Dan Conaghan – Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 Apprenticeship

Dan Conaghan – Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 Apprenticeship

Dan has worked at Freedom Group in the IT department for seven years and is currently in the role of SharePoint Manager/ISMS Team Leader based at the company’s head office in Leeds. This involves designing, developing and managing Freedom’s SharePoint and Information Security Management System to ensure the business maintains its ISO 27001 accreditation.  Dan’s full-time role is supported by a two year Operations/Departmental Manager Level 5 Apprenticeship which he started in October 2017.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

Having now been away from education for 10+ years, I realised that in order to progress in my career and become a better manager and leader, I needed to enhance my skillset.

After reviewing various options I decided that an apprenticeship would be the best and most comfortable way for me to learn new skills and gain a professional qualification. It was also important that I continued to earn a salary as I have a family to support.

Which parts of the job do you enjoy the most and find most rewarding?

I enjoy everything about my job, but I especially enjoy meeting people within the business and helping them achieve a goal by using SharePoint.

What path did you use to get the position you hold today?

Prior to joining Freedom I started my career as a purchase ledger clerk. I developed my role and went onto support the finance system that the business used.  I then joined Freedom Group in 2011 as a finance systems administrator and over the years I’ve been committed in developing my role when opportunities have arisen.  This has enabled me to take on more responsibility and secure my current managerial role.

Is the apprenticeship meeting your expectations?

Yes, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship and it’s meeting my expectations.  The help from my tutors and skills coach has been invaluable.  They have provided guidance on how to overcome any challenges that have arisen.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

If you’re considering an apprenticeship, make sure it’s a subject that you’re interested in and want to do. Ensure you understand the modules and research the job prospects the apprenticeship could lead you to.

It’s also important to consider the amount of time you will need to dedicate to your apprenticeship, especially if, like me, you’re already working in an organisation that provides the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship in order to enhance your skillset.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

When I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I’d be interested in undertaking the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.