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Finding Confidence

When I was younger, I was quite like... almost immature. So I struggled in social groups. And then I became a little bit withdrawn, especially with the whole pandemic situation. But since starting my apprenticeship at The Story Museum, my confidence in my interpersonal skills and my practical skills has grown. And my self-belief in difficult situations. Confidence has been an issue for me for a while, but I didn’t really realise that until recently.  


I found out about The Story Museum online through Oxford Apprenticeships. I sort of bypassed it and didn't really think that would be that suitable for me, but my parents thought it was, so I applied. I had to send through a CV and fill out an application. And then we had a big interview day. They were looking for all sorts of different jobs, so apprenticeships and interns and full-time staff. I’ve been there just under a year now, and I do front of house, customer service.   


It's on the weekend. I start around nine o'clock, maybe 10 o'clock, if I'm lucky! And I finish around five o'clock or six o'clock. I'm being pushed all the time. I'm always doing new things, which the people that are running my apprenticeship are quite good at finding, new things that they think will challenge us. Occasionally, we do evening events, which is a different kind of experience, because it's mainly tailored to adults. I show people to their seats, a bit of ushering, or sometimes I’m pouring drinks behind a bar.  


We have one day a week studying at home. And then about once a month, we have a catch-up meeting with a tutor. I’ve always got access to that tutor, so if anything happens I can get in touch with them. The day at home is probably my least favourite part, because I can end up too much in my head. But it's very helpful, I learn a lot.  


Before the apprenticeship I was dishwashing at pubs, more on my own. I wasn’t really learning anything. I wouldn't want to go back to that. I’d want something that's more tailored to my personality or my hobbies. I quite enjoy animals for example. So of all the jobs I’ve had, The Story Museum has been the most positive experience.  


I’m working with lots of good and supportive people, and I like working with people rather than by myself. I find that in groups I can bounce off other people, rather than being all in my head. And the people that I've met here are lovely. We're friends. I almost value that over the money that I earn and the things that I’ve learnt. I feel valued as a person and a worker. I’ve been offered a place to stay on. I’m happy with that. That makes me feel good.  


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