We have been catching up with City Gateway students past and present to find out their top 5 tips for success. This week we hear from Abdi, sharing some of his learnings from his apprenticeship and how it helped him to land an amazing job at Man Group.

#1 Honesty

“Honesty is a big thing, because you should rather admit to not knowing than make avoidable mistakes. A lot of apprentices find it a difficult barrier to overcome because no one wants a person always telling them they don’t know this and they don’t know that. It’s not something to be afraid of.”

#2 Communication

“Communicating is important – always updating staff on your progress. People get a bit more comfortable with you that way, rather than if you’re a person who just kind of does their own thing and doesn’t really communicate. It’s not always easy communicating with corporate people. Never the less, the more you communicate with them, the easier it becomes. You realise they’re just human like you.”

#3 Organisation

“Another thing I would say is organisation. I didn’t really understand why people would emphasise organisation, but I’ve actually seen now first-hand how it separates successful people and the people that struggle with completing their daily tasks. If you were to come in unorganised you lose structure to your day and end up getting less done. It’s always good to organise how long you believe you’re going to take on each task and their deadlines. Don’t be afraid to take a two, three-minute walk for fresh air, you’re better off returning with a clearer mind-set.”

#4 Time Management

“I’d definitely say time management. One thing I always tell apprentices is you come in here to prove a point on why you should be seen as an employee. In order to do that you have to strive to do more than what the employees are doing. One of the key things that they always look for is effort. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the relevant skills, if you’re showing effort every day it’s very hard to let someone with that quality characteristic go.”

#5 Perspective

“The last thing I have learnt is perspective. Perception is a big deal in big companies, because no one has time to observe you all day. In order to portray a good perception, you shouldn’t aim to be on time, be early! Furthermore, I’d say leave fifteen or twenty minutes after your shift ends because these little actions go a long way later on. Don’t ever look around you and get complacent; aim to perform to the best of your abilities despite what others around you are doing. Never lose that power and drive.”