My Multiverse: Charlotte Hughes
(3 min read)
Hey Charlotte! Tell us a little about yourself and your apprenticeship with Multiverse (your organisation, when you started, when you are due to finish and what programme you are undertaking?).
I work for Anthony Nolan, a blood cancer charity. We recruit potential stem cell donors to a register who could go on to save the life of a patient in need of a lifesaving stem cell transplant. My job is Volunteer Engagement Manager - Marrow, which means I manage our amazing student volunteers, who recruit in universities and raise vital funds.
I actually used to volunteer for Lancaster Marrow when I was at university, and working at Anthony Nolan was my ultimate career goal. After university, I lived and worked in Canada for 2 years before coming back to the UK and applying for a role at Anthony Nolan in the Marrow Team as a coordinator. I’ve had a couple of roles at Anthony Nolan in my almost 4 years there, and I became a manager in my team in late 2019.
I’m doing the People Leadership Programme apprenticeship. I was really excited about the opportunity it would give me to develop my management skills and knowledge.
How have you found it so far?
My Mam sadly died in December last year and I had some time off work in January and February. I was able to take a break in learning from the apprenticeship, supported by my coach, Annie, but I found returning to work quite difficult.
Something I never expected coming back to work was that my confidence as a leader and manager was knocked massively, I found it difficult to lead on tasks and put myself in the spotlight - I think part of it was anxiety about bursting into tears at any time, but I guess some of it was just grief. With the support of my coach and manager, I was able to take things slow and build up my confidence again. Neither of them put pressure on me and I was able to take it at my own pace.
I’ve been trying hard to push myself, without pushing it too far, and return to ‘normal’ at work. It was really nice to have someone outside of my support circle recognise that although I had returned to work, it wasn’t easy and it was also nice just to have someone else say ‘Well done’ and that they were proud of me for that.
The Multiverse Community gives Apprentices the opportunity to build meaningful, social and professional relationships. Have you found the Community has helped you to build your network throughout your Apprenticeship and if so, how?
I’ve found that it’s really helped me to build relationships across different teams and divisions internally at Anthony Nolan. We all share similar experiences and challenges and as a cohort we have been able to support each other. I’m really grateful that I’ve had an opportunity to work with and get to know so many people from my organisation who otherwise wouldn’t have crossed my path.
I’ve loved lots of the community events which I’ve attended and I feel like I always learn so much from them. I have a teams chat with my team where I share extracts or learnings from the events I attend - my whole team really has benefited from me attending those events.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had so far as an apprentice?
Ah, I can’t choose between two very different things! So I’ll share both...
- Recognising and developing my own skills. I have become a more confident leader and manager but also have the skills and knowledge to back it up. I love the fact that it is applied learning, so you really get to put into practice what you learn. It’s really nice to share the experience of the apprenticeship with my colleagues too and it’s been a pleasure to see the confidence of lots of them develop as well. I think we have become a cohort of leaders who know what we are capable of and aren’t afraid to show it!
- Access to Self space therapy. My coach kindly referred me to self space before my Mam died in November last year and I was able to access 6 free therapy sessions with a grief counsellor. They played a huge part in me feeling able to manage my grief and coming back to work after my Mam died. I'm really grateful that I was able to have access to the service through Multiverse.