Nelson & Colne College Alumni: Andrei Balaban has caught up with us this week after landing his dream IT apprenticeship with Seriun.


Andrei was born in Braila, Romania and moved over to Burnley in 2018. “I did not know how to speak English properly back then and due to my accent, it was really hard for people to understand me” says Andrei “One of the biggest challenges was the accent – it was really hard to get used to the English accent, there were words that I could not understand at all!”


Despite this, Andrei worked hard on his English, and with the help of NCC managed to overcome the language barrier, “college really helped me with my English because I was speaking more often, it made me more confident in myself!”


Whilst becoming more confident in his English abilities, Andrei was also developing his IT skills, and becoming more adept at handling machinery as his understanding grew. “College was a really good opportunity for me to find what I am interested in” quotes Andrei, “I now understand more about the machines, software and risk.”


Andrei notes about how welcome he was made to feel at NCC, particularly due to the friends he made and certain teaching staff who he mentions by name – “The teachers were all very friendly and they always offered to help you. My tutor was Naheem Hussain and I am very grateful for him because of all the help he offered me and because of him I never felt uncomfortable in there.” Andrei also highlighted Shakoor Ghafoor as a standout teacher who could “explain everything properly and always offered to help when you needed it.”


Andrei has had an interest in IT since he was little, always tinkering and fixing computers and laptops whenever he had the chance – a trait that he inherited from his cousin who he used to watch fixing computers before discovering his own passion for it. Nowadays, when he isn’t inundated with work, you can find Andrei at the gym or at the driving range, “it is stress relieving and you can have a proper good laugh with your friends and family.”


At the moment, Andrei’s main focus is completing his apprenticeship at Seriun, and carving himself out a successful career there. “The experience [here] is incredible. Everyone is friendly and always happy to help”. Andrei mentioned that he aspires to return to NCC to acquire further qualifications and develop in other areas. The ultimate dream for Andrei though is to own and rent properties – a dream in which he is willing to work incredibly hard in order to realise.


As one final note, Andrei states, “I would recommend NCC to other students. The staff [… are] lovely and it will make you feel welcomed and you will enjoy your time here”. We would like to thank Andrei for taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule to talk to us about his experiences. If you, like Andrei, are interested in developing yourself and growing with us then follow the link below to check out our courses and find the one that is right for you.