Luca L.
Apprentice Project Manager
Business Function Apprenticeships
Location BromleyLeeds

About Luca

Key Experiences

Straight out of Sixth From to become an apprentice Project Manager.
The most important career move for me was when I moved to Direct Line Group, straight from Sixth Form College. I was on the brink of going to University in London when I received an offer to come for a Interview, this was for a Project Management apprenticeship. I decided to defer my offer from University until I knew the outcome of the interview, I knew that this was a prestigious apprenticeship and didn't want to miss out on this brilliant opportunity. Fortunately I was the successful candidate and clearly impressed the interviewers; I was notified just two hours after the interview took place.

The main motivator for choosing an apprenticeship over university was: an apprenticeship allows me to gain real world skills from a range of experienced professionals within the business. Universities on the other hand only offer a handful of lectures who may have been out of the real world industry for quite some time. Also, Direct Line Group are the top insurer within the UK who do consistently well and they're a household name. I knew the business would have a range of experienced Project Managers who could help me develop my skills within the profession.

Current Position

Help manage projects to make a positive impact on the business.
My current position at DLG requires me to run one of my own projects, although only a relatively small project it allows me to develop the relevant skills on how to run a project. I feel like a valued member of DLG as I have been allocated my own budget for the project, I feel like they have trusted me to run a project very early on in my career. Working on a project requires me to engage with my project team, it is important that tasks get complete on time so collaboration between the team is important; the work load can be shared and we can help each other complete actions.

This role requires a lot of communication between different stakeholders within the business and outside the business, you are required to set up time with the different stakeholders discussing the project. Overall I’m much more confident when speaking to different stakeholders within the business. I’ve also developed my knowledge on the project world; building an understanding of how a successful project is run from start to finish and the different aspects of a project life cycle. Moreover, I have been able to put these skills into practise which has allowed me to develop my skills even more progressively.

Main Motivations

Exciting projects to work on everyday.
One of my main motivations is trying to be best the best I can be, it's good that I have colleagues around me who are willing to help me develop in my career. They take time out of their day and working lives to help me and show me a better way of doing something, from helping me develop in all types of different computer programmes (Microsoft office, JIRA, PPM) not only this they help me develop my skills in document writing; as a Project Manager you need to be able to write Project documentation. I have so many skilled Project Managers around me who have years of experience, they offload their skills onto me to ensure I can be the best I can be.

I feel like it's important to strive for progression not perfection, especially whilst an apprentice. Of course mistakes are going to happen but it's fine. I never let my mistakes demotivate me, it's important to make mistakes as this is how we learn; progress is continuous and gets better with time.

Another key motivator is you want to see the project you've been working on put into practice, it's amazing to see your own work implemented into the business. You almost think to yourself 'I helped do that' which is such an amazing feeling and definitely a key motivator!

Top Advice

Believe that you can and you're halfway there.
My number one piece of advice is don't give up! If you believe you can do it then you're already halfway there. Obviously working hard is key aspect, but if you're passionate and enjoy what you do it shouldn't be too difficult to achieve your ambitions. I very quickly learnt that this was something that'd I'd happily do for the rest of my life, the Project world is so interesting and of course no two projects are the same! I'd highly recommend an apprenticeship to students who have just left school or college, you're earning whilst you're learning and gaining a qualification, no other schemes offer that...

Don't forget the Project Manager course is an APM qualification, which is nationally recognised and will allow you to develop your skills in Project Management and gain real world experience within the business environment – all the while being supported by highly trained professionals that help me develop my skills at a pace that’s tailored to you. Think about it if you start your apprenticeship when you're 18, by the time you're 25 you will have 7 years experience within the job role, that'd be unheard of if you decided to go to university; you may have a degree but employers look for experience within the specific role.

Greatest Achievement

I ran a project that saved the company money on travel expenses.
After a little over 7 months at DLG, one of my greatest achievements was successfully running a project, to save the business money. Although the project is in the last couple of months of the Pilot stage, it has provided the business with savings on business travel. I will always remember the Rail card initiation as the first project I ran as Project Manager and it will always be one of my greatest achievements of my career. After just 2.5 months at the company I was given this Project to run from start to finish, this has provided me with so many skills; sometimes it's good to be thrown in at the deep end, as long as help is not too far away if it is needed.

Along with the successful running of my own project at the early stages of my career, I also managed to achieve the prestigious PRINCE2 qualification ( Project management methodology qualification). After just four and half months at DLG I was able to achieve this, which I think is a great achievement and it just shows what you can do if you work hard!

Direct Line Group

Direct Line Group is an organisation with a clear mission: to make insurance much easier and better value for customers. We're one of the leading motor, home and small business insurers in the UK. We’re home to some of the nation’s best-known brands, including Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege, Green Flag and NIG.

If you share our vision and are ready to take the lead with us, apply now or visit directlinegroupcareers.com  for more information.

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