IT’S unusual to get the first job that you ever attend an interview for – but that is exactly what happened to Dylan.

Dylan’s college closed because of Covid-19, but, fortunately, he had completed all his assignments for his IT & Business course, so was able to qualify. He was unsure if he wanted to go on to study at university, or to go straight into work, so he started by applying for as many jobs as he could.

A family friend who works with Darlington Building Society saw the advertisement for Customer Service Assistant Apprentices, and thought it was something that would suit Dylan.

Although he was unsure what the job would entail, he applied and was invited to an assessment day…and his first-ever interview.

“I admitted, straight away, that this was my very first job interview and I was quite nervous,” says Dylan, “and once I’d said that, I felt more relaxed.”

He also found out that the job entailed more face-to-face with customers than he’d thought, and which he was pleased about. Dylan was delighted when he was offered a place on the Apprenticeship.

Along with seven other new apprentices, he spent the first week at Head Office, learning about banking protocols and basic systems, then had a day in one of the branches, followed by another week at Head Office. After that, they each started work behind the counter at their own branches.

Dylan is at the Middlesbrough branch, and is part of a small team of six who all get on very well together. They also have ‘Rovers’ – Customer Service Consultants who come in from time to time to help out as needed.

Being on the front desk, he is meeting customers every day, and getting to know the regulars.

“It’s nice having the chance to talk to the customers, and find out about their lives, and how their day is going,” Dylan says. “You build a bond with them. They learn your name and chat with you when they come in. I like seeing them and making sure they’re alright – especially at this time.”

Although he is talking to customers every day, Dylan admits that he misses meeting up with the other apprentices, who he would be seeing at the fortnightly college day-release, if it wasn’t for Covid-19.

“We all got on really well when we started, so we keep in touch by meeting regularly online, where we can chat and share experiences of the job,” says Dylan.

He is enjoying working for the Society, and he says that he would be interested in following an IT path with Darlington Building Society in the future.

“There are good opportunities within the company, so I’m hoping that, because of my IT & Business qualification, there might be a chance to work in the IT department at Head Office some day.”

Nicola Donaghue, manager of the Middlesbrough branch, says: “Dylan has really blossomed, grown in confidence, and has shown professionalism beyond his years. He is the face of Darlington Building Society’s Middlesbrough branch, when customers come through the door, and is a great example of how an apprenticeship can benefit an organisation.”