Leicester College Blog

Apprentice to Practice manager – Michelle’s Story


Completing your Apprenticeship is such an amazing achievement, but how about being promoted to Practice Manager in the space of a year! Michelle’s career has gone from strength to strength since starting her Apprenticeship with Leicester College, all whilst balancing her busy home life looking after her children.

Michelle started working on the Reception at JDRM in 2017 where she soon sparked an interest in becoming a dental nurse. With no prior knowledge or experience in the dental industry she spoke to her manager who suggested an Apprenticeship. This meant she could still become qualified but also earn a wage to support herself and her family.

What was it about an Apprenticeship that appealed to you?

“I saw other people around me doing their Apprenticeships whilst I was working on Reception and after feeling inspired, I spoke to my manager who supported my interest and got me onto an Apprenticeship. The College take on Dental student’s multiple times throughout the year, so I started almost straight away. I felt like the apprenticeship was the right route for me and I was excited to be gaining a qualification alongside my normal working week”.

How were you supported during your apprenticeship?

“The college offered me lots of support, always being available to help if I had any questions. Aimee the Trainer Assessor helped guide me and always answered my many questions!

JDRM were always supportive. Because many of them had also done apprenticeships in the past, their knowledge and experience was really helpful. They were patient when I was learning new things and always took time to explain each process. Following this they have supported my progression to practice manager and I am always speaking to other practice managers at other JDRM practices.”

What did your week look like?

“I only attended college 1 day every 2 weeks which was very manageable, then when I was not at college, I had a day in the week to complete any off the job training that I needed to do. It was good to have this time to focus without any distractions.”

How did you find balancing college commitments as well as home life?

“At times it was difficult as having children does take up a lot of your spare time. However, I had a flexible approach to my college work and completed extra college work/revision whilst they were doing homework or activities. I was really motivated as well as interested in dental, so it was never a problem as I knew I wanted to achieve my qualification.”

What advice would you give to someone who is over the age of 19 who is thinking about an Apprenticeship?

“Apprenticeships are definitely not just for young people. Being older gave me an advantage as I was motivated and determined to be successful and develop my career, not just for me but for my family. My Apprenticeship opened so many opportunities and now being practice manager I am so proud of myself for what I have achieved.”

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