Data Fellowship, apprenticeship, laptop, books, notepad, pen

Apprenticeship update: stage completed

It’s been a while since I wrote a post giving an update on my apprenticeship.

The last one was published at the end of March. At that point, I’d found out that the deadline for my portfolio submission had been scheduled for the middle of May. It meant I had around six weeks remaining to finish up a project on linear regression and get everything ready.

I’d love to be able to tell you that the meeting with my coach and line manager felt like a huge milestone. However, signing off the portfolio, completing the necessary forms and uploading the documents for the assessors was a simple formality that took no more than 15 minutes. After putting so much time and effort into the damn thing over the past few months, the gateway session felt like an anti-climax.

That’s not to say I’m not glad this stage of the Data Fellowship apprenticeship is over, though. I’ve lost count of how many hours I spent looking at my portfolio, and I’ve become sick of hearing the sound of my own voice in my head after spending entire weeks editing. The document ended up consisting of many more pages than I ever expected it to be and quite frankly, I’m happy to be rid of it.

It’s partly the reason why I haven’t been sharing a lot here at Later Levels recently. So much time was spent typing thousands of words on my laptop that it’s been tough to return to my desk for the blog. Other than a post about my experience with Goodbye Volcano High and the trouble caused by a parody game, there’s nothing I’ve felt enthusiastic about creating lately. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve fallen out of love with writing but I’ve certainly had a massive overdose of it.

Streaming has also been difficult. Due to some tight deadlines caused by last-minute changes requested by clients, Pete has been stuck at the workshop trying to make sure these jobs can be delivered on schedule. We did manage to get away for a quick trip to the Birmingham Gaming Market a week or so ago where we had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with several lovely faces. But other than this, he hasn’t been around much since the end of April and it’s been hard finding time to be together.

There’s always the option of streaming on my own, and many of our friends prove it’s possible to happily do it solo. But I’ve been appearing on Twitch with Pete for so long now that it’s just never as much fun when he isn’t there on the sofa next to me. What you see from him during our streams is exactly the same as hanging out with him at home, and the experience wouldn’t be the same without his random songs and constant talk about the next tech gadget he’s going to buy.

On top of my portfolio and Pete’s deadlines, the stepkid began his GCSE exams in May and is about halfway through now. It’s been good to see him take these seriously and put effort into his revision, and he seems to be handling such a stressful period remarkably well. It’s just important that we make sure the focus continues and give him every opportunity he needs to succeed at this stage in life. We won’t find out the results until August but we’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

I guess the point of this post is to explain what’s been happening lately and explain why we haven’t been around much. We’re not disappearing completely, but things are likely to remain quiet over the next few months. I’m currently waiting for the assessors to approve the brief for the final project for my apprenticeship. Once I receive the confirmation, I’ll have eight weeks to finish it (alongside my normal job) before going into the assessment interviews in September.

My workload is also increasing. There are so many meetings and workshops that my calendar is almost entirely blocked out every day now. While I’m still enjoying this Service Management Improvement Lead secondment and am very happy to be back in IT service management (ITSM), the tasks I’m currently looking at are chunky pieces of work which take a lot of planning and collaboration. I’m also very aware that this role only exists until November so I need to be on the lookout for future opportunities.

UK Games Expo, 2022, board games

Until things settle down, there will probably be less activity here from us Later Levels. Pete and I are heading to the UK Games Expo on Friday so there might possibly be something next week about the new board games we’ve picked up. I’ll probably get around to playing some of the demos showcased during the Steam Next Fest in June too. And I’m due to run the ASICS London 10K on Sunday, 09 July 2023 for SpecialEffect, so there could be an update on progress towards that at some point soon.

However, I’m not going to guarantee anything right now. I’ve put too much effort into the blog (and Pete has bought far too much streaming equipment) so there’s no way I’d ever give it or the streams up completely, but they’re going to happen less regularly over the summer while we concentrate on other areas of life. And in a strange way, I’m kind of looking forward to it. It’ll be nice not having to focus on so many things at the same time and start taking each day a little easier.

Hopefully the summer will provide an opportunity for us all to take a little break. Whatever you decide to do with it, have a wonderful time and I’ll see you very soon.

8 thoughts on “Apprenticeship update: stage completed

  1. Amazing work, Kim! I remember when I submitted my portfolio, it was built up as this important day for so long, but then… It’s gone. It’s then out of hand, out of sight! I’m sure you’ll smash the result. Distinctions all round!

    Also, I spy with my little eye, something Pete’s wearing in that picture beginning with Pirate and ending in Music!

    • That’s now the go-to t-shirt. The one I bought him for our first Christmas has now been relegated to ‘DIY top’!

      Thanks for all your help with the portfolio. No doubt I’ll have some more proof-reading ready for you in a couple of months… 😆

  2. 👍🏻top job. The perils of working and managing a creative project on the side, looking forward to see you both on whatever you do.

    • Thanks for the support. Unfortunately, the creative project sometimes needs to take a backseat while you look after life!

  3. Congratulations on the progress! I’m sure we’ll all be here whenever you want to write, it’s all about the balance that’s right for you. 🙂

    • I really appreciate the kind words. We won’t be disappearing completely, just slowing down a little while we focus on other things over the summer. The lovely thing about blogging is that a blog and the community are always there for you. 🙂

  4. Well done Kim for all your hard work with the apprenticeship! I hope that you (and Pete) can get some time together and time to rest and relax. Hope the GCSEs go well for stepkid and the results are ones that make them happy.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.