Higher Apprentice in Profile: Wendy Maslen

As part of our Apprenticeship Week 2024 celebrations and our ‘Big Futures’ work we’re celebrating some of our amazing apprentices and the great work they’re doing on their higher apprenticeship journeys.

Wendy Maslen – Level 6 Career Development Higher Apprentice

Degree apprenticeships

How did you first learn about the apprenticeship opportunity, and what motivated you to pursue it?

So I’ve been here at the school for 17 years and I’ve done a variety of different jobs. So I always kind of been involved in careers in some way and then we were shut last year for 3 months. When we reopened I had an e-mail from my line manager, she said we want to bring careers in-house and would you be interested? I wasn’t expecting that at all. Somebody had seen something in me that they thought I would be really good so. I said I was interested, but that I think if I’m right I I would need a qualification and we need to show that I’m being impartial. I said, but I don’t know what qualification you need and all that kind of stuff. So I left that with her.

So she went off and did some research and then found the call of the wild course and it’s it just gone from there really. It’s early days, but so far the course is supporting me in understanding the role further and helping me develop and use some of the models and theories behind being a Career Adviser, for example understanding the importance of reflective practice and keeping on top of the changes in the sector through relevant CPD activities. It’s also good to have an experienced colleague to discuss things with as often it can be quite a lonely role in school!

I’d always wanted to do a high-level qualification, but I mean when I was at school it was only the really clever ones at the top who went to university. I just went to college and went to work. So I have done little bits of qualifications along the way. I retook my GCSE’s for maths and English, which I’m so pleased that I did as it meant I haven’t had to do them for the Apprenticeship

Can you describe the skills or knowledge you hoped to gain through this apprenticeship?

I particularly wanted to get the skills to work with students with challenging issues. Rachel has been a great support helping guide me with some specific students and through an offsted visit – I asked lots of questions when we had Ofsted recently! It’s learning all of those things that will come naturally when I’ve done it long enough.

How has the higher apprenticeship programme aligned with your career goals and aspirations?

it’s just actually being knowledgeable about the right information for each student and every student needs a different approach. I hope it will help me gain confidence in the other aspects of my role such as around networking, delivering group work and just being confidence that my practice is up to date. At the end, I will be a fully trained careers professional which could open other career related doors for me.

Have there been any unexpected benefits or opportunities that have arisen from your apprenticeship experience?

The whole thing really because I didn’t expect to be doing a higher apprenticeship now! There are some assignments as part of the course and it’s a new way of writing for me, getting out of old habits from old roles and expanding my vocabulary,– you’ll quite often find me with the thesaurus!

What advice do you have for others considering or currently pursuing an apprenticeship in your field?

I would say do it – it’s a nice job to do, to try and draw out what the students want to do get to get them excited about stuff. It’s nice when you when you can see the light bulb go on for them. Doing the apprenticeship will undoubtably support you to gain in confidence and develop the skills to be able to do the role and to get a higher level professional qualification at the same time!

How have you found working with Call of the Wild?

Rachel’s brilliant. She’s been really helpful and she’s really helped break it all down. She’s really adapted her teaching to my learning style. It’s a learning curve, but then I haven’t done study like this ever – I’ve done A level type qualifications and other bits and pieces, but not to this level, so it’s completely different. So you’ve got nothing to compare it to, only just that you have to keep going! Rachel’s been brilliant, her knowledge is fantastic.

Comments from Wendy’s learning coach, Rachel:

Wendy started the higher apprenticeship with me in the Autumn term 2023 after starting a new role at the same time. She has really embraced the apprenticeship so far, she manages her ‘off the job time’ well to meet with me for tutorials and then go away and collect the evidence from her practice; this may be through writing assignments or doing activities to help her understand new concepts related to the role and to gain new knowledge to support her in it.

Her role as a school-based careers adviser is perfect for this specific apprenticeship as the knowledge, skills, and behaviours align to her everyday tasks but allow her to develop these and understand the research, relevant legislation, and policies behind what she does. I really look forward to seeing her both grow in confidence and also hone her skills across a range of related areas. The support from her line manager, Adam has also been excellent in supporting Wendy and it’s definitely a three-way task involving myself, Wendy and her employer. Many people still see apprentices as being young people straight out of school but Wendy is a perfect example of how you can use the route to gain a high level professional qualification at any age.

Rachel Tedesco RCDI MCDI

Tutor L6 Apprenticeship Career Development Professional

Find out more about studying the Level 6 Career Development Apprenticeship with Call of the Wild

Email us: Kathryn@callofthewild.co.uk

Call us: 01639 700 388


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Celebrating our Apprentices

Wendy Maslen – “It’s actually being knowledgeable about the right information for each student and every student needs a different approach.”

Rob Pickup – “It has allowed me to develop skills and knowledge in all things Career Guidance.”

Ebner Heatley – I get to create Apprenticeship opportunities and work with students who are considering Apprenticeships as their next step in their career.”

Natalia Jandrell – “I get the opportunity to immediately put into practice what I have learned.”

Amy Hunt – “I hoped to gain an insight into management theories and practice and to apply these within my role.