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From apprenticeship to branch manager: Samantha Nice’s career journey

18 Mar

At Travis Perkins, we pride ourselves on providing clear career pathways and encouraging colleagues to develop and progress within the company. Whether that’s through our focused approach to career development on the job or structured LEAP apprenticeship schemes, there are plenty of ways to take your career further with us.

Samantha Nice is one example of the potential of internal progression within the group. She joined us straight out of school and is now working as a Branch Manager at Acre Road Travis Perkins. She spoke to us about how she’s moved through the business and developed her career at the same time:

Career journey from apprentice

“Travis Perkins was my first job and I haven’t looked back”

Like many who school leavers, Samantha wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she finished sixth form. She saw apprenticeships being offered at Travis Perkins and applied for both the management apprenticeship and IT apprenticeship scheme, and was offered the former. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Within 18 months of my apprenticeship I was an Assistant Manager”

Although Samantha’s apprenticeship was a two-year programme, she advanced to the role of Assistant Manager within just a year and a half. Working at six different branches under a range of managers, each with a different leadership style, Samantha was exposed to a broad spectrum of management techniques.

Placements within CCS and City Plumbing, plus modules that included undertaking counter sales, working with drivers and administration tasks, meant Samantha got a big picture of the Travis Perkins group and all the elements that would make up a management position within the company.

“The business was really supportive of my learning as an apprentice”

Samantha puts her rapid progression at Travis Perkins down to two things: Her dedicated, hands-on approach to work, and her managers’ support of her learning and development.

“I like to get my hands dirty and if I don’t know something, I’ll get stuck in,” says Samantha. This can-do attitude saw her work as an Assistant Manager at our Camberley branch as well as in Reading before taking up her first Branch Manager role in Woodley, where she helped the team to achieve a record year of sales. Next Samantha wanted to try something new, so took up an opportunity to manage the Heathrow branch before deciding to work closer to home, which saw her shift to Acre Road. She’s been running this branch with great success for the past 18 months.

“My Regional Director really believes in me and has been a great support”

The step up to Branch Manager felt natural, says Samantha, though she was aware she was taking on more of a leadership role with all new challenges. This was made easier thanks to support from her Regional Director, Dan Collins, as well as the various teams she has worked with along the way.

“I’m now doing the Level 5 LEAP apprenticeship”

Travis Perkins’s apprenticeships aren’t only to support people taking their first career steps, they’re also designed to develop careers along the way. Samantha is currently undertaking the level five LEAP apprenticeship which focuses largely on leadership.

Currently in the last three months of the programme, Samantha has learnt different leadership techniques to help her handle the variety of situations that can emerge every day in the branch. She was put forward for the apprenticeship by her Regional Director and says she feels great support from him and other branch managers.

“I’d like to be Regional Director one day – that's the plan”

Determined to keep learning and progressing, Samantha is keen to take her leadership learnings and aim for a role as a Regional Director one day. In the meantime, she’s loving being a Branch Manager, saying the company is a great one to work for where every team member feels like an individual, not a number.

With a strong team that helped to achieve a record year in 2019, Samantha is happy in her branch and loves seeing other people succeed.

“Every day is a new challenge. I don’t like being bored, and I’m never bored here.”

Interested in becoming a Branch Manager at Travis Perkins? With a range of businesses under our group umbrella, there are plenty of opportunities for you to choose from. View our branch, store and showroom jobs here to get started.

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