It wasn’t originally the plan for the judges of the Hotcourses Apprentice of the Year 2014 award to offer prizes for second and third place entries. There was just going to be one winner. However, the stories that were submitted were so compelling and the people sharing them so inspiring that they decided to recognise not just a winner but two runners up as well.
Zubeyde Ozsayman is currently doing an apprenticeship that she hopes will lead to her working as a fully qualified accountant, and her passion and dedication to both her studies and work made her stand out from many other entries, securing her third place. She was overjoyed discover she’d won, ‘I was really pleased when I found out I had won third place. This result has boosted my confidence and motivated me to achieve my goals and aim higher.’
Zubeyde’s path has not been an easy one, having first applied to do a hairdressing course before deciding that her interest was more in numbers than hair styles. Since then she has worked hard to build confidence in herself and with English not being her first language this has been a challenge, ‘Entering for this award was a pleasure for me because it made me feel proud of myself once again. I was really pleased to come third as it has boosted my confidence. It also motivated me to achieve my goals and aim higher.’
Not only is she excelling in both the workplace and her college training, but she is keen to promote the apprenticeship route, having advised her brother to follow in her footsteps. The judges felt this made her a particularly good ambassador, ‘My favourite part of the apprenticeship is that I can practise what I learned in college, at work. Doing this makes me happy because I see I'm actually progressing. I would definitely recommend apprenticeships for everybody out there.’
They were also impressed by how keen she is to work her way up the career ladder. Mark O’Donoghue, MD of Hotcourses and a member of the judging panel said, ‘We really liked Zubeyde’s perseverance – it’s great that she started as a pre-apprentice but has plans to work her way up to Level 4. This shows a great deal of ambition.’
It’s true that Zubeyde embodies the values the award seeks to promote and as such she’s a worthy winner of third place.
Jade will talk your ear off about rowing if you let her. She studied an MA and NCTJ diploma in Journalism at Brunel but her course-taking didn't stop there, having tried a number of different subjects since working here, even magic. Whether you're an expert who wants to share their knowledge, a student who's had a great experience or you just want to say hi, she'd love you to get in touch through our social media pages.