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One trophy is good, but two are ‘learn’ better: PQ Awards 2024

We are delighted to announce that we won two awards this year for the PQ Magazine Awards 2024.

Kaplan Brand Mark Logo Kaplan · 4 minute read


The similarities between a CEO and an apprentice

Kathy Walton and Iqra Javid

For National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we held a session with a member of Kaplan’s marketing team, Iqra Javid, and Kaplan UK CEO, Kathy Walton. They came together to swap and share their skills and assess the similarities and differences between their job responsibilities, way of working, and work-life balance.

Iqra completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship when she was 17. She now works in the marketing department at Kaplan, at 19 years old, and is training via a higher-level apprenticeship.

Yet, while Iqra is at the start of her career, it was exciting to explore the similarities to someone like Kathy - who is in a much more senior position in the same business.

Let’s take a closer look…

A day in the life

A day in the life for both Kathy and Iqra was similar in the sense that no two days are the same. However, the structure of their day depends on different factors.

For example, Kathy’s role means that she will have responsibilities that work in cycles or occur regularly e.g. the financial and budgeting cycle, leadership meetings, governance meetings etc. This results in sections of her diary being planned way in advance (her diary for December is already pretty full).

Whilst this does mean that, as a CEO, she has certain restrictions on the spontaneity of when she can book time off work, the overarching structure of Kathy’s year allows her to plan her days so that she can react to any unexpected situations that may arise. As well as this, Kathy holds the skills to plan effectively, particularly as she is aware of what her year will look like.

There are similarities with Iqra’s role as an apprentice at Kaplan. She states that no two days are the same, and her work day depends on factors which she will usually be aware of for the upcoming year. For example, Iqra will plan campaigns, strategies, webinars and activities for external events such as National Apprenticeship Week and Enrichment Week. This means that she will be aware of when her days will become busier, and the quieter days in the year.

Both Kathy and Iqra’s day-to-day roles can be impacted by unexpected external factors. Iqra has more flexibility on when she can take time off work as there are no compulsory meetings that can’t be changed.

Ways of working

It’s interesting to see that despite the differences in seniority, both Iqra and Kathy have similar ways of working.

As an apprentice, Iqra has taken on leadership roles while also managing expectations for stakeholders. She will usually adapt to others’ ways of working to ensure a project's successful outcome. Yet, while Iqra is adaptable, she also notes the importance of setting workplace boundaries - helping her to manage expectations.

Iqra has a good working relationship with her apprenticeship tutor and her direct manager and appreciates how her manager is invested in her professional development. Her team’s flexibility and appreciation of maintaining positive mental well-being has helped her to improve her time management skills, and understand the power of saying ‘no’ when necessary - which, in return, stimulates a positive work-life balance and open communication.

Although Kathy is the CEO, her way of working shows striking similarities with Iqra. For example, while Iqra often feels like she needs to adapt her way of working to suit other people, Kathy feels the same. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from other colleagues, and she emphasises how she aims to be as approachable as possible even though she is “the boss”.

Discussing the importance of maintaining boundaries, Kathy highlights that this is so that all parties are protected and space is created when needed. She’s developed the skills of being assertive but respectful throughout her career, yet highlights this is what the apprenticeship is helping to teach Iqra.

One example of a workplace boundary that Kathy sticks to is starting work at 7.30 am every day so that she can get ahead before the day starts to get busy. An early start then allows her to try to walk her dog in the afternoons so that she can reset and refresh before returning to work. This helps her to manage her time and appreciate the aspects of her job role that she enjoys the most.

Generational differences

While the skills swap session revealed many similarities in the skills and job requirements of a CEO and an apprentice, we found that there were distinct generational differences.

Iqra uses much more screen time than Kathy, both in and outside of the workplace. When discussing what they do to take a break from work, Kathy states how she goes outside for fresh air and some time away from the screen. In contrast, Iqra spends a lot of time on social media platforms such as TikTok.

Iqra’s reliance on technology branches out to her way of working in specific cases such as note-taking. While Kathy prefers handwriting notes, Iqra will use her mobile phone to take them.

As a 19-year-old apprentice, a lot of Iqra’s friends study at university and have more free time than she does. Yet, the most enjoyable aspect of her role is the flexibility and ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that she can socialise with her friends without feeling like she’s missing out.

Similarly, Kathy enjoys interacting with people in her job role the most, but specifically highlighted the social aspect of her role when it comes to communicating with clients and external stakeholders, for example. Not only this, but Kathy loves how much she travels for work (when travelling goes to plan) as it gives her time to focus on work-related tasks before meeting face-to-face with colleagues.

Final thoughts

Despite having a wealth of experience behind her, it’s undisputed that the discussion revealed the similarities between Kathy’s skills as a CEO and Iqra’s as an apprentice.

There are generational differences between the two, yet they still hold skills such as adaptability, time management, and communication while working in similar ways but with different approaches - showcasing the development and reliance on technology.

Kathy notes how Iqra’s apprenticeship has allowed her to focus on her skills and professional development, which gives her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. As a result, Iqra can work on boosting her career and skills quicker than if she was without the training and support of an apprenticeship.

Feeling inspired?

Reaching your career or business goals can initially feel overwhelming, but everyone has to start from somewhere. Iqra’s apprenticeship represents the importance of assessing routes which will boost your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can work towards a successful career.

If you are feeling inspired by the positive impact of apprenticeships, browse our current vacancies or read more about how you can speak to your current employer about setting you up on an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer, you can browse through our apprenticeship programmes, which include our successful data and technology apprenticeships that will help upskill your workforce and stay up to date with emerging trends. Get in touch with the team to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a CEO and the importance of apprenticeships, watch our interview with Kathy Walton on our new YouTube web series, Career Goals.

Top rated provider

Upskill and transform your future with role-specific training

Explore apprenticeships

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The similarities between a CEO and an apprentice

Kathy Walton and Iqra Javid

For National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we held a session with a member of Kaplan’s marketing team, Iqra Javid, and Kaplan UK CEO, Kathy Walton. They came together to swap and share their skills and assess the similarities and differences between their job responsibilities, way of working, and work-life balance.

Iqra completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship when she was 17. She now works in the marketing department at Kaplan, at 19 years old, and is training via a higher-level apprenticeship.

Yet, while Iqra is at the start of her career, it was exciting to explore the similarities to someone like Kathy - who is in a much more senior position in the same business.

Let’s take a closer look…

A day in the life

A day in the life for both Kathy and Iqra was similar in the sense that no two days are the same. However, the structure of their day depends on different factors.

For example, Kathy’s role means that she will have responsibilities that work in cycles or occur regularly e.g. the financial and budgeting cycle, leadership meetings, governance meetings etc. This results in sections of her diary being planned way in advance (her diary for December is already pretty full).

Whilst this does mean that, as a CEO, she has certain restrictions on the spontaneity of when she can book time off work, the overarching structure of Kathy’s year allows her to plan her days so that she can react to any unexpected situations that may arise. As well as this, Kathy holds the skills to plan effectively, particularly as she is aware of what her year will look like.

There are similarities with Iqra’s role as an apprentice at Kaplan. She states that no two days are the same, and her work day depends on factors which she will usually be aware of for the upcoming year. For example, Iqra will plan campaigns, strategies, webinars and activities for external events such as National Apprenticeship Week and Enrichment Week. This means that she will be aware of when her days will become busier, and the quieter days in the year.

Both Kathy and Iqra’s day-to-day roles can be impacted by unexpected external factors. Iqra has more flexibility on when she can take time off work as there are no compulsory meetings that can’t be changed.

Ways of working

It’s interesting to see that despite the differences in seniority, both Iqra and Kathy have similar ways of working.

As an apprentice, Iqra has taken on leadership roles while also managing expectations for stakeholders. She will usually adapt to others’ ways of working to ensure a project's successful outcome. Yet, while Iqra is adaptable, she also notes the importance of setting workplace boundaries - helping her to manage expectations.

Iqra has a good working relationship with her apprenticeship tutor and her direct manager and appreciates how her manager is invested in her professional development. Her team’s flexibility and appreciation of maintaining positive mental well-being has helped her to improve her time management skills, and understand the power of saying ‘no’ when necessary - which, in return, stimulates a positive work-life balance and open communication.

Although Kathy is the CEO, her way of working shows striking similarities with Iqra. For example, while Iqra often feels like she needs to adapt her way of working to suit other people, Kathy feels the same. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from other colleagues, and she emphasises how she aims to be as approachable as possible even though she is “the boss”.

Discussing the importance of maintaining boundaries, Kathy highlights that this is so that all parties are protected and space is created when needed. She’s developed the skills of being assertive but respectful throughout her career, yet highlights this is what the apprenticeship is helping to teach Iqra.

One example of a workplace boundary that Kathy sticks to is starting work at 7.30 am every day so that she can get ahead before the day starts to get busy. An early start then allows her to try to walk her dog in the afternoons so that she can reset and refresh before returning to work. This helps her to manage her time and appreciate the aspects of her job role that she enjoys the most.

Generational differences

While the skills swap session revealed many similarities in the skills and job requirements of a CEO and an apprentice, we found that there were distinct generational differences.

Iqra uses much more screen time than Kathy, both in and outside of the workplace. When discussing what they do to take a break from work, Kathy states how she goes outside for fresh air and some time away from the screen. In contrast, Iqra spends a lot of time on social media platforms such as TikTok.

Iqra’s reliance on technology branches out to her way of working in specific cases such as note-taking. While Kathy prefers handwriting notes, Iqra will use her mobile phone to take them.

As a 19-year-old apprentice, a lot of Iqra’s friends study at university and have more free time than she does. Yet, the most enjoyable aspect of her role is the flexibility and ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that she can socialise with her friends without feeling like she’s missing out.

Similarly, Kathy enjoys interacting with people in her job role the most, but specifically highlighted the social aspect of her role when it comes to communicating with clients and external stakeholders, for example. Not only this, but Kathy loves how much she travels for work (when travelling goes to plan) as it gives her time to focus on work-related tasks before meeting face-to-face with colleagues.

Final thoughts

Despite having a wealth of experience behind her, it’s undisputed that the discussion revealed the similarities between Kathy’s skills as a CEO and Iqra’s as an apprentice.

There are generational differences between the two, yet they still hold skills such as adaptability, time management, and communication while working in similar ways but with different approaches - showcasing the development and reliance on technology.

Kathy notes how Iqra’s apprenticeship has allowed her to focus on her skills and professional development, which gives her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. As a result, Iqra can work on boosting her career and skills quicker than if she was without the training and support of an apprenticeship.

Feeling inspired?

Reaching your career or business goals can initially feel overwhelming, but everyone has to start from somewhere. Iqra’s apprenticeship represents the importance of assessing routes which will boost your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can work towards a successful career.

If you are feeling inspired by the positive impact of apprenticeships, browse our current vacancies or read more about how you can speak to your current employer about setting you up on an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer, you can browse through our apprenticeship programmes, which include our successful data and technology apprenticeships that will help upskill your workforce and stay up to date with emerging trends. Get in touch with the team to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a CEO and the importance of apprenticeships, watch our interview with Kathy Walton on our new YouTube web series, Career Goals.

Top rated provider

Upskill and transform your future with role-specific training

Explore apprenticeships

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The similarities between a CEO and an apprentice

Kathy Walton and Iqra Javid

For National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we held a session with a member of Kaplan’s marketing team, Iqra Javid, and Kaplan UK CEO, Kathy Walton. They came together to swap and share their skills and assess the similarities and differences between their job responsibilities, way of working, and work-life balance.

Iqra completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship when she was 17. She now works in the marketing department at Kaplan, at 19 years old, and is training via a higher-level apprenticeship.

Yet, while Iqra is at the start of her career, it was exciting to explore the similarities to someone like Kathy - who is in a much more senior position in the same business.

Let’s take a closer look…

A day in the life

A day in the life for both Kathy and Iqra was similar in the sense that no two days are the same. However, the structure of their day depends on different factors.

For example, Kathy’s role means that she will have responsibilities that work in cycles or occur regularly e.g. the financial and budgeting cycle, leadership meetings, governance meetings etc. This results in sections of her diary being planned way in advance (her diary for December is already pretty full).

Whilst this does mean that, as a CEO, she has certain restrictions on the spontaneity of when she can book time off work, the overarching structure of Kathy’s year allows her to plan her days so that she can react to any unexpected situations that may arise. As well as this, Kathy holds the skills to plan effectively, particularly as she is aware of what her year will look like.

There are similarities with Iqra’s role as an apprentice at Kaplan. She states that no two days are the same, and her work day depends on factors which she will usually be aware of for the upcoming year. For example, Iqra will plan campaigns, strategies, webinars and activities for external events such as National Apprenticeship Week and Enrichment Week. This means that she will be aware of when her days will become busier, and the quieter days in the year.

Both Kathy and Iqra’s day-to-day roles can be impacted by unexpected external factors. Iqra has more flexibility on when she can take time off work as there are no compulsory meetings that can’t be changed.

Ways of working

It’s interesting to see that despite the differences in seniority, both Iqra and Kathy have similar ways of working.

As an apprentice, Iqra has taken on leadership roles while also managing expectations for stakeholders. She will usually adapt to others’ ways of working to ensure a project's successful outcome. Yet, while Iqra is adaptable, she also notes the importance of setting workplace boundaries - helping her to manage expectations.

Iqra has a good working relationship with her apprenticeship tutor and her direct manager and appreciates how her manager is invested in her professional development. Her team’s flexibility and appreciation of maintaining positive mental well-being has helped her to improve her time management skills, and understand the power of saying ‘no’ when necessary - which, in return, stimulates a positive work-life balance and open communication.

Although Kathy is the CEO, her way of working shows striking similarities with Iqra. For example, while Iqra often feels like she needs to adapt her way of working to suit other people, Kathy feels the same. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from other colleagues, and she emphasises how she aims to be as approachable as possible even though she is “the boss”.

Discussing the importance of maintaining boundaries, Kathy highlights that this is so that all parties are protected and space is created when needed. She’s developed the skills of being assertive but respectful throughout her career, yet highlights this is what the apprenticeship is helping to teach Iqra.

One example of a workplace boundary that Kathy sticks to is starting work at 7.30 am every day so that she can get ahead before the day starts to get busy. An early start then allows her to try to walk her dog in the afternoons so that she can reset and refresh before returning to work. This helps her to manage her time and appreciate the aspects of her job role that she enjoys the most.

Generational differences

While the skills swap session revealed many similarities in the skills and job requirements of a CEO and an apprentice, we found that there were distinct generational differences.

Iqra uses much more screen time than Kathy, both in and outside of the workplace. When discussing what they do to take a break from work, Kathy states how she goes outside for fresh air and some time away from the screen. In contrast, Iqra spends a lot of time on social media platforms such as TikTok.

Iqra’s reliance on technology branches out to her way of working in specific cases such as note-taking. While Kathy prefers handwriting notes, Iqra will use her mobile phone to take them.

As a 19-year-old apprentice, a lot of Iqra’s friends study at university and have more free time than she does. Yet, the most enjoyable aspect of her role is the flexibility and ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that she can socialise with her friends without feeling like she’s missing out.

Similarly, Kathy enjoys interacting with people in her job role the most, but specifically highlighted the social aspect of her role when it comes to communicating with clients and external stakeholders, for example. Not only this, but Kathy loves how much she travels for work (when travelling goes to plan) as it gives her time to focus on work-related tasks before meeting face-to-face with colleagues.

Final thoughts

Despite having a wealth of experience behind her, it’s undisputed that the discussion revealed the similarities between Kathy’s skills as a CEO and Iqra’s as an apprentice.

There are generational differences between the two, yet they still hold skills such as adaptability, time management, and communication while working in similar ways but with different approaches - showcasing the development and reliance on technology.

Kathy notes how Iqra’s apprenticeship has allowed her to focus on her skills and professional development, which gives her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. As a result, Iqra can work on boosting her career and skills quicker than if she was without the training and support of an apprenticeship.

Feeling inspired?

Reaching your career or business goals can initially feel overwhelming, but everyone has to start from somewhere. Iqra’s apprenticeship represents the importance of assessing routes which will boost your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can work towards a successful career.

If you are feeling inspired by the positive impact of apprenticeships, browse our current vacancies or read more about how you can speak to your current employer about setting you up on an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer, you can browse through our apprenticeship programmes, which include our successful data and technology apprenticeships that will help upskill your workforce and stay up to date with emerging trends. Get in touch with the team to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a CEO and the importance of apprenticeships, watch our interview with Kathy Walton on our new YouTube web series, Career Goals.

Top rated provider

Upskill and transform your future with role-specific training

Explore apprenticeships

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Transformations

View all

The similarities between a CEO and an apprentice

Kathy Walton and Iqra Javid

For National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we held a session with a member of Kaplan’s marketing team, Iqra Javid, and Kaplan UK CEO, Kathy Walton. They came together to swap and share their skills and assess the similarities and differences between their job responsibilities, way of working, and work-life balance.

Iqra completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship when she was 17. She now works in the marketing department at Kaplan, at 19 years old, and is training via a higher-level apprenticeship.

Yet, while Iqra is at the start of her career, it was exciting to explore the similarities to someone like Kathy - who is in a much more senior position in the same business.

Let’s take a closer look…

A day in the life

A day in the life for both Kathy and Iqra was similar in the sense that no two days are the same. However, the structure of their day depends on different factors.

For example, Kathy’s role means that she will have responsibilities that work in cycles or occur regularly e.g. the financial and budgeting cycle, leadership meetings, governance meetings etc. This results in sections of her diary being planned way in advance (her diary for December is already pretty full).

Whilst this does mean that, as a CEO, she has certain restrictions on the spontaneity of when she can book time off work, the overarching structure of Kathy’s year allows her to plan her days so that she can react to any unexpected situations that may arise. As well as this, Kathy holds the skills to plan effectively, particularly as she is aware of what her year will look like.

There are similarities with Iqra’s role as an apprentice at Kaplan. She states that no two days are the same, and her work day depends on factors which she will usually be aware of for the upcoming year. For example, Iqra will plan campaigns, strategies, webinars and activities for external events such as National Apprenticeship Week and Enrichment Week. This means that she will be aware of when her days will become busier, and the quieter days in the year.

Both Kathy and Iqra’s day-to-day roles can be impacted by unexpected external factors. Iqra has more flexibility on when she can take time off work as there are no compulsory meetings that can’t be changed.

Ways of working

It’s interesting to see that despite the differences in seniority, both Iqra and Kathy have similar ways of working.

As an apprentice, Iqra has taken on leadership roles while also managing expectations for stakeholders. She will usually adapt to others’ ways of working to ensure a project's successful outcome. Yet, while Iqra is adaptable, she also notes the importance of setting workplace boundaries - helping her to manage expectations.

Iqra has a good working relationship with her apprenticeship tutor and her direct manager and appreciates how her manager is invested in her professional development. Her team’s flexibility and appreciation of maintaining positive mental well-being has helped her to improve her time management skills, and understand the power of saying ‘no’ when necessary - which, in return, stimulates a positive work-life balance and open communication.

Although Kathy is the CEO, her way of working shows striking similarities with Iqra. For example, while Iqra often feels like she needs to adapt her way of working to suit other people, Kathy feels the same. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from other colleagues, and she emphasises how she aims to be as approachable as possible even though she is “the boss”.

Discussing the importance of maintaining boundaries, Kathy highlights that this is so that all parties are protected and space is created when needed. She’s developed the skills of being assertive but respectful throughout her career, yet highlights this is what the apprenticeship is helping to teach Iqra.

One example of a workplace boundary that Kathy sticks to is starting work at 7.30 am every day so that she can get ahead before the day starts to get busy. An early start then allows her to try to walk her dog in the afternoons so that she can reset and refresh before returning to work. This helps her to manage her time and appreciate the aspects of her job role that she enjoys the most.

Generational differences

While the skills swap session revealed many similarities in the skills and job requirements of a CEO and an apprentice, we found that there were distinct generational differences.

Iqra uses much more screen time than Kathy, both in and outside of the workplace. When discussing what they do to take a break from work, Kathy states how she goes outside for fresh air and some time away from the screen. In contrast, Iqra spends a lot of time on social media platforms such as TikTok.

Iqra’s reliance on technology branches out to her way of working in specific cases such as note-taking. While Kathy prefers handwriting notes, Iqra will use her mobile phone to take them.

As a 19-year-old apprentice, a lot of Iqra’s friends study at university and have more free time than she does. Yet, the most enjoyable aspect of her role is the flexibility and ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that she can socialise with her friends without feeling like she’s missing out.

Similarly, Kathy enjoys interacting with people in her job role the most, but specifically highlighted the social aspect of her role when it comes to communicating with clients and external stakeholders, for example. Not only this, but Kathy loves how much she travels for work (when travelling goes to plan) as it gives her time to focus on work-related tasks before meeting face-to-face with colleagues.

Final thoughts

Despite having a wealth of experience behind her, it’s undisputed that the discussion revealed the similarities between Kathy’s skills as a CEO and Iqra’s as an apprentice.

There are generational differences between the two, yet they still hold skills such as adaptability, time management, and communication while working in similar ways but with different approaches - showcasing the development and reliance on technology.

Kathy notes how Iqra’s apprenticeship has allowed her to focus on her skills and professional development, which gives her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. As a result, Iqra can work on boosting her career and skills quicker than if she was without the training and support of an apprenticeship.

Feeling inspired?

Reaching your career or business goals can initially feel overwhelming, but everyone has to start from somewhere. Iqra’s apprenticeship represents the importance of assessing routes which will boost your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can work towards a successful career.

If you are feeling inspired by the positive impact of apprenticeships, browse our current vacancies or read more about how you can speak to your current employer about setting you up on an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer, you can browse through our apprenticeship programmes, which include our successful data and technology apprenticeships that will help upskill your workforce and stay up to date with emerging trends. Get in touch with the team to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a CEO and the importance of apprenticeships, watch our interview with Kathy Walton on our new YouTube web series, Career Goals.

Top rated provider

Upskill and transform your future with role-specific training

Explore apprenticeships

Related articles

C.I.KNOW: Developing new talent leads to award nominations

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Kaplan · 6 minute read

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Guest author, Sharon McDougall, explains what presenteeism is and how this can hinder your business.

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Both PowerBI and Excel are data visualisation tools, but there are some differences. Let’s take a closer look…

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The similarities between a CEO and an apprentice

Kathy Walton and Iqra Javid

For National Apprenticeship Week 2024, we held a session with a member of Kaplan’s marketing team, Iqra Javid, and Kaplan UK CEO, Kathy Walton. They came together to swap and share their skills and assess the similarities and differences between their job responsibilities, way of working, and work-life balance.

Iqra completed a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship when she was 17. She now works in the marketing department at Kaplan, at 19 years old, and is training via a higher-level apprenticeship.

Yet, while Iqra is at the start of her career, it was exciting to explore the similarities to someone like Kathy - who is in a much more senior position in the same business.

Let’s take a closer look…

A day in the life

A day in the life for both Kathy and Iqra was similar in the sense that no two days are the same. However, the structure of their day depends on different factors.

For example, Kathy’s role means that she will have responsibilities that work in cycles or occur regularly e.g. the financial and budgeting cycle, leadership meetings, governance meetings etc. This results in sections of her diary being planned way in advance (her diary for December is already pretty full).

Whilst this does mean that, as a CEO, she has certain restrictions on the spontaneity of when she can book time off work, the overarching structure of Kathy’s year allows her to plan her days so that she can react to any unexpected situations that may arise. As well as this, Kathy holds the skills to plan effectively, particularly as she is aware of what her year will look like.

There are similarities with Iqra’s role as an apprentice at Kaplan. She states that no two days are the same, and her work day depends on factors which she will usually be aware of for the upcoming year. For example, Iqra will plan campaigns, strategies, webinars and activities for external events such as National Apprenticeship Week and Enrichment Week. This means that she will be aware of when her days will become busier, and the quieter days in the year.

Both Kathy and Iqra’s day-to-day roles can be impacted by unexpected external factors. Iqra has more flexibility on when she can take time off work as there are no compulsory meetings that can’t be changed.

Ways of working

It’s interesting to see that despite the differences in seniority, both Iqra and Kathy have similar ways of working.

As an apprentice, Iqra has taken on leadership roles while also managing expectations for stakeholders. She will usually adapt to others’ ways of working to ensure a project's successful outcome. Yet, while Iqra is adaptable, she also notes the importance of setting workplace boundaries - helping her to manage expectations.

Iqra has a good working relationship with her apprenticeship tutor and her direct manager and appreciates how her manager is invested in her professional development. Her team’s flexibility and appreciation of maintaining positive mental well-being has helped her to improve her time management skills, and understand the power of saying ‘no’ when necessary - which, in return, stimulates a positive work-life balance and open communication.

Although Kathy is the CEO, her way of working shows striking similarities with Iqra. For example, while Iqra often feels like she needs to adapt her way of working to suit other people, Kathy feels the same. She doesn’t want to be treated any differently from other colleagues, and she emphasises how she aims to be as approachable as possible even though she is “the boss”.

Discussing the importance of maintaining boundaries, Kathy highlights that this is so that all parties are protected and space is created when needed. She’s developed the skills of being assertive but respectful throughout her career, yet highlights this is what the apprenticeship is helping to teach Iqra.

One example of a workplace boundary that Kathy sticks to is starting work at 7.30 am every day so that she can get ahead before the day starts to get busy. An early start then allows her to try to walk her dog in the afternoons so that she can reset and refresh before returning to work. This helps her to manage her time and appreciate the aspects of her job role that she enjoys the most.

Generational differences

While the skills swap session revealed many similarities in the skills and job requirements of a CEO and an apprentice, we found that there were distinct generational differences.

Iqra uses much more screen time than Kathy, both in and outside of the workplace. When discussing what they do to take a break from work, Kathy states how she goes outside for fresh air and some time away from the screen. In contrast, Iqra spends a lot of time on social media platforms such as TikTok.

Iqra’s reliance on technology branches out to her way of working in specific cases such as note-taking. While Kathy prefers handwriting notes, Iqra will use her mobile phone to take them.

As a 19-year-old apprentice, a lot of Iqra’s friends study at university and have more free time than she does. Yet, the most enjoyable aspect of her role is the flexibility and ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance so that she can socialise with her friends without feeling like she’s missing out.

Similarly, Kathy enjoys interacting with people in her job role the most, but specifically highlighted the social aspect of her role when it comes to communicating with clients and external stakeholders, for example. Not only this, but Kathy loves how much she travels for work (when travelling goes to plan) as it gives her time to focus on work-related tasks before meeting face-to-face with colleagues.

Final thoughts

Despite having a wealth of experience behind her, it’s undisputed that the discussion revealed the similarities between Kathy’s skills as a CEO and Iqra’s as an apprentice.

There are generational differences between the two, yet they still hold skills such as adaptability, time management, and communication while working in similar ways but with different approaches - showcasing the development and reliance on technology.

Kathy notes how Iqra’s apprenticeship has allowed her to focus on her skills and professional development, which gives her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. As a result, Iqra can work on boosting her career and skills quicker than if she was without the training and support of an apprenticeship.

Feeling inspired?

Reaching your career or business goals can initially feel overwhelming, but everyone has to start from somewhere. Iqra’s apprenticeship represents the importance of assessing routes which will boost your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can work towards a successful career.

If you are feeling inspired by the positive impact of apprenticeships, browse our current vacancies or read more about how you can speak to your current employer about setting you up on an apprenticeship.

If you are an employer, you can browse through our apprenticeship programmes, which include our successful data and technology apprenticeships that will help upskill your workforce and stay up to date with emerging trends. Get in touch with the team to find out more.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a CEO and the importance of apprenticeships, watch our interview with Kathy Walton on our new YouTube web series, Career Goals.

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