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Raphael Lowe

Raphael Lowe

I’m eighteen years old and an IT Support Analyst Apprentice. My role involves both stationary work where I answer customer requests via a phone call or email, and physical work where I set up desktop computers, printers and more. I found my way here as I was told about the opportunity by one of my siblings, who also works in the National Theatre, and knew I’d been searching for an apprenticeship in IT since I was sixteen. He knew that I loved drama too, so the role was ideal for me.

I’ve learnt many skills from the workers in my department so far. Despite being one of the youngest workers in the organisation many people treat me with respect. I’ve also come across the actors Adrian Lester, the lead role in the recent production Othello, and Clive Rowe whom I occasionally talk to – which is always exciting to say the least. Before this job, I would only see Clive on my TV starring as Duke in The Story of Tracy Beaker. I was also lucky enough to see Queen Elizabeth II unveil the plaque for the National Theatre’s 50th birthday.

The transition from being a student in a classroom straight into a working environment has been very smooth. I say this as there isn't a working environment quite like the National Theatre’s. The customers, co-workers and location have genuinely made me happy to be a part of the family. Within my own department my team give me help when I need it, I also have a weekly one-on-one talk with my line manager, and I meet regularly with the Apprenticeship Manager, Kathryn Geraghty. She regularly checks that all the apprentices are coping with our roles, how assignments are going, and to see if we are all right in general. If there was anything I felt I needed to get off my chest, Kathryn would be the first person I would turn to and she has made me feel very comfortable since the interview process!

I’ve enjoyed a lot so far. I’ve learnt there’s more to theatre than just actors, ticket kiosks and techies, and that every department makes what we give to the people. I’ll say that taking an apprenticeship is ideal for young adults as it helps them understand the working world better as you get to learn and gain an income also. After this apprenticeship is finished and I complete my Level 3 course, I hope to extend my knowledge of IT and take a Level 4 course, and I’m hoping that the National Theatre can still be my work placement. I’m not sure where I’ll go from there but I can say in a place like this, opportunities are thrown at you every day. I hope to take what I can during my time here and make the most of everything.