Crimson Academy’s 2020 cohort reflect on the first year of their apprenticeship

Emily Schilling Uncategorized

With September fast approaching, Crimson is preparing to welcome the next Crimson Academy cohort. But September doesn’t just mark the start of a new cohort, it also marks one year since our previous set of apprentices joined us.

Our 2020 apprentices had all the usual challenges of starting a new job (new colleagues, change of routine, training), however, they faced these changes during a global pandemic. While Crimson organised social activities and provided in-person inductions, the vast majority of the apprentices first year has been while working from home.

The 2020 cohort have reflecting of their first year with Crimson, including key highlights, challenges they’ve had to overcome, and what they’re looking forward to in the next stages of their apprenticeship.


What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship so far?

Mihai Iacob – A key highlight for me was being given actual responsibilities and getting involved in actual work for a client straight after I’ve finished the Academy Induction. It was great to feel useful from day 1 and that has given me energy and drive to continue to learn and improve.

Loren Thomas – I have two particular highlights so far, the first one being the people I’ve met over the last 10 months, I have such a great support system and I’m truly thankful. The second highlight would be how far I have come as a software tester, I had no knowledge or testing or how to do it and my growth within my role particularly since February is something I’m extremely proud of.

James Cooper – Being greeted by name at the office front door by Karen, on my first day!  It made me feel very welcome and set the tone for a warm, personal and supportive induction process.


Describe a challenge you’ve had to overcome.

Sabrina Bano – A challenge I have had to overcome is being comfortable with not knowing everything… or even anything sometimes.

James Cooper – Working from home during the pandemic has not been easy for all sorts of reasons.  Although my partner is a key worker, at various points our three children have not been able to attend school and have been at home throughout the working day with me juggling work and parenting.  I am really grateful that our childcare bubble included two retired first school teachers who have been able to look after them on a regular basis. 

Loren Thomas – A challenge I’ve had was my MB901 exam. I didn’t pass the exam the first time around and it’s disheartening when something you’ve worked for doesn’t go to plan but I took it as a learning curve and passed it the second time around.


What is something you wish you knew a year ago?

Andrea Kahle – Time moves exponentially more quickly as you progress through the apprenticeship so make the most of every opportunity and challenge that you can from the start.

Michael Hunter – To look at things as opportunities rather than obligations

Sabrina Bano – A year ago, I wish I knew that starting something new, particularly a new career was not something to be afraid of, enjoy the journey!

Loren Thomas – Something I wish I knew a year ago would be to believe in myself, my self-growth at Crimson has allowed me to become so much more confident within myself, I have learnt so much about myself.


What are you looking forward to the most in the next stages of your apprenticeship?

Natasha Hall – Joining Crimson in the middle of a pandemic had made it difficult to communicate and learn from others at Crimson. I am looking forward to continuing learning and getting a wider range of experience provided by Crimson and Digital Native.

Mihai Iacob – In the future, I am looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship so that I can start learning more about Power Portals on my journey to becoming a technical consultant.

Andrea Kahle – I look forward to demonstrating my learning and understanding in my end point assessment and gaining my qualification


Find out more about our IT apprenticeship scheme here.