Nicole Macdonald - Cyber Security Apprentice, The Apprentice Store

Tuesday, 13th August 2019

Name – Nicole Macdonald

Age – 21

Hometown – Inverness

Job Title – Cyber Security Apprentice

Length of Service – 17 months

Day-to-day job role – “I provide support to our clients and assist them with Microsoft Office 365, anti-virus software and any other IT related issue. I use the skills learnt in my Cyber Security Apprenticeship to help organisation configure their network systems for security, this involves assisting them in getting UK Government Scheme Cyber Essentials where they want to. I also carry out regular audits of our Cyber Essentials clients to ensure that they are always compliant as we do not manage all of their networks.”

Training and Skills that have been undertaken – “Attended Inverness College to level 6 but whilst on my Apprenticeship I have completed a SQA accredited level 6 Modern Apprenticeship and am now working on my level 8, both MAs are specialising in Cyber Security. I have learnt a lot about security, Microsoft Office 365 and how computer network work. I have gained much more confidence by working with clients through supporting and advising them. I have also learnt to plan work which is very important in delivering a quality service to our clients. Working in a team is great fun as we can help each other out.”

The skills that you rely on to do your job – “Being able to talk to people, both on the phone and in person as I need to give them confidence in the advice that I am giving them. Being willing to learn new things and have the patience as some of it could be difficult, IT is such a fast-changing sector that you will always need to learn something new. You need to be able to plan work as it can be very complex and I want to ensure that the work goes to plan as we can have such a large impact on our clients when we carry out upgrades.”

Favourite part of the job – "Getting paid as we are well paid and that is important to help my family with living costs. I love when the team gets positive feedback from clients as we are constantly looking for ways to improve our service.”

A piece of advice for young school leavers that are looking to start an apprenticeship – “Be open minded to learning new things and possibly new ways to do things. You need to be prepared to learn, perhaps go slower than you want but must ask questions as this shows your employer that you are interested.”

Tell us your career goal – “The IT sector is so large; I am would like to specialise in an area but at the moment I am not too sure what that would be. I currently want to keep my options open by doing general work until I find something that I would like to specialise.”