"In December 2022, I embarked on an incredible journey through the UK Boardroom Apprentice scheme, which provided me with the unique opportunity to serve as an apprentice on the VisitBritain Board. This transformative experience expanded my horizons and empowered me to play a role in shaping the strategic decision-making processes of the agency responsible for marketing Britain worldwide.
From the very outset, the UK Boardroom Apprentice scheme emphasized the importance of mentorship and networking. Throughout this program, I had the privilege of being mentored by seasoned professionals, affectionately known as 'Board Buddies.' This mentorship dynamic has been instrumental in my growth as these mentors generously shared their wealth of expertise, offered invaluable guidance, and provided deep insights into an industry where, until recently, I had only been a spectator (ie. a tourist).
Sitting at the table alongside experienced board members, witnessing the inner workings of a boardroom, gaining a more profound understanding of governance considerations, and participating in strategic discussions was an enlightening experience. Despite being an apprentice, I was encouraged to lend my voice to board deliberations, allowing my perspective to contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation. This level of inclusion and empowerment not only boosted my confidence but also reaffirmed my belief in the transformative power of diverse voices in shaping the future.
This program also has the potential to act as a catalyst for career advancement. The experience, coupled with the credibility it brings, has the capacity to elevate my professional profile and unlock doors to new and exciting opportunities. The skills honed throughout this journey, such as effective communication and strategic thinking, have become invaluable assets that I can readily apply to various leadership roles. The program's unwavering focus on diversity and inclusion has also solidified my commitment to championing these essential principles throughout my career.
Undoubtedly, one of the challenges of the program has been striking a balance among multiple commitments. Participating in the UK Boardroom Apprentice scheme while juggling existing personal and professional responsibilities necessitates meticulous time management and prioritization. Adapting to the unique dynamics of the boardroom and establishing a meaningful presence as an apprentice presented a steep learning curve. Effective communication emerged as a vital skill for making meaningful contributions amidst a cohort of experienced board members.
I am profoundly grateful to my mentors, the board members, and the entire program for affording me this incredible opportunity. I firmly believe that initiatives like these are indispensable in fostering a more inclusive, diverse, and impactful future in boardrooms throughout the UK. I eagerly anticipate continuing my journey as a dedicated advocate for change, fuelled by the invaluable experiences gained during this program.
With great enthusiasm, I look forward to the second half of the UK Boardroom Apprentice scheme."
- Rodrigo Voss, VisitBritain Boardroom Apprentice 2023