CENSIS is the Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems and is administered by the University of Glasgow. In February 2016, CENSIS welcomed Kaid Milligan (17) on a two-year Modern Apprentice (MA) Administrator programme.
We asked Kaid how her first few weeks have been.
So Kaid, how are you enjoying life at CENSIS?
I’ve been here four weeks now and I’m really enjoying it. Everyone has been so nice to me and so helpful. There’s so much more to learn, but I feel as if I know what I’m doing most of the time now.
Firstly, I sit at reception so I’m the first person visitors meet when they arrive at CENSIS. It’s up to me to make sure that visitors feel welcome and are looked after. I also answer the general enquiry telephone line, manage diaries and room bookings and help with printing, scanning and photocopying.
There is a university-wide system that I am learning. I am already using it to create purchase orders, which I file along with all of the invoices we receive. I also helped out at a CENSIS event recently, creating the name badges and helping with the registration as delegates arrived.
We have a demonstration area at CENSIS and I’ve been taught how to switch all the laptops and machines on each morning, ready for visitors to have demonstrations of the technology.
And your favourite task?
I love filing and I also enjoyed creating the name badges. I’m an organised person so I like everything being correct and in the right place.
We have to ask, is there anything you don’t enjoy?
When I first started, I was really nervous about answering the phone because some of the calls to CENSIS can be quite complicated and I worried that I was putting them through to the wrong person. I’m a lot more confident now, even after a few weeks and can generally work out where to transfer calls.
Any embarrassing moments so far?
Probably when I don’t recognise someone who is important when they arrive in the office, like the board members arriving for a board meeting. But I’m sure I’ll get to know them all soon and be able to welcome them by name.
Have you started your studying yet? How is it going?
I’ve just started the SVQ Level 3 in Business and Administration this week and I’ll also be starting an HNC in Information and Administration Management in August. I’m going to make sure I study at home too as I really want to do well.
What has the highlight been so far?
I have to say the people in the office. Before I started, I worried that people would be harsh with me because I didn’t know anything, but it has been the opposite. Everyone is so helpful and has really supported me.
Do you think this has been the right move for you?
Absolutely yes. I had a college place when I heard I had this job and at first I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by taking the apprenticeship. I worried that I wouldn’t have a job after two years and I also worried that I wouldn’t get funding for a college place in the future.
But now I’m working, I know it’s the best move for me. I’m still learning and I will still have qualifications, but I’m learning on the job as well. I had a part-time job in a store while I was at school and I thought I knew what working life was like, but I’ve really had my eyes opened working in an office full time, it’s totally different from a part-time job. I had no insight of what working was really like till I started at CENSIS.
Would you recommend a Modern Apprenticeship to your friends?
Yes. One of my friends was already doing an apprenticeship and that’s what made me think about looking for one. Lots of my friends are now looking for apprenticeships too. It’s so much better getting work experience at the same time as studying.
Can you share your plans for the future with us?
I want to do really well in my studies as well as in my job. I hope that I will be offered a job with CENSIS after the two year apprenticeship. I would also like to keep studying – after I finish my HNC, I would like to keep studying to degree level.