Featured Apprentice Story


Meet Leah, Assistant Manager at the Seven Stars and Parogon Groups First Degree Apprentice. She joined the company just over 4 years ago and through hard work has quickly progressed. Leah is now the fundraising champion of the Seven Stars, regularly organising events to support local charities. When Leah is not doing things to help out others, she can be found being creative in the kitchen, baking with her nan.


Leah’s journey began at Parogon just 2 days after her 16th birthday working weekends and the occasional weeknights as a runner at the Seven Stars when it first opened in 2018, whilst studying for her GCSE’s and A levels.

“I was extremely nervous when I initially started with it being my first job, but this soon disappeared as I was welcomed into a fabulous team full of kind and caring characters and the faced paced, buzzing, busy atmosphere was amazing, and this is still what I genuinely look forward to coming to work for”

As part of Parogon’s continuous commitment to develop individuals to reach their full potential, 6 months after Leah started, she was training to become a server with help from their in-house training and development programme.

“I loved been a server as you are completely immersed in the atmosphere of a busy restaurant but when I reached 18, I decided I should start to think about the future so started to investigate degree courses in business management, marketing and sales”

Leah’s interest in this area was due, in part, by her experience working for the Parogon Group where she developed a keen interest in how the business operates, how brands were built and what makes a business engage and serve their customers to drive profits. However, Leah was aware this could mean she would have had to say goodbye to my job, something she didn’t want to do, so was left wondering if a full-time degree course suited her.

“I really enjoy my job and obviously enjoy earning money too, so I really had to have a think about what my options could be. Looking around I came across Degree Apprenticeships which were a relatively new concept’ but a lot of employers, schools and institutes didn’t offer these as a route. Therefore, I took it upon myself to dive deeper to explore this option”

After attending an open evening at Manchester Metropolitan University, Leah walked away motivated to speak to her General Manager about starting a Degree Apprenticeships. He encouraged her to present the idea to Parogon’s Managing Director, to see if the company would provide a Degree Apprenticeship role.

“When it was agreed that I would be able to do my Degree Apprentice I was super excited to get started and was ready for the challenge. The apprenticeship pathway in which I am currently studying on allows you tailored your course to any industry, so when the project management unit came around I couldn’t wait to jump on the ideas I had to help kickstart some extra fundraising from the company”

One of Parogon’s Core Values is Legacy (Providing successful and profitable restaurants allowing them to create work opportunities and give back to local charities) and being something that Leah also feels very passionate about she was able to incorporate this into the project management module by committed herself to planning a number of events and incentives to raise money for various charities. These proved to be a great success and to date Leah’s efforts have raised in excess of £4,000

“I really enjoyed organising these events as they present a challenge, and it is also very rewarding knowing you are doing something the helps other people. Not only did it also help me to build evidence within my apprenticeship portfolio, it allowed me to gain many skills by networking with new people within Parogon and external to the company which has been excellent to help grow my confidence and knowledge” 

As Leah continues to study alongside working, she hopes to look at new areas within the company in which to explore and expand her skills whilst continuing her charity work into the future as this is something she hopes to adopt across the company and make an impact into the communities Parogon serves. 

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