Sebastian Farias

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, we grabbed five minutes with The National Brain Appeal’s apprentice, Seb, to talk all things fundraising!

Q How long have you worked at The National Brain Appeal?
It’s been about seven months now. I should finish the apprenticeship in around another six to 12 months – it depends on how quickly you can achieve the goals and tick off the tasks when applying them to your day-to-day role.

Q What did you do before you came here as an apprentice?
A I worked for another NHS trust in north London. I was an administrator, so I covered reception and dealt with patient enquiries and appointments. I applied for this apprenticeship with The National Brain Appeal because I wanted to use my admin skills to make more of a difference.

Q What’s the most useful skill you have learnt since starting here?
A Definitely my attention to detail. I quickly realised that this job is all about tiny details, especially when it comes to events. Everything comes together to make an event a real success. Also, whenever there is a big priority for the charity – whether its an event, or a really busy time of year, such as Christmas, that becomes my main focus and priority too. I’m on the frontline for helping out whenever we’re under pressure. It’s taught me to flexible and adaptable.

Q You worked a lot on our annual art exhibition, A Letter in Mind – how was that?
A It was a lot of work, but it’s probably been my favourite event so far. Both my parents are artists – and I am pretty creative too – so this event, where I was surrounded by amazing pieces of work, was awesome. I enjoyed the getting the events experience too. That was one the aspects of fundraising I was keen to learn more about in my new role, and it was a first for me. It was a great networking opportunity as well.

Q Is there a downside to being an apprentice?
A Probably just being the ‘new guy’ in the office and having a lot to learn!  It’s also about trying to find your position in the office and where your skills fit in best.

Q So where do you see yourself after your apprenticeship ends?
A Well I’m not even halfway through yet, but I do always have my progression in mind. I definitely want to stay in the fundraising sector. The area I am most drawn to do is the design and digital communications side of fundraising. I enjoy using my design skills to produce posters promoting our work. These get used around the hospital and all help to raise awareness – which is a big part of what we’re trying achieve here. I am also interested in the strategy side of things, and – weirdly – finance! It’s something I would like to learn more about, simply because it’s a part of the charity I’ve not had a hand in yet.

Q Give us a quirky fact about yourself
A I never drink tea or coffee, much to the dismay of my colleagues here!