From apprentice to project manager: Ryan Varney earns PRINCE2 and discusses training opportunities at Fitzrovia IT

Celebrating his seventh year at Fitzrovia IT this year, Ryan Varney has gone from being one of our very first apprentices in our award-winning apprenticeship programme to recently entering into a management position in our projects department. We sat down with Ryan to discuss the training opportunities he's had at Fitzrovia IT and how they have helped him shape his career. 

Q: When did you join Fitzrovia IT? 

A: I joined Fitzrovia IT in June 2013 as an apprentice in The Fitzrovia IT Academy. Many of my friends were going off to university at the time, but I didn't like the idea of being in education for four more years without the guarantee of a job. Joining the apprenticeship programme gave me the chance to learn a trade and get paid at the same time. 

Q: How did you find the training and resources in the apprenticeship programme?:

A: My colleagues were very supportive while I was an apprentice. They went above and beyond to provide one-on-one mentorship and always made the time to answer any questions I had. The training I was provided with allowed me to gain a wide set of transferable skills. These proved incredibly helpful as I moved into my current role and will surely be applicable to any client-facing role I will perform in the future.

Q: What training have you received during your time at Fitzrovia IT?:

A: As an apprentice, I gained the CompTIA+ qualification, which is a widely recognised professional accreditation that provides the fundamentals of working in IT. I was also able to gain an NVQ. Most recently, I have passed the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification. 

Q: What is the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification?:

A: PRINCE2 is a practitioner certification programme and is the standard pre-requisite for most project managers. When I first joined the projects department at Fitzrovia IT as a coordinator, it was always my goal to achieve this qualification.  

Q: What was involved in earning this qualification?:

A: I began with a series of pre-course videos, mock tests, and review of the PRINCE manual. I then took the five-day course, followed by a 1-hour foundation exam and a 2.5-hour practitioner exam. This was the first test I had sat for since my time as an apprentice, but it went very smoothly. Fitzrovia IT was very helpful in providing time off to prepare for the exams. 

Q: How will the PRINCE2 qualification help you further your career goals?

A: PRINCE2 is a standard methodology for running successful projects that are vital for my job role. This will allow us to take a look at our project methodology and consider implementing new or different methods, such as Agile or MSP (Managing Successful Programs). I would recommend PRINCE2 not only to project managers, but to anyone involved with project work. The qualification provides a framework that help projects run extremely well. 

Q: How have the expectations of you changed since earning the PRINCE2 qualification?

A: Since gaining this qualification, I have gone from a coordinator position to a management position. I now hold a more overarching view of the day-to-day operations of the projects department and am responsible for managing all processes and procedures within our team. 

Q: Now that you have entered your seventh year at Fitzrovia IT, what would you say about opportunities for career progression within the company?

A: Fitzrovia IT is particularly good at helping its employees progress internally. Many people often have to "job hop" to climb the ladder, as opposed to getting promoted from within. When I felt I had reached my goals on the service desk and wanted my next challenge, I was greeted with enthusiasm and encouragement. I was asked to consider what department I wanted to explore next within the business and was able to find my ideal role within the projects team. 

We at Fitzrovia IT are proud to be an Investors in People organisation, demonstrating our commitment to treating our people well. Our mission to build an effective business around our team also earned us the title of Employer of the Year earlier this year. We know we are only as good as our staff, which is why we are proud to support team members like Ryan who have been an incredible addition to the Fitzrovia IT team. 

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