Michael Stone, Group CEO
I left school in 1985, and like so many young people of my generation was clueless as to what I wanted to with my future. I received an offer from Thomond College in Limerick to study PE, but was uncertain as to whether I wanted to go that route or not. During the summer, I received an offer from the ESB to undertake an apprenticeship with them. Despite the best efforts of my parents, I decided to accept.
Initially, I found it quite difficult as unlike other apprentices, I did not have a strong foundation with the practical subjects. However, I persevered, as I was determined to succeed and through study and dedication on the job, I learnt and developed my skills and knowledge – I never looked back!
The ESB was a fantastic company to work with and I spent over nine good years with them. They were very supportive during my apprenticeship years and encouraged me to continuously upskill, develop and supported me to further my studies in Electrical Engineering.
My time as an apprentice electrician was one of the defining moments in my life. I loved the mixture of practical work and technical learning – having the ability to apply the learning aspect on the job was one of great personal satisfaction and was one of the motivating factors for me to further my education and graduate as an Electrical Engineer.
The fact that one is earning a wage whilst undertaking an apprenticeship gave me independence and also a social life!
I would highly recommend an apprenticeship as a career option for any young person as my journey assisted me in arriving at my current role as Group CEO of Designer Group. However, my journey is not over, as I am continually learning and developing. This is what makes the journey challenging, motivating and inspiring.
I hope your experience as an apprentice is as positive and as fulfilling as mine was.