Heidi - Chartered Manager Degree apprenticeship

The sky’s the limit for Heidi, as she completes a Chartered Manager Degree apprenticeship at Serco

Heidi Salczynski is a fantastic example of how apprenticeships can support personal development alongside a full-time job. After joining Serco in July 2016, Heidi completed a Business Administration apprenticeship. Three years later, Heidi is halfway through her second apprenticeship programme, which will see her graduate with a business degree. Heidi’s dedication to professional growth has seen her promoted within the Skynet contract, proving that the sky really is the limit. 

“My first role with Serco was my second full-time job since my children started secondary school. The timing could not have been better as the government announced the introduction of the apprentice levy in 2017. My manager at the time suggested I look at the courses available as part of my development plan, so I opted for the Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration. I had hands on experience in an admin role but had never gained a recognised qualification and thought I would benefit from refreshing my knowledge and skills.”

“My Training Officer was adamant that I should apply for the Chartered Manager Degree apprenticeship (CMDA) – for which I am extremely grateful – as I would never have had the confidence to apply for it without her encouragement.” 

“During this three-year programme we cover operational strategy, project management, finance, marketing, digital business and leadership skills. Halfway through my second year I have already noticed a significant improvement in my day-to-day performance. Of all the topics covered in the first year, the most beneficial to my career path has been awareness of myself and others. Understanding my strengths and how they can benefit Serco has helped me to focus on areas of the business where I can thrive, igniting my career ambitions.”

“In October 2019 I was promoted within the Skynet contract to work for the Business Delivery team. I am thoroughly enjoying the new challenges that head my way. My new manager and I have been discussing my career plans to ensure that the skills and knowledge I am developing are applied in my new role.”

“Completing the 20% off-the-job learning can be tough, but I do my best to organise my time without impacting my work and others around me. I am grateful for the support from the management team around me. Any courses, events or meetings I have needed to attend I have had my manager or Contract Director’s support. At times it has been difficult to balance work and the apprenticeship, but the key is communication and planning. As long as I keep my manager informed in advance and organise tasks around my learning, everyone is happy.” 

“What is keeping me focused on completing my apprenticeship is my husband and children attending my graduation, as they have lived and breathed my apprenticeship with me (as I have been tucked away studying most evenings).”
“My commitment to my studies has had a positive influence on both my children. My son is revising for three A Levels and has started looking at university options. My daughter has had a few stumbling blocks in her early career path but she has inherited my traits of being hardworking and resilient so I have no doubt she will thrive in whichever career she chooses. Sharing my personal experience with friends who are returning to work after having children has helped them realise you can balance work and home and it’s never too late to learn new skills.”
“No matter which level or area of the business you work in, look at the apprenticeships available, speak to your line manager and add it to your Personal Development Plan. Yes, apprenticeships can be challenging but they are worth it when you receive your qualification and hopefully move on to the next step in your career.”


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