Before leaving school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I attended Greenshaw Sixth Form for two years to complete AS / A2 levels in Sociology, Psychology and Biology. Whilst assessing my options, I filled out a UCAS form to go to university, and received three offers from my top five choices. I also applied for various apprenticeships based within 10 miles of Sutton – I actually lost count of how many I applied for, but it must have been over 20!
I have always been fascinated by business management and entrepreneurship, which is shown through my obsession with TV shows such as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den. Therefore, the apprenticeships I was applying for included hints of my life-long interests; Business Administration, Accounting & Finance, Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing.
I found my current apprenticeship in PR and marketing through the national apprenticeships website, after spending hours searching through many different websites and businesses. I still remember where and when I received the email from Sense Communications to come in for an interview, which is probably a reflection of the fear I felt.
At first, I didn’t know what to expect from the apprenticeship itself. However, as Sense is a young, small company with experience of employing apprentices before, I felt at home and was able to adapt to the business environment immediately. I think as an apprentice, you are thrown in the deep end on a regular basis – but I have personally found this to be only beneficial, as I have been able to learn more rapidly and gain experience way beyond my years. I remember my first new business pitch, when I was asked on the day to present three big-budget campaign ideas, also unaware that it was going to be in front of seven global entrepreneurs! From then on, I have felt very confident going into new business pitches / client meetings, knowing that it can’t get much harder (or frightening) than that.
I am hoping to stay on with Sense and play my part in growing the business / clientele, as well as completing further marketing qualifications, including a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) degree. No matter what, I feel the experience and skills I have gained will enable me to progress wherever I may go.
One piece of advice that I would give to all aspiring apprentices is to not worry about your wage slip – apprenticeships are all about gaining the valuable on-the-job experience, alongside attaining a widely recognised qualification. It’s in essence about the amount of doors you are opening, the money in your pocket will come later. At the end of the day, you’ll earn a bit of pocket money and stay debt-free, unlike if you went to university.
To keep things real, this hub is run by a team of apprentices with the support of Sutton Council. If there’s information that you’re after that’s not here – just give us a call on 020 8770 5000, or drop us a question via text or WhatsApp. We’re also on email at firstname.lastname@example.org