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Ask the Apprentices #NAW2019

For National Apprenticeship Week (4th to 8th of March) we wanted to collate the advice and personal experiences of some of our apprentices into one blog, that could be helpful to students, potential apprentices, employers, teachers or parents looking to learn more about the opportunities and realities of apprenticeships, from apprentices themselves.


Who or what inspired you to become an apprentice?

Luckie:

I enjoyed school and college especially, but after being in the traditional education system for almost a decade and a half, I was ready to move on to something closer to the real world. I’d worked part-time doing Avon throughout high school and got my first job the day after completing my last GCSE, then changed jobs again the first week of starting college and had worked almost every weekend through my two years at Burnley College, so I effectively wanted my personal time back and to leave behind tests and classrooms. These factors combined with how anxious the debt of university made me feel led me to apprenticeships, and while my A Levels didn’t directly correlate to digital marketing, business, or social media, I had a separate interest in those topics through being part of what was essentially the first generation to grow up on social media.


Elly:

No one thing or person inspired me to become an apprentice. I’m a natural worker, starting work as soon as I could at 14. I successfully passed all my GCSEs and knew when starting my Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business and Marketing at Burnley College that I didn’t want to go to university. The emphasis of university at Burnley College was quite overwhelming, I knew that I was capable of a degree and wanted to get a degree qualification but I wasn’t going to uni to achieve it. This is when I decided a degree apprenticeship was my next option.


What was the biggest factor in making you decide to do an apprenticeship?

Luckie:

After college and school, university felt like a very expensive way to put off starting my actual life. I knew my interest in marketing and social media and my love of language and writing would mean that I would enjoy doing an apprenticeship in digital marketing, but the thing that helped me confirm that this was the path I wanted to take was my first interview with +24. Being able to speak to them about why I wanted to take this root and what about social media and marketing and the language and ideas used it in interested me, gave me the confidence in myself to pursue an apprenticeship in this area, and confirmed that a company like +24 Marketing was the place I wanted to be to do that.

Elly:

I don’t have one biggest factor in particular. The biggest factors have to be earning a qualification and still learning, whilst receiving a wage and getting the real-life experience. The experience you gain from an apprenticeship is incredibly vital, it prepares you for the ‘real world’ and this is something you can’t get at university. An apprenticeship really gives you the best of both worlds.  


Describe a typical day in the office

Luckie:

While my weeks are similar to each other, each day in a week differs from the next. As Communications Co-ordinator, copy and social media messages are the main aspects of my role where most of my time is spent. I write blogs for +24, as well as a host of our clients, and curate and schedule messages for clients and also for our own channels, a responsibility which is split between me and Elly. Aside from blogs, I’ve written the employee bios for our website, many of the case studies and help with print or web copy for ourselves or clients when and where copy is needed. I’ve also unofficially/officially taken charge of our Instagram posts.


Elly:

My days are very interesting and exciting in the office as no two days are the same! Some weeks I’m out networking, meeting with clients, participating in different events, others I can be in the office working on marketing campaigns, email campaigns, PPC, event planning – the list goes on!  


What do you enjoy most about your role, and why?

Luckie:

For me, blog writing is the thing I enjoy the most, followed by planning +24 Marketing’s Instagram posts. Writing for +24 is always fun because I get to research social media news and topics, which is something I’m already interested in – but writing for clients is always interesting, too, because I get to research and read about things I may not have sought out reading about of my own volition. Thinking of blog ideas for ourselves or clients may sometimes be frustrating and difficult, but gathering the research behind a blog and creating content from it is always a rewarding experience.



Elly:

The thing most I enjoy about my job role is being able to attend the networking events and meeting lots of new people. I like interacting with people and getting out of the office to meet with new and current clients, also to attend and help at different events. However, working at +24, the everyday office life and people within the company make it an enjoyable experience!


How do you think an apprenticeship has improved or opened up your career options?

Luckie:

Personally, my apprenticeship experience has opened up my career options by giving me genuine transferable skills and an understanding of what working within the digital sector is like, as well as giving me the opportunity to build a large writing portfolio, meet other interesting local businesses both in and outside of the industry and has provided access to crucial training and mentorship from the team at +24. Beyond all of this, however, it’s given me the confidence to not be afraid of new opportunities and believe in my abilities.

Elly:

It has given me a lot of experience and knowledge which I feel would definitely give me an advantage when applying for future careers. It also means that at a younger age I’m already working up towards stronger positions within the company. Being able to attend networking events has let me develop and progress in something I really enjoy.


What advice would you give to other people considering an apprenticeship as a route?

Luckie:

Understand that you’re an individual, and that there’s no one way to do anything – the path someone else took to get to the place you want to be in the future was right for them, but it doesn’t mean it’s right for you, or that its the only way for you to reach that goal. Make the choice that makes the most sense to you, and that you know will continue to work for you in the future.


Elly:

Do it! Make sure the job is in an industry you have an interest or it’s a career you’re genuinely working towards. Don’t be afraid of taking a path that others in your life may not have expected of you!

 

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Wondering what it take to become a Project Digital apprentice? Read our blog on the traits of a successful apprentice here.