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Meet the WhiteHat apprenticeship coaches

Who are the WhiteHat apprenticeship coaches?

Digital Marketing Apprentice

Your apprenticeship coach is not quite like a basketball or football coach. They’re more like a mentor, ally and advisor. Unlike other apprenticeship providers, WhiteHat assigns each apprentice a coach who is responsible for creating and delivering engaging training to help you achieve your qualification. Each coach has experience in the field they’re delivering, whether that's digital marketing, software engineering or any other profession WhiteHat provides apprenticeships in. The coaches also have experience in coaching or teaching, so they’re in the perfect position to help you learn and apply that learning to the real world.

There are 41 people (and counting) in the WhiteHat delivery team, including coaches, and people working on learning and progress. As a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Google, I realised that I only knew two digital marketing coaches (Laura and Chichi) and I thought how useful it would be to have a guide to all the coaches, which lets me know which apprentices they coach, and what drew them into becoming WhiteHat coaches in the first place. I also think this would benefit any prospective apprentices, and help them get to know the people who would be coaching them.

I chatted to the coaches about what they do, why they work at WhiteHat and where their passion for developing young people comes from.

Chichi Eruchalu - Digital Marketing Coach

Chichi Eruchalu

Chichi describes herself as creative, passionate and there to make a difference.

Why did you decide to become a WhiteHat coach?

I wanted a hybrid of marketing and coaching. I also loved the WhiteHat mission, which made me want to get involved. I saw that they actually do live out their company values by really valuing you as an individual.

What did you do before joining WhiteHat?

I was doing freelance business coaching and strategy, helping people with their mindset. I also worked at HSBC on a digital project, where I worked on Apple Pay. However I realised I loved project management. It's easier to see something tangible, but it's more challenging to change a mindset - you have to coach people with how and why they think things. I’m a personal development junkie - I enjoy everything from podcasts to courses.

Summarise your WhiteHat experience in three words

Innovative, creative and problem-solving.

Neda Sahebelm - Business Associate Coach

Neda Sahebelm

Neda likes to build people up by empowering and encouraging them. She also describes herself as funny and clever.

What does your average week look like?

I normally do coaching sessions at different sites, give my apprentices feedback and mark their coursework. I deliver training to apprentices at places like WeWork, Warner Bros and Delta Capita.

Why did you become a WhiteHat coach?

I was building an apprentice framework at Fox. I graduated with a business psychology degree, and have been at WhiteHat since February 2018.

What are your opinions about apprenticeships and have they changed since joining WhiteHat?

I’ve always believed that people have different ways of learning and people should have alternative options that are just as good as university. Some people should learn by doing, and for some of those people it’s the only option. Apprenticeships are really shaping what the future world of work will look like. The next generation will understand how things work in practice, not just in theory.

Summarise your WhiteHat experience in three words

Game-changing, impactful and meaningful.

Anna Carlisle, Project Management Coach

Anna Carlisle

Anna is a Project Management coach for Career Builder apprentices - professionals further on in their careers who are upskilling/re-skilling in project management. She is positive, empathetic and very friendly (perfect qualities for an apprentice coach!).

Why did you become a WhiteHat coach?

I used to be a high school history teacher where I really loved teaching and facilitating learning. I found teaching in schools quite rigid as students might not use the learning beyond school so I became interested in practical teaching. After years of working in project management I realise it can be pretty boring when not taught well so you've gotta make it exciting.

What did you do before joining WhiteHat?

I worked at Teach First as a graduate. I started project management by trialling new ways of doing things, so took the opportunity to try and manage any new projects. I then worked in the Civil Service in the Department of Health, recruiting support workers. I’ve worked across the public sector in training and development

What are your opinions about apprenticeships and have they changed since joining WhiteHat?

I joined quite recently, and seeing what WhiteHat is doing by trying to build this community was a huge interest to me as I had never seen it been done before. It’s truly a competitor in terms of social life.

During my parents and grandparents generation, my granddad started working at sixteen in a law firm. By the time he retired, he was a partner in the firm. Over his career people invested in him and trained him. This is now quite rare. So many companies now focus on the graduate workforce. We should work on moving into a society where organisations work on building people up. Apprenticeships are the way forward for doing that, by creating decision makers in the workforce.

Summarise your WhiteHat experience in three words

Energising, people-focused and fresh.

Bernard Mordan, Software Engineering Coach

Bernard Mordan

Bernard is creative, sensitive and fun. He likes to dream up coding challenges and model beautiful things in 3D.

What does your average week look like?

There are two different kinds of weeks: delivery week - spending all day with apprentices (lectures and group work). Then there’s the not delivery week - admin for coaching (video calls, organising things in calendar, meetings with staff to organise delivery).

Why did you become a WhiteHat coach?

I wanted to move jobs to have a little bit more say about the technology that the company uses so I moved into a developer role. I also began to think about what it would be like to have apprentices in your life and the benefits they could bring.

What did you do before joining WhiteHat?

I was a developer at the Home Office, and before that I was at ‘TABLEFLIP (a web company). I then moved to be an IT manager at Evelina Children's Hospital School, where I ran tech workshops with the children.

What are your opinions about apprenticeships and have they changed since joining WhiteHat?

Yes - apprenticeships are an incredibly valuable tool for industry and it's an effective way of learning.  A year and a half is like a ‘ramp’ - a young person develops in an accelerated environment with the input and support around them (learning a skill in the context of an actual profession. It’s more rich than academic study alone.

Summarise your WhiteHat experience in three words

Professional guiding friend.

Eloise Rahman - Functional Skills Executive

Eloise Rahman

Eloise is people-focused, empathetic and idealistic. She has spent time teaching people of all ages, from primary school students to established professionals.

What does your average week look like?

It’s extremely varied as I’m on the learning and progress team, which includes learning, exams and support. I sometimes do a one hour long maths session for our older apprentices, if they don't have the qualifications required to complete the apprenticeship. I also attend supplier meetings with companies like Spill, a therapy app that apprentices have free access to. This is so that WhiteHat can offer better support to our apprentices and have a place to release any worries during the transition into the workplace. Coaches can be a mentor, expert and counsellor all at the same time, so we also look after them too.

What did you do before joining WhiteHat?

I graduated in 2016 with a maths and music degree. I’ve always been very people-focused so joined Teach First Development program where I worked for two years in Eastbourne. Then I taught in London for a while, after which I moved to WhiteHat as I still wanted to work in education.

What are your opinions about apprenticeships and have they changed since joining WhiteHat?

Absolutely. I had no idea about the range of apprenticeships available and the growing community that rivals uni life. The levy makes it so much easier for businesses to make this choice.

Summarise your WhiteHat experience in three words

Mission-driven, varied and inclusive.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the coaches who took the time to speak with me. This has definitely opened my eyes to the wide variety of people working at WhiteHat.

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