National Apprenticeship Week is an important time of year at Cloud9 as we celebrate the apprentices in our team that have added so much value (and fun) to the business over the years. Confidently, I can say that working with these enthusiastic and passionate young people has seen Cloud9 flourish into a collaborative, innovative and diverse team.
At Cloud9 I want everyone to have the chance to progress within their role- confident they belong to a supportive team that will catch them if they fall and celebrate them when they succeed.
One notable success has been a young lady whom we took on as a confident 19 year old through QA as a Business Administration Apprentice. We gave her the opportunity to learn about many different areas of the business including technical support, accounts, marketing and even project management. She is a customer focused, strategic thinker with a natural commercial brain which is a unique trait that I’ve struggled to find even amongst experienced colleagues I have worked with. Once I realised her natural talents for management and critical thinking, I offered to sponsor her Open University MBA course on completion of her apprenticeship. She now manages a growing team and is an outstanding asset to Cloud9.
As a growing cloud technology business that is fortunate enough to be based in brilliant Brighton, one of the UK’s major digital hubs, we’ve recently taken on more apprentices across the board, from Sales to IT support. One of my favourite aspects of being a CEO is the hands on coaching opportunities I get to share with the team. My colleagues can always expect to see me in the office and my door is always open for a catch up or a mentoring session.
So, this week, we have some fun challenges organised for our apprentices to go head-to head in a battle of brains and skill to find to find out who is the greatest amongst them! I believe apprentices are the best investment a business could make to accelerate a person’s career and regardless who wins the competitions this week, I know they are all amazing!
Carlene founded Cloud9 Insight in 2010, and has a passion for life-long learning and development. She did not study any undergraduate degrees and initally aspired to work as an Air Traffic Controller. Whilst she did achieve her air traffic control qualification, her awareness of her mild dyslexia and enjoyment at the time of working in the technology sector led her to stay in technology. Carlene did eventually study and complete two Master level degrees including an MBA with the Open University. Carlene’s time at IBM early on in her career has inspired her to make investments in people. IBM was a place that encouraged you to take ownership of your own destiny and career, not to wait for promotions but to actively seek out opportunity and manage your own brand and promote your own successes. Since her IBM days where she completed IBM Sales School, she has held various leadership roles including General Manager of a FTSE 100 company.