Insights Stepping to success: Sophie's story
14 June 2017

Stepping to success: Sophie's story

Sophie Mansell

Sophie Mansell, 22, had been out of work for almost two years when she heard about Seetec’s customer service traineeship programme. She’d had no luck finding a job in this time and was keen to add recent work experience to her CV. The 10-week traineeship included a work placement as well as the chance to gain a valuable qualification in customer service, and Sophie saw this as an opportunity to get her foot in the door within the retail or hospitality industries.

The first four weeks of Sophie’s traineeship programme were spent getting to know the other trainees and completing pre-employment classroom training to prepare her for her work placement. Sophie said,

“Meeting new people right from the start really gave me confidence and helped me overcome my anxiety. We learned how to communicate effectively with many different types of customers and to respond to different sorts of questions – I couldn’t wait to put what I’d learned into practice!”

Soon Sophie was ready to begin her five-week work placement at a busy high street retail outlet. The store manager and supervisors showed her how to perform a variety of tasks to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the branch. She learned about security tagging and stock management while assisting customers and responding to queries.

Over the five-week placement Sophie found that her communication skills improved as her confidence in her abilities grew and she started to feel more at ease in a customer service role. Her manager was impressed both by her helpful manner and her positive attitude to work. Sophie said,

“I was a bit apprehensive at the start of the traineeship as I had no idea who I’d meet on the course or on my work placement. I’m so glad I stuck with it – I’ve met some great people and learned so many new skills that I’ll be able to use in the future.”

Sophie’s traineeship tutor, Michelle, was delighted with the progress she made during her time on the programme. She said,

“It was amazing to watch her grow as a person. When Sophie started she was incredibly timid and hardly spoke to anyone. By the end of the course her confidence had grown so much and she was ready to face the world!”

Shortly after completing her traineeship Sophie managed to secure employment at another busy high street store in Rayleigh. She was thrilled at how far she’d come in such a short space of time and said,

“I’d recommend this traineeship to anyone who needs a boost to their CV and their confidence. I’ve learned something new every day, and found a job I really enjoy. I’d like to continue working within retail – I love books and animals too so could look at working in different types of stores in the future. Anything’s possible!”

Seetec’s customer service traineeship programme is suitable for anyone aged 16-24 who’s looking to gain work experience, build their skills and progress into employment or an apprenticeship within the retail or hospitality industries. To find out more please get in touch.