Meet the apprentice: Rachel Woods, Visit Scotland

Rachel

“A Modern Apprenticeship is a fantastic way to begin a career you’re interested in and has many benefits. It allows you to work, get experience and gives you vital skills and training, while being paid at the same time” – Rachel Woods, Modern Apprentice Business Administration, Visit Scotland

Rachel Woods, who is autistic, has used her incredible attention to detail to help her in her Modern Apprenticeship.

The former North Berwick High School pupil started as a Customer Service Modern Apprentice with VisitScotland. Rachel’s positivity means she simply incorporates her condition into her work.

“In many ways autism has benefitted my work. People with autism are renowned for paying close attention to small details,” Rachel explained.

“When it comes to checking listings on the website, checking map proofs before printing, looking after spreadsheet data and raising purchase orders on our payment system; this aspect of my disability has shown to be very handy,” she said.

North Berwick-based Rachel was keen to learn ‘on the job’. She approached East Lothian Works, a local authority employability service, who suggested she contact VisitScotland.

Starting her apprenticeship was a very exciting time for Rachel. She said: “I was excited, nervous and anxious and I went through a whole range of emotions. I was very determined to make a good impression and to show the people at VisitScotland all the positive things I could bring to the organisation.”

From the outset, Rachel settled in seamlessly. She works in the content team and helps with the production of tourist maps and other products, which improve the overall visitor experience in Scotland.

“A Modern Apprenticeship is a fantastic way to begin a career you’re interested in and has many benefits. It allows you to work, get experience and gives you vital skills and training, while being paid at the same time” Rachel said.

“My parents think this is a perfect opportunity. They are happy I am working with an employer who makes allowances for my disability and gives me the support I need in order to progress.”

Having made such a positive impact, Rachel is now a Customer Experience Executive with VisitScotland.

She said: “Looking back over this past year I’m incredibly proud of myself. Even though I may think and look at the world differently, I am always willing to try my best in everything I do. I’m looking forward to staying with VisitScotland and progressing in a job I love.”

Elaine Baird, Senior Customer Experience Manager, said: “Rachel has made a fabulous contribution to the Customer Experience team since she started, really embracing the role and grabbing every opportunity with enthusiasm and energy.”

Find out what it’s really like to do an apprenticeship from Rachel.

 

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