It's been a super exciting few weeks here at Genie Heights as we welcome our newest employee, our Genie Apprentice, Shannon! We joined up to Skillwise's apprenticeship scheme through the Entrepreneur's Circle to find her ...
Cardiff was an amazing experience for our new Genie apprentice Shannon!
Although Shannon has only been working with us for a couple of weeks, she spent the first two weeks of her traineeship in Cardiff with the team at Skillwise teaching her all she needs to know about business admin, social media and marketing.
"Here's what Shannon had to say about her two weeks away!"
"Cardiff itself is, without a doubt, one of the most lovely places I've ever been. I was lucky enough to indulge in its beauty while training to become a successful Genie. My trip to Cardiff was definitely full of daring activities and motivating tasks, some of which I didn't think I would ever do!
Where I stayed ...
I stayed at The YHA youth hostel in Cardiff Central. The hostel was filled with welcoming staff who genuinely cared about us. I travelled to Cardiff by coach on the 1st of November and when I arrived at the hostel I was then introduced to the coordinators, who were all amazing!
I shared a room with three other girls who I connected really well with, they all shared the same interests as me and we were never short of conversational topics. I really enjoyed spending time with the other apprentices as it enhanced my experience and made my trip the best it could be.
What we did ...
On the first night we all went bowling so we could get to know each other better. I had never been bowling before so to say I was terrible would be an understatement! My team were so friendly and supportive and they didn't even care about winning the game at all, they just wanted to have fun. It was lovely to all sit around talking to one another about ourselves and the different businesses we came from.
We also took part in a range of more chilled activities which I really loved. One was the movie night - we had the choice from a large variety of movies and even dedicated ourselves to a horror night ... which of course I loved! I also took part in activities such as trampolining and a game night which were both really fun, even if I did lose a game of snap!
Other activities meant overcoming a few of my fears such as Speed Boating, but it turns out I was a natural! It was something I'd never done before, or even thought about doing and I'm really proud of myself for doing it because usually I'm a whimp! I had to wear a blue over coat which made me look like a Smurf and a life-vest, you know, in case I went overboard. I decided I was going to be brave and sat at the very front of the boat, at the time I had no clue how much of a mistake that was.
I got soaked! Absolutely soaked! I can still taste the salt water now. It was great to share it with the friends I had made and it was even better because we were all in the same boat...literally! I feel that the individuals I shared this journey with are the reason I enjoyed it so much. It was an incredible experience and I would love to do it again, I found that it was such a rush of energy and it made me feel like I could do anything ... now I realise I can.
What I learned ...
We spent a lot of time in the classroom which always had an energetic atmosphere and hearing directly from the EC about everything they have to offer a business helped me understand the processes behind creating a successful marketing campaign.
We learnt a lot about marketing and social media, the classes were really educational and the teachers engaged well with all of the apprentices. We did a lot of tasks based around teamwork and one of my favourites was when we had to go into town and speak to the public.
In groups, we were given a company to go out and speak to the public about. My team's company was Cadbury's chocolate. We had a budget of £10 to buy four different brands of chocolate, which we took with us around town to show and offer to passers-by. We asked the participants what their favourite chocolate brand out of the selection we had was, over 80% of the people that we asked said that they preferred Cadbury's for various different reasons. One of the main reasons we had was that Cadbury's actually reminded them of their childhood.
What I took away ...
Overall, going to Cardiff was a great experience for me. I met a lot of amazing people and gained so much knowledge; I've also developed as a person and become more confident in everything I do. I can't wait to go back in January and see everyone again and learn a whole lot more".
What a great experience for Shannon!"
As you can see, Genie Shannon's enthusiasm and passion is going to bring a whole new lease of life to The Office Genie and with her new-found knowledge we can't wait to show you what she's learned.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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