How I Became an Apprentice Genealogist

8 April 2022

How I Became an Apprentice Genealogist

Most people don’t have a clue what they want to do once leaving college, many either go to university, start a gap year or an apprenticeship, or go straight into work – I was one of those who didn’t have a clue. I carried on working through the pandemic at the local Wetherspoons and stayed there until covid calmed down – following this, I knew I wanted to start an apprenticeship.

After doing my research, I knew I wanted to go into an apprenticeship that taught me business and management skills. Finding a specific apprenticeship like this was hard until I stumbled across the Apprentice Case Manager role at Family Wise. As I read more into the job my interest to apply grew – one of the many reasons I applied was because of my own previous research into my family name “Galatin” – and the research I had to do to discover the secrets of the maternal side of my family.

I finally handed in my application and a day later I got a call to say I had been offered an interview with Kirsty at Family Wise HQ – I was over the moon. The application process was very quick and went very smoothly. During the interview, I was asked about my knowledge of the company; I recommend looking into the company before an interview. Kirsty and James were very open to answering any questions I had, and I was offered the apprenticeship then and there.

The first day was nerve-racking but luckily my colleagues at Family Wise were welcoming and helped me settle in. After a couple of weeks of training, I was ready to go off into the world of Probate Genealogy.

Genealogist To Do List

As an Assistant Case Manager, I recommend always starting the morning off with a To-Do List. In this job specifically, the working day will never stay on a steady track – your day is broken up with phone calls from beneficiaries who have received a letter or been asked to call in by a family member, ordering certificates, creating certificate trees to send to Admin, starting on estate accounts and the purple sheets, liaising with Subcontractors, and completing case reviews. But if I am honest, that is what I love about this job, waking up and not knowing how the day will go, starting work and the day being unpredictable, and not knowing whose name you will stumble across!

Level 4 Project Management Apprenticeship is the title of my qualification. This apprenticeship is 24 months, which includes 18 months minimum of learning and training with Professional Apprenticeships, and then 6 months of exams. Luckily, my 6 months are broken down into three sections:

  1. Written Examination – The knowledge of my qualification.
  2. Portfolio – After picking out a specific case that I managed from start to finish, I must gather up every piece of evidence, and then align my management work with my course work.
  3. Presentation- Finally, in this presentation I get to show off my skills to the board, choosing another case and showing the audience every step of my management, and showing the results.

In the end, I will receive a Level 4 qualification which could be seen as the completion of the first year of a bachelor’s degree.

Overall, working for Family Wise is an experience and job one would never expect to have, but it has given me a potential lifetime and stable career, which I know I will enjoy. They will always be in your corner and are willing to go the further mile to support you, so if you are reading this and want to apply for a job or an apprenticeship, do it!

If like Libby, you’re looking to begin a lifelong career in an extremely varied and exciting role, take a look at our Job Opportunities page. Family Wise is among the family history and probate industries market leaders and we are always on the lookout for bright, new talent to join our ranks.

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