It's never too late to upskill at RSA

As part of National Apprenticeship week 2024, we caught up with Flora Osei, Security Consultant and Lisa Rankin, People Data and MI Lead. They give us an insight into their apprentice experience at RSA.

From self-taught code and cyber security, to formalised learning with an apprenticeship at RSA. Flora Osei, Security Consultant and Lisa Rankin, People Data and MI Lead demonstrate that it’s never too late to upskill.

Collage image of Flora Osei and Lisa Rankin, who are two of RSA's colleagues undertaking apprenticeships.

There are many avenues and opportunity to upskill at RSA, and #SkillsForLife is what National Apprenticeship week is all about. As an employee at RSA, you could be presented with many opportunities to further your career.

Over to Flora and Lisa…

Why an apprenticeship now? What's informed your decision to upskill?

Flora Osei, Cyber Security Manager said:

"My background has been in communications for the majority of my career. I studied Journalism at University and went on to work different communications roles. So when I moved to cyber, everything I knew was on a self-taught basis.

"Although what I have taught myself was to a good enough level to complete my day job, I wanted to be able to expand the capabilities of my role and be able to move around within cyber. I felt I couldn’t do this without formal training within cyber security.

"Since starting my apprenticeship, I’ve expanded my knowledge enough to apply for an internal role as a Cyber Security Consultant. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that without studying. It’s been a success and I was offered the role at the end of last year!"

Answering the same question, Lisa Rankin, People Data & MI Lead said:

I love learning, I’ve always wanted to do a masters and I really enjoy data. I first started learning to code in my spare time during lockdown and as ‘normal life' resumed, I found I didn’t have as much free time to dedicate to coding. I was keen for a more structured way to learn how to code.

"The Masters programme also offered more than coding. It included other aspects like managing digital change, developing leadership skills, and provided the opportunity to put learnings into practice in my day job. It’s also great that I won’t have loads of debt at the end of it… I’m lucky that RSA have invested in me and my development."

How are apprentices and apprenticeships changing insurance?

Lisa said:

"I think apprenticeships are helping piece together the wider operations and strategic direction of organisations. In my case, I can really see how theoretical topics and new learnings have been put into practice and improved how we do things on an operational level."

Flora said:

"Apprenticeships challenge us to think differently. My apprenticeship is very current in the sense that we look at recent topics rather than basing learning on historic information (although this is useful).

"It feels like it is in line with current trends. To do an apprenticeship after not formally studying for a while also requires you to think differently, and ignite a part of your brain you may not have used in a while."

What has surprised you about your apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you didn’t expect?

Flora said:

"Initially I thought an apprenticeship would feel like I’m back at University. I was expecting lectures and seminars weekly but it’s nothing like that.

"Lectures are held in one-week blocks at different times throughout the duration of the apprenticeship, so it allows you to do both the classroom learning and the apply it at work. This has really helped solidify my understanding of some trickier topics."

Lisa said:

"I’m surprised by how much I’ve grown both personally and professionally. I’ve recently done my end-point assessment and reading over my portfolio really made me realise how far I’ve come over the 2 years – very proud moment!"

How are you managing learning and working your day job?

Lisa said:

"Planning is key! I love to plan and be organised, so I always know when my deadlines are approaching and when I need to carve out dedicated time to study. Planning also includes maximising off the job time to overlap with relevant work topics, like attending lunch and learns and external events.

"I also like putting what I learn into practice and being tactical in topic choices for my data analytics project (dissertation) by making it related to my day job. I’m really fortunate to also have both a supportive team and leader who understand the requirements that come with balancing an apprenticeship and full-time job."

Flora said:

"RSA have been great as I have had every Wednesday away from my day job to focus on all my apprenticeship activities. Whether this is completing coursework, revising, or studying in lecture environments. The split has been so helpful for my learning."

Interested in an apprenticeship?

While RSA offer employees chances to upskill as part of #SkillsForLife, we also have our own apprenticeship scheme. If you're a school or college leaver, or looking for a career change, our programme could be for you.