What is a Business Apprenticeship?

2-year learn-and-earn program where companies train apprentices in core business functions on 3 days /week and sponsor their aligned college education at Harold Washington College on the other 2 days. They learn about business processes and integrate into the company culture to improve efficiency and become well-rounded employees.


  • In their first year, apprentices explore the work in different departments of their sponsoring company.
  • They learn about the overall business and discover their interest and passion for a specific career.
  • Based on that discovery and the needs of the company for talent in certain areas, they narrow down the departments for training in the 2nd year.
  • Outside of fall, spring and summer semesters at college, apprentices work full-time at their company.


  • Companies build a talent pipeline for a loyal and diverse workforce
  • Apprentices earn an Associate Degree in Management & Marketing upon completion
  • Companies reduce employee turnover and associated HR costs
  • Apprentices have a competitive advantage to their college peers due to their work experience
  • Secure full-time position for a minimum of 2 years, after successful completion of training

Possible Departments for Business Apprentices

  • Human Resources
  • Accounting
  • Marketing and Sales

Possible Deparments for Business Apprenticeships

  • Events
  • Purchasing
  • Logistics


Example: 2 Year Training of a Business Apprentice


‘Getting to know’ the company by training in various departments:  Apprentice will be trained in your company’s core business functions
  • June: Front desk
  • July: Shipping & Receiving
  • Aug/Sept: Events and/or Logistics
  • Oct/Nov: HR
  • Dec/Jan: Accounting
  • Feb/Mar: Legal and/or Purchasing
  • April/May: Marketing & Sales
Quality check at the end of the first year to ensure the training/apprentice are on the right track with part 1 of ICATT exam.


Evaluation of capability, interest and passion of the apprentice as well as future needs of the employer.
Based on outcome, narrow down future departments for training in 2nd year & employment after graduation
  • June – December: HR
  • Jan – May: Marketing & Sales

Final quality check at the end of the 2nd year to ensure the training was successful with final ICATT exam.


Prior to graduation: Determine which department is in need of an additional employee & offer position to apprentice.