Natalie Elliston – Commercial Sales Manager

“I want to continue with my development and help me continue to grow further”

Natalie is a Commercial Sales Manager in the Certas Ipswich office.

Having completed her Level 3 apprenticeship Natalie tells us how the apprenticeship has enhanced her skills and her future aspirations.

“Since completing my Level 3 apprenticeship, I haven’t actually changed my role but what I would say is that the learning has given me a more rounded view of doing things. I deal with things a bit differently than I would have done before.   

My manager has moved into different role which means that I report directly to the Regional Sales Director now.  This change to my reporting line means I am having more hands-on conversations and I am more involved with decision making which is completely different for me.  Completing the ILM level 3 has given me the confidence to help with this transition.  If I hadn’t of had that behind me I think I would have been more worried about it than I was at the start of the changes. 

If I compare myself pre completing the course to where I am now, I would say the biggest change is my confidence.  I am much more assertive in my approach and the decisions I make.  I am less precious now, you can never please everyone and I used to be more caught up in that.

My next step is to complete a Level 5 apprenticeship.  I want to continue with my development and help me continue to grow further.

The level 5 is more in-depth and there is more writing but having done the level 3 first it has given me the foundation to work on.  There is a lot of analytics and reviewing processes and how they work this time around.

I’m not sure of my plans on completing the level 5, I do have an interest in HR so I may look to gain some further development in that area. 

If anyone is starting an apprenticeship alongside their job, I would say take your time.  Take a step back and don’t feel overwhelmed.  It is a lot of work but it is easier than you think once you get stuck in.