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Success Story: Ollie Blackshaw

Congratulations to Ollie, one of our Level 4 Cyber Security Technologist apprentices who has just completed his apprenticeship. In this article, Ollie reflects on his time as an apprentice and tells us his plans for the future.


What have been the main highlights of the apprenticeship for you?

Passing the last of the BCS exams, I took a few attempts so finally getting it over the line felt like a real accomplishment. The help I received from the tutors really pushed me on to pass this last exam.


What were the main challenges you faced during your apprenticeship and how did you overcome them?

My main challenge was fitting in the portfolio work around a full-time job. However, after speaking to Bob from The Specialists Hub, I realised that I was actually doing all the things required to pass the apprenticeship training programme and I just needed to adapt documentation which was already in the making.


What made you want to pursue a Cyber Security apprenticeship in the beginning, and how do you feel about it now?

I feel like Cyber Security is an industry that is growing rapidly meaning there will be continued work moving forward.


What has the support been like from Connectus and The Specialists Hub throughout your apprenticeship journey?

Both parties have been flexible in giving me the time and resources required to complete all the work required for this apprenticeship.


Do you have any good tips for learners approaching EPA?

Take your time to think about how your current role can be used to complete the portfolio and be prepared to explain everything in detail – assume the person reading knows absolutely nothing about your apprenticeship programme.


What does the future look like for you now? Do you have a 5-year plan?

My plan is to keep pushing forwards with more vendor-specific qualifications suited to my role, especially in the Microsoft and Azure sectors. There are 100s of roles currently looking for these specialities, and mixed with cyber security it will place me in a very strong position.


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