Dead proud & fortunate

Yesterday I was proud. Dead proud. The 10 Apprentices I helped get into the BBC last year, graduated. Not only that, other Apprentices from previous years, most in work now, were there celebrating the current years’ achievements. A lovely little family with so much opportunity ahead of them.

Last night an apprentice from a few years ago Emily, stood up and confidently told the room of about 60 people how she’d worked since she left the apprenticeship 3 years ago and she secured a permanent role in a job she loved.

She never even thought she’d get on the apprenticeship and I remember her having struggles throughout the apprenticeship year. I was able to be there for her and hopefully I helped guide and support her. I had a feeling she’d do well and go far, and she has done.

She thanked a few people, including me, and she mentioned her cape. My present to people who I think could do with a cape… it seems to work for some.

I hadn’t really realised it, but I’ve given out capes to most of the Apprentices in the last few years. In passing, in chats, in training. They had the edge, the enthusiasm and the passion to do well in their work. But some of them, just like all of us, go through challenges, and I hope their cape has helped them through.

The night went on, and the new scheme Manager stood up and thanked others, and myself. She gave me a special mention as I’d set up this year’s scheme and given them their initial training (and capes it seems). And after she mentioned me I got a round of applause (maybe from the Apprentices I’d guess?). Aw. Touching. And the apprentices gave me a little orchid as a thanks.

The 12 Apprentices went up to get their graduation certificates. It was good to hear how they’d all done and where some of them were going onto next. I had the chance to meet and talk with the Apprentices and some of their parents.

A year ago they all started, wide eyed and not knowing what to expect. We set them on their ways, then I moved roles and they went on their way through the year with the support of the scheme. It was good to be a part of helping them start out and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.

It’s great to work for an organisation that gives people opportunities, and I feel fortunate to be one of those people who has benefitted from that. And I’ve been able to help others too.

Someone said to me the other day they noticed that I ‘ate and breathed the BBC’.

Maybe I do. I’ve been there for nearly 11 years, and it’s been a great place for me to work in many ways. I feel very fortunate to have been able to get in, and do the work I’ve done and will hopefully continue to do in the coming years.

The people make it, and I hopefully help in my way to make it a great place to work too. It’s given me the opportunity to touch other people’s lives. It’s given me these opportunities but has also afforded me to carve a career and be settled comfortable.

I remember being at my Dad’s when he was retiring from 40 odd years in general practice. He was just about to retire, and we’d been at a friend of mine’s weddings. A massive wedding with hundreds of local folk there.

People kept coming up to me, telling me how much my Dad had touched their lives, theirs and their families. There were so many people in that little town, who my Dad had helped. And I hadn’t realised it until then.

I was about 21 at the time, and I decided that if there was one thing I wanted to do in life, it was to touch peoples lives. The BBC has given me the opportunity to do that (not in medicine like he did, but in my own way). And I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

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