Life as a Digital Apprentice: Hidayat Deen
Hi all, I’m Hidayat Deen, I currently work at Hackney Council as an IT Delivery Management Apprentice. I’m doing a Level 4 Project Management Apprenticeship.
Why did you become a Digital Apprentice?
In sixth form I studied IT and business and I felt like I wanted to carry on studying or consider working in the IT industry. IT is always evolving and that’s what kept me enticed. I wasn’t too sure what in IT I wanted to do and so I seeked advice from Hackney based career advice service. They told me to consider apprenticeships at Hackney council as it had many incentives and so although applying to university and getting accepted. Delivery Management was suggested to me and I didn’t know what it was.
Once I did research on Delivery Management I realised that this is something I’d like to pursue, especially in the council. I have always wanted to make an impact and I thought the best place to start is in my local council – the same borough I have grown up in. I think one of the most enticing things in the Digital Apprenticeships in the council is the offer of support from the beginning as well as the wide range of opportunities within the IT department in itself.
What was your working day like before Covid-19?
My working day before consisted of having meetings with project teams and my own team very often, there were interactive workshops. I was focusing on a multitude of tasks from different teams. There was time for me to go out for a nice short walk, the walks mainly consisted of me wandering inside Tesco deciding whether I should get sweet popcorn or fruits. It was lovely seeing colleagues and having short work and non-related work conversations. I felt like I was working on more smaller tasks alongside major work.
What is your working day like now?
Now my working day has turned into supporting fellow colleagues in different departments, enrolling them into using the same software/applications. I have also been reviewing a few processes to streamline them so that it’s easier for colleagues. The pace tends to fluctuate more, it’s more quiet yet I’m focusing more on less things. It was hard to keep in contact with the team at first but now I have gotten into the groove, fair to say I miss the interactive sessions I have in person with my own team and my fellow IT colleagues.
What advice/words would you pass on to someone who is considering applying to become a Digital Apprentice?
I think a lot of advice can be given to someone who’s considering or has recently started working in London’s local government. Here are some pieces of advice:
- It’s always important to keep your options open if you don’t know what you want to do, there are several apprenticeships that have their own qualifications. For example, I’m doing a level 4 Project Management qualification which can be applied in IT and out of it. Given that I complete and pass my coursework and exams, I’ll be receiving some recognised certificates. These can be put on my CV and are great for those who haven’t got as much experience.
- Always put yourself forward for things, go out of your comfort zone because that’s one of the best ways to learn. I constantly try to question myself, ‘Am I really learning anything if I’m 100% comfortable with what I’m doing?’. As much as it’s great to practice things to get better at them, it’s as important to learn things will hold value but that you’re not entirely confident with doing.
- Take time to reflect and look back at the work you do, give yourself time to praise the work you’ve done. Most times I was harsh on myself completely forgetting that I’m an apprentice and that this is my first job. It’s healthy to praise yourself for the hard work and to think of ways to improve. After all it’s a learning curve and mistakes are encouraged in this environment, as long as you learn from them.
- Finally, connect with those who are already established in what you’d like to do and with fellow apprentices from other organisations. I have attended multiple apprentice events and professional networking events which have the potential to open up doors of collaboration or opportunities to work in those peoples’ organisations. It’s always a nice feeling to have a fellow apprentice in another organisation who’s doing the same thing as you. Luckily I shared my journey with another apprentice within my team who I now consider a friend.
Working for Local government isn’t usually considered especially by those who have just left education but I’d highly recommend.
Hidayat is just one of our brilliant Digital Apprentices in LOTI member boroughs. We would love it if you would join the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) in celebrating fulfilling our pledge to offer 100 Digital Apprenticeships in member boroughs on 8 September 2020, 4:30-5:30 pm at London Tech Week. Please register here.