This apprentice interview is part of a series highlight apprentice success stories during National Apprenticeship Week 2020. To read more about how CCSNH & ApprenticeshipNH are celebrating the week, please click here.
Apprentice Name: Cheryl Harris
Town: Chocorua, NH
Place of Employment: Littleton Regional Healthcare
Community college name: White Mountains Community College
What were you doing before you became an apprentice? Did you have any ideas about career paths you would like to pursue?
Before becoming an apprentice, I worked as a police officer and served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 23o years. I had already worked in healthcare and knew that a career in this field would align well with that previous experience.
How did you hear about the apprenticeship opportunity and what made it seem like a good fit for you?
I had just come back from active duty and saw information about the program listed at my local unemployment office.
How long is your apprenticeship, and how far along are you right now?
The apprenticeship was about two and half years long, and I am scheduled to complete in June 2021.
What has been the best part of your experience as an apprentice so far?
I really enjoy the people that I work with – they are always so willing to help and answer my questions. The patients that I interact with are also great. When they knew that I was new to the job they were very accommodating to me, as are the doctors that I work with in my practice.
What are some of the biggest ways you feel your apprenticeship has impacted you?
I think I have a different perspective than most because I’ve already worked in healthcare. But I’m 56 years old and I didn’t want to wait to go through a two-year program, I wanted something quick and easy that would allow me to start working right away. This is a very easy program to step into and gives you the opportunity to move forward and get an education with hands-on experience included.
Who has helped and support you during your training and education?
My husband and my family – choosing to participate in this program has impacted them and the have stood by me the entire time. The first few weeks were really hard, and because it was a brand new program at the time there was a lot of adapting and challenges that we all had to covercome.
What do you think are some of the common misconceptions people have about apprenticeship?
People think you have to be a really good student and have really good study habits, but none of those things really come into play. The college is there to help you navigate and get through the training.