Kimberley Bolton, apprentice and ambassador for Microsoft

admin / 26th May, 2016 / Success Stories


Q:What made you decide that uni wasn’t for you?


Throughout my time at school, I always knew uni wasn’t for me. The thought of being the first in my family to go excited me, but the thought of being able to pay my way by myself excited me more. I enjoy being around my family, including many cats and couldn’t imagine not being around to support them.

To be in a large amount of debt and give up years of my life at uni, as I saw it, did not interest me.

Q:What support did you have from your school/college in deciding what to do?


Throughout my school years, I achieved good grades and always had the impression my teachers wanted me to go to University. As I worked at a good rate and was predicted good grades I didn’t actually get a chance to speak to a careers advisor.

When speaking to the job centre they actually pushed me into starting work rather than getting an apprenticeship which is something I want to change!

Q:Did you always know you wanted to do something IT based?


Career wise, no. Hobby wise, yes. Interestingly I had no idea I wanted to go into a career in IT until I started researching apprenticeships!
Once I began researching I was drawn into an ever-changing sector with huge possibilities with well-known companies.

Q:How did you find out about the apprenticeship, and what was the application process like?


I originally heard about apprenticeships on the radio and found my apprenticeship via the national apprenticeship website.

The application process was simple and quick! I had a phone interview with a recruiter from ITSkillsMan who prepped me for a face-to-face meeting then before I knew it, I had been employed

Q:How long did the apprenticeship last? What qualifications did you get out of it?


My apprenticeship lasted 12 months and I received the below from it:

Advanced Level Apprenticeship in IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals:

  • Level 3 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
  • Level 3 Certificate in ICT Systems and Principals
  • MTA: Security Development Fundamentals
  • MTA: Networking Fundamentals
  • MTA: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals
  • Level 2 Award in Functional Skills Information Communications Technology

Q:How has the apprenticeship helped you get further in your career?


My apprenticeship gave me a ‘foot in the door’ to a Microsoft Gold Partner, allowing me to build up skills in the IT sector, build connections and learn some amazing skills. I have now progressed my role to a new Microsoft partner called K3 CRM and believe I have come on leaps and bounds.

After being the first female to win Microsoft Apprentice of the year I was contacted by Microsoft to become an Apprenticeship Ambassador and I am now the Women in Tech Events Lead. Doing this in my free time has meant I have the chance to promote something amazing close to my heart and help other youngsters reach high potentials.

All this from that one decision to start looking for an apprenticeship






“I was drawn into an ever-changing sector & huge possibilities with well-known companies”

Q:Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?


In 10 years’ time I hope to have progressed in my full-time career and moved onto become a Consultant, heading out to customers, building requirements and systems, and managing accounts.

I would also love for my Apprenticeship Ambassador to still be going, hopefully progressing into something bigger so I can get more involved in driving a change for Women in IT.

Q:What advice do you have for someone considering an alternative to university?


I would always say think about what YOU want, not anyone else. If University doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to go. There are many options out there and research is important. From my experience speaking to someone on a programme or job role you’re considering going into is always useful.

There are many companies and charities out there designed to help people explore their options, so use them!

I would always say think about what YOU want, not anyone else. If university doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to go.


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