Apprenticeship Week 2020: Multi-talented AJ – Waqas Anjum proves apprentices are not just for teenagers

At 34,  AJ – Waqas Anjum has done a variety of different jobs throughout a varied career so far.

From setting up his own online business to a range of other things, he has always had the get up and go to succeed.

As part of our series of apprenticeship profiles for Apprenticeship Week 2020, he explained why he chose to opt for an apprenticeship with Riverside as his next step.

Why did you apply to be an apprentice?
“I’d done lots of different jobs and set up my own online business, which led me down the route of needing to know about finance and financial processes. This got me really interested, so I self-funded my level 2 AAT and really enjoyed it. The apprenticeship was a great way to continue this career journey.”

And why Riverside?
“I saw the opportunity to join Riverside as a Finance Apprentice on Indeed (a leading job website) and thought it represented a chance to apply some of the theory I’d learnt to date within an organisation that was well established and wanted to invest in their people.”

What are your key learning points so far?
“I’ve learnt so much, the chance to work in a team environment, learn from the experience of others and see how the organisation achieves results. I’ve been particularly interested in consultancy and how to work with a variety of personalities.”

How do you balance your study and work responsibilities?
“My manager allows the right balance between my classroom based study and my work tasks. I feel really supported and have a mentor too who is on hand to answer any questions I may have. If I’m honest I’ve not found the split commitments too difficult as they complement each other – a chance to learn and then apply new knowledge.”

If you could give one piece of advice to someone embarking on an apprenticeship?
“Jump in and do it as it’s a great way to earn and learn at the same time.”

What is your ultimate career aspiration?
“I’d loved to reach level 7 and become a fully qualified professional accountant.”

Since the start of this financial year Riverside has welcomed 14 new hire apprentices and in total has 120 learners mid-programme.

We have spent almost a quarter of a million on development and to do so we have built strong partnering relationships with eight of the UK’s leading training providers from academic institutions such as Leicester and Sheffield Colleges to specialist providers such as Dutton Fisher, who have been fundamental to the rollout of our Housing/Property Management apprenticeship.

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