An Apprenticeship in Procurement and Supply with Jen McIntyre

It is great to see procurement professionals signing up to commence their apprenticeships with us this September. This week we have taken time with Jen McIntyre from United Utilities to hear about her experience undertaking a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Procurement and Supply. Jen tells us what she enjoyed most about the apprenticeship and how the apprenticeship has benefitted her in her current role.

Tell us about your role and organisation
I work for United Utilities which provides water and wastewater services in the North West of England. After 6 years of working in their customer service team I decided I was ready for a change. I applied for a Trainee Buyer position and was successful in securing a role which would include taking a Level 4 apprenticeship in procurement and supply with Aspire. At first, I was nervous as procurement was completely new to me. I didn’t have an understanding of what procurement was and I hadn’t done any formal studying for a long time. I was in the Buyer role for about 8 months when I started my apprenticeship.

Why did you want to study an apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship was part of my new job role. However, after looking into what an apprenticeship in procurement and supply offers, I knew it would be a great start to my new career in procurement. I had spoken to colleagues who had studied with Aspire Procurement Training and they recommended them as a training provider. The apprenticeship is unique insofar as it includes the CIPS accreditation.

What did you like most about the apprenticeship?
The whole team at Aspire Procurement Training were really supportive. They made the whole process incredibly easy. The tutors were friendly and approachable and made sure I not only had the tools to pass my exams but to succeed in my new role. Although at the time the assignments and end point assessment seemed daunting, they were extremely helpful to solidify my knowledge of procurement and supply chains.

How has the apprenticeship benefitted you and your job role?
Although I only started my procurement career three years ago, I have been successful in securing two promotions within United Utilities. I think the apprenticeship and achieving my CIPS Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply really contributed to this success. I am currently a lead buyer working on a major strategic procurement project with an expected spend budget of £5-7 billion.  

Would you recommend an apprenticeship in procurement and if so, what advice would you give to other students?
I would 100% recommend anyone to do an apprenticeship in procurement. My advice would be to just go for it, regardless of your age or previous studies. Everything you learn will help you progress in your career. Utilise your tutors’ experience. Their knowledge of CIPS and procurement in general is invaluable. Most importantly believe in yourself. An apprenticeship in procurement and supply is a big commitment but it is so worth it!

Want to undertake an apprenticeship in procurement and supply like Jen? For more information about our apprenticeships, click here or call 0808 231 2477 to speak to a member of the team.

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