2022 is our 20-year company anniversary year, so it’s a great time to get to know some of the people behind the business who have helped shape the business into what it is today.
In today’s blog we catch up with Laura Pettengell, who many of our customers have spoken to as she is often the first point of contact when someone gets in touch to enquire about or book a training course.
Please tell us about your role at Alpha and how long you have worked there.
I started working for Alpha in June 2019 as a Business Administration Apprentice so I’ve been with the company for three years. After finishing my first apprenticeship, I became a Training Coordinator and then decided to start another apprenticeship, this time in HR. I was recently promoted to Customer Support Lead for the Alpha Team.
In my role as Customer Support Lead I primarily deal with customers and also oversee the two Training Coordinators for both the open courses and external courses. I also have my own customer portfolio and am their dedicated point of contact to manage all their training requirements – from booking delegates on to the right courses right through to sending certificates and following up.
Looking back, it’s been such a great learning experience; from starting out just looking after the pre- and post-course paperwork for the trainers to now having my own client base and really having an in-depth insight into the courses we deliver. I’ve also started getting more involved in the sales and business development function within the business and really enjoy speaking to our customers on the phone.
Tell us more about the apprenticeships you have completed.
I’ve now completed a Level 2 Business Administration apprenticeship and a Level 3 HR Administration apprenticeship. Both apprenticeships included 20% off the job learning which would involve completing coursework or having assessments with my Tutor. I learn really well by doing something and the work I was doing at Alpha naturally fitted with what I was learning during the apprenticeship, so for me this was the ideal way to learn and work.
HR is definitely what I would like to do going forward. Everything I’ve done so far has been great stepping stones to get to where I am now.
What was your professional background prior to working at Alpha?
After completing my GCSE’s, I did my first year of A levels as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I started working full time for Domino’s Pizza, initially by answering the phones and cleaning, then progressed to Shift Runner, then Assistant Manager and eventually got promoted to Store Manager. Although it was a very hands-on role, it gave me great experience dealing with people and processes, deadlines, KPI’s and liaising with Head Office.
What do you enjoy the most about working at Alpha?
I really love the variety of my current role – no two days are ever the same.
Another great thing is the support I’ve had from the senior team, and that there are always routes for progression within the business. For example, there’s never been an HR team internally but when I approached the senior team regarding doing the HR apprenticeship they made it happen for me. They’re really good at promoting personal development and are always keen to push people to explore different areas.
What’s your proudest professional achievement during your time at Alpha?
I would say it’s finishing the Level 3 HR Administration Apprenticeship, which is a CIPD accreditation.
It’s also been great to look back to see what I have contributed to the business over the last three years. As an example, I was leading a project on the HR Information Systems which basically involved moving all of our HR admin from spreadsheets onto a dedicated and safe cloud-based software. This has really made our processes and communication channels so much more streamlined.
What do you think sets Alpha apart from other training companies?
I’ve not dealt with other training companies but what I would say is that everyone at Alpha genuinely cares about our customers. Making sure our customers get the best training experience possible is everyone’s top priority, and this is really evident at all levels, from the back office team through to all the trainers.
You can find out more about our story and read other team members’ interviews here.