Sophie Allen started her apprenticeship with Agrovista Amenity as a Trainee Business Support Administrator 17 months ago.
As a keen cricketer and a volunteer groundsperson at her local cricket club, Sophie was already aware of Agrovista before applying for the position.
In this Q&A Sophie reveals her love of the sport and how she’s developing into her role within the company.
Before you started your apprenticeship you worked as a volunteer groundsperson at your local cricket club – are you still doing this?
Yes, I’m still currently at my local Cricket Club, Allscott, where I am captain and organiser of our ladies’ team. There’s a lot of development going on over at the club, with a new clubhouse being built to improve our facilities. This year we are having a big push on bringing new players into all our teams and building the foundations of the club with our junior teams. With this new development, I am also due to become treasurer of our cricket section starting the 2024 season.
With regards to the maintenance of the ground, I work alongside my dad Jason who is the Head Groundsperson and has recently become a county pitch advisor for Shropshire.
Working alongside him is really eye opening due to the knowledge he has, and I am always learning something new. I tend to help him out as and when I can, whether it be after work for a couple of hours in the week or possibly a Saturday morning before the match. I would say that my favourite maintenance task is either marking out the wicket or using the roller to roll the wickets out.
What are your main responsibilities as a Business Support Administrator?
I work within the customer support team, so my main responsibilities are confirming orders from our Ecommerce platforms and our account managed customers, telephone communication with customers through our customer support call centre, dealing with customer support tickets, assisting the sales team, and answering the door to customers.
What does a typical day at work look like?
My average day can be very different but usually consists of opening everything up in the morning and checking if there is anything urgent that requires my attention. If there is, then I will deal with it straight away. If not, then I will get all the orders allocated to me confirmed.
After this, I will check my tickets and emails and deal with enquiries on these. We will usually have a few calls whilst doing these jobs, so if I’m free, I will take as many calls as I can. Then for the rest of the day, I will flick between confirming any new orders that are placed on the system and new enquiries, along with dealing with any issues that I may be chasing with a supplier or courier.
Did you enjoy completing your NVQ and how did you manage to fit your studies in alongside working?
I have recently completed an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration. Within this, I learned about a variety of things, such as IT packages, personal development, project management, organisation, stakeholders, building a project, communication, personal skills, teamwork and many more topics. We were given a certain number of hours that they call ‘off the job hours’ to complete the relevant tasks and coursework. So, I found it manageable to balance this work along with my day-to-day work within the customer support team to complete my apprenticeship.
Learning new skills through my apprenticeship programme has really helped in the development of my skills within my role in the customer support team. One key skill I feel I have developed through my apprenticeship is confidence.
The support from Agrovista Amenity has been really good. If there has ever been an issue, then it has been sorted instantly and I couldn’t ask for a better company to work for.
What are your goals now you have completed the apprenticeship?
Now that I have completed my NVQ I am hoping to progress my responsibilities within the customer support team. I would really like to carry on developing new skills and hopefully gain new qualifications.
For more information about Agrovista UK, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity