means that day-to-day, I deal with client onboarding services to make sure the transition for new clients is as simple and easy as possible whilst at the same time ensuring that CBF’s risk and security is protected. This job allows me to get a good overall view of the business, which is great for my own experience and development.
How have you found working at CBF?
From day one I’ve loved working at CBF and found them to be very supportive. When looking for an apprenticeship scheme, the team worked with me to ensure that the provider fit with what I wanted and how I wanted to progress, and they were flexible throughout.
Having worked here for a year now, I’ve found everyone to be very supportive across all levels of the business. It’s been great to work with people at all levels to build my own experiences and get some great advice.
What do you hope to achieve at CBF in the future?
My main focus at CBF currently is to continue working to obtain all of my qualifications and to keep working with the team to gain as much experience as possible. I’m close to becoming a Chartered Banker, which is an exciting milestone, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build my competencies in the industry and progressing within CBF.
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