Interview with Melissa Craig – Employer Liaison Administrator with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Dundee and Angus

Melissa Craig is the Employer Liaison Administrator with the Developing the Young Workforce team Dundee & Angus.  We interviewed Melissa to show one persons journey to a career in Administration.

What made you want a career in the Administration sector?

I decided on a career in the administration sector as I was a young mum with a young child and the set hours really appealed to me.  I wanted to be a role model for my child and felt that this type of post would allow me to do this and would give me the variety that I like in a role.

What pathway did you take to get your job?

I took a typical pathway for this job – I had an interview at the College and was accepted onto a course to do a NC in Administration and IT in Forfar (where I live).  I worked part-time whilst studying – working and studying in Forfar worked really well for me as my child was really young at that point.  I passed my course with extra credits and continued onto the HNC.  I then went on to do my HND – I was given the incentive of spending two weeks’ doing work experience in Florence as part of the course!  I worked part-time throughout my time at college.

I went on to an Administration job in an electrical engineering company within the oil and gas sector.  After gaining experience in this post, I moved onto Dundee & Angus College and worked in the library there.  As this was a maternity cover post, I then applied for a part time permanent post within the External Relations Group there.  This had lots of exciting work – booking international travel and project work.  As time passed, I began to look for a full time post.  I applied for the DYW Administrator position and was successful.

What subjects did you take in school/recommend you take?

For this type of post, I would say that you should take English, Maths and Administration at school, but don’t worry as you can gain all the other qualifications you need through College.

What would you say is one of the best things about working in your sector?

The best thing about working in this sector is that every day is different.  One day I can be sitting at a computer, answering the phone and the next day I can be out managing an event that I organised.  I’m really lucky, I get to meet and work with lots of different people at different levels in organisations.

What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about entering a career in the sector?

My advice to a young person thinking about a career in this sector would be don’t worry if you don’t get the qualifications you need at school, there are other ways to progress – for example apprenticeships and College.  There are always opportunities as you learn other skills on the job.

What does a normal working day look like for you?

My working day is great – it’s really varied.  When I first come in, I check the shared mailbox, website and social media platforms.  I keep the team up to date with any plans, activity or relevant news from our partners.  I plan what job adverts we will share and check the digital communications plan to post across all digital platforms.  I prepare myself and our senior manager for meetings and oversee diary management for the team.  I share and retweet relevant info on our platforms and deal with all filing and paperwork.  I work with the team to discuss upcoming projects, my input to these, and implement part of the overall team planning.

What skills would you say are needed for a job in this industry?

I think there are some skills that are really important for this industry – you need to be patient, empathetic, have excellent customer service skills, be able to prioritise and have a good telephone manner.  I think the three most important skills are good organisational skills, excellent interpersonal skills and a smiley manner!

What skills have you learned?

I have learned many new skills during my working life –  my confidence has grown hugely!  I have learned how to use many digital skills – I am a regular user of many different digital platforms and share all of our DYW news to our partners on these.  I have worked with specialist CRM systems and become very adept with these – leading to more confidence in my IT skills.  I can now work with people of all different levels in an organisation – from entry level through to executive.

Future aspirations for you career?

The next step for me is to finish my degree – I’m currently studying for my BA in Business Management in my spare time!

If anyone was thinking of a career in Admin, I would say to go for it!  Just remember that you don’t need to get all your qualifications in one go, there are lots of pathways to get to the job you want.  No two jobs are the same and the sector is always evolving – that’s why I love it!

Get Involved

If you are an employer who would like to showcase your outstanding apprentices, promote your apprentice opportunities and raise the profile of your sector, then please get in touch with our DYW Dundee & Angus Team for more information. We would be delighted to hear from you! You can contact the team on 01382 443409 or at contact@dywda.co.uk.