On the 14th August of this year UK students were given their A-Level results; I was one of those students. I remember standing in the school hall looking around thinking what next? What do I do now? I didn’t want to go to university and I didn’t want to go into a full time job role, so that was when I started to look at apprenticeships.
Why an Apprenticeship?
I had heard about apprenticeships, but if I am really honest my school didn’t give much support towards your future if it wasn’t centred around university. After doing my own research I found I liked the idea that I could go into a role, learn the business and get a qualification at the end of it, so for me an apprenticeship ticked all the boxes. I had had enough of traditional learning, I wanted to learn skills and gain experience that would actually help me in later life rather than things like pi equals 3.14159… which I still remember to this day! I wanted to wake up every morning ready to work and learn something relevant to my life and future career, plus earning a wage at the same time.
There are many different aspects of marketing, for me that was a good thing because I could get the chance to try various methods of marketing to see what I was good at and what I enjoyed. I had never done marketing previously so it was a whole new experience, one I was looking forward to as I was ready for a challenge.
The Apprenticeship Process
I looked on the government website and found the City and Guilds Kineo vacancy. The job description sounded great, it was exactly what I was looking for and the qualification at the end of the apprenticeship was an added bonus. Once I received the email that they wanted to see me for an interview I was so excited. However, it dawned on me that it was real and I had actually applied for a ‘proper’ job - this wasn’t sixth form anymore!
The train journey to that interview was the scariest journey to date, I was so nervous I hadn’t slept that night. Breakfast was unthinkable because of the permanent butterfly’s resident in my stomach and to top it off I still had to figure out where to go in a city that I wasn’t familiar with.
I was fortunate enough to be given the job and my apprenticeship journey with CGK had begun.
Being an Apprentice
After meeting the team on the first day they told be it was time for the ‘weekly huddle’. My first thought was ‘what is the huddle?’. And my second thought was ‘what do I say?’. It was actually just a catch up across the team saying what they did the week before and what are they were doing that week. But I remember sitting there listening to everyone speak and thinking ‘I honestly have no idea what everyone is saying’.
I will not lie and say I have learnt everything, in fact I have not learnt even half of the acronyms the team love to use. I am still trying to figure out all the different products and platforms we provide but I am getting there and making progress. I was given objectives and tasks straight from the word go and for me that’s how I like to learn.
My manager is my mentor and any queries or questions I have I go straight to her for the answers. I like knowing I have someone there that checks all my work and can help me with anything I am stuck with. It took me a while to realise if I wanted to do well I had to ask questions even if they were simple. Once I found my feet the days became weeks and before I knew it I had been an employee of CGK for a month!
To Summarise My Journey So Far…
I have only been here for a month and in that month I have learnt so much. Not just how CGK works and the dynamics of the company but simple things like how to write a blog post and creating relevant content for our social media channels.
Being an apprentice has helped me develop life skills, for example I am more confident. I can now go up to a person I don’t know and introduce myself, address them properly and engage in a conversation which I know I wouldn’t have been able to do when I was in Sixth Form just a few months ago.
For anyone looking to do an apprenticeship I would say go for it! You gain valuable on the job experience, earn a wage and gain a qualification relevant to your apprenticeship and your future career. I can honestly say for me this month has been the biggest learning curve of my life and I am so excited to see where it takes me.