Apprentice thrilled after rapid rise to project manager
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When Charlotte Cook joined Nottinghamshire Police as a staff apprentice, she didn’t imagine becoming a project manager within two-and-a-half years.
But following a double promotion, that is exactly what happened – and the 26-year-old has praised the organisation for the way it has supported her career development.
“As I’ve moved through different departments, my colleagues and management have all listened to me in terms of where I’ve wanted to go,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of support from my managers. They’ve said, OK let’s look at what we need to do to ensure you can realise your goals, including what experience I’d need and what training courses I’d need to go on.”
Charlotte, who grew up in Hucknall, joined Notts Police as an IS apprentice in August 2020 – a year after graduating from Leeds Beckett University in 2019 with a criminology degree.
The portfolio coordinator apprenticeship saw her become involved in various project support work, including the rollout of new body worn cameras at police stations across the force area.
She made an instant impression – and it wasn’t long before she secured her first promotion.
“I was fortunate that I had a colleague who saw a bit of potential in me. She had a word with various people in the Project Management department to make sure my skills were put to best use.
“I was then offered a job as a Business Benefits Officer in the Business Change and Transformation department, which involved engaging with project teams to ensure force money and resources were not being wasted.
“I was honest with the management about seeing that role as a stepping stone to where I wanted to be and the support I received was extremely positive.”
Again, Charlotte excelled in the role and another promotion was soon on the cards.
Shortly before Christmas 2022, she interviewed for a Project Manager vacancy, also in the Business Change and Transformation department.
So impressed were the management by Charlotte’s job application, experience and personal attributes, she was offered the job on the day of the interview.
Charlotte said she couldn’t be happier with her journey so far.
“It’s been a fantastic start to my career,” she said. “When I joined Notts Police as an apprentice in August 2020, I didn’t really know what role I wanted to end up in – but I’ve been able to seize really good opportunities because of the help and support I’ve been given.
“I’ve also had a lot of support from the organisation on personal issues. I was diagnosed as epileptic around 18 months ago. Whilst I was undergoing tests, I got behind on my workload but my college assessor and manager were really supportive and helped me get through it.
“That support was massively important. Knowing I was at an organisation that was so understanding made my life a lot easier at what was a difficult time for me personally.”
Chief Inspector Alan Pearson, who heads up the Business Change & Transformation department, praised Charlotte's contribution since joining Nottinghamshire Police.
He said: “Charlotte has shown that there many routes to fulfilling employment in Nottinghamshire Police.
"Her journey is still just starting but it has been great to be a part of it. The leadership team in Corporate Services will always look to develop and provide opportunity for our Police Staff.
"The apprenticeship route is challenging in a positive way and enables individuals to be fully prepared to contribute to their teams and further their careers. Well done Charlotte."