CIS Interview: From Apprentice to Award WInner - Erasmus Ndume

Erica Boiano Erica Boiano Tuesday, 27 Nov 2018

How long ago did you apply for your apprenticeship?

I applied in September 2015 and finished around the end of 2016. I did my apprenticeship in the Control department. I’m really glad I ended up in this department. It gave me a chance to hone my technical skills and also learn a lot about communication and people management. I was offered a full time role at the end of my Apprenticeship and now work in IT support.

What made you choose the Apprenticeship route. Had you considered University?

Yes I had seriously considered university. At one point I had a firm plan to go and study Business and IT, but I found the possibilities around apprenticeships very attractive and the earn while you learn aspect of it meant that I could be more independent from day one.

Did you enjoy the process?

Yes I really did actually. It wasn’t easy, very challenging in parts and I had to put the work in, even doing the support documents at home out of office hours sometimes. I didn’t mind doing that because I wanted to be proud of the work I did and focus on doing it really well without distraction. Very similar to if I was in university I guess, you cant really expect to do well without putting in the extra effort.

What do you aspire to career wise? What are your short and long term career goals?

Well I have achieved one of my short term goals by winning a CIS Head Office Employee of the Year Award and am delighted about that!

Did you expect to win?

No I didn’t completely expect to win as I was up against quite a few excellent candidates, but I was completely over the moon.

So do you have long-term goals… or is it a bit early for that kind of thing for you, you are only 22!

I am really enjoying my work at the moment and learning a lot so I am living in the now like most people my age. I do however aspire to be a Director one day. I definitely feel like I have it in me once I have gathered enough experience on the ins and outs of business.

There has been talk at CIS Security of the 4 C’s (Cause, Control, community and Contemplation) which motivate staff towards even better productivity. Which one of those words do you think has most weight in terms of motivating you towards success as an individual?

They are all very important but I would say Contemplation. I think it’s really important to take time out to plan and think and innovate. I have some really challenging days and IT support can be quite frantic. You definitely need some time out to reflect on how to do things better or how you might do more with the time you have.

Some people might shy away from Apprenticeship based on the view that they might be given mundane or insignificant tasks. What would you say to those people?

I would say that is completely wrong in my experience. I was challenged from day one and the words “deep end” come to mind. But to be honest, I relished the opportunity to have real responsibility early on. The control department is a fascinating one and there is so much going on. As well as admin, there was a lot of people management and communication skills involved. I have learned so much and still do every day.