My Apprenticeship Experience

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When it comes to education, much of the UK is stuck in the traditional mind-set that students have to follow the path of GCSEs, A-levels and then onto university to enter the world of work, yet there are now so many other options available. Apprenticeships are one such option, however, they carry a negative stigma among students as something people do if they haven’t got good enough grades to get into university.

It’s not only students who need educating on what apprenticeships are and the opportunities they create, but also teachers, careers advisors and parents as they have a massive influence over students views on their education as they trust them, and many think university is the best option for everyone.

Fortunately for me, my school was a strong supporter of apprenticeships and made it clear that they are just another route into the world of work and my career prospects wouldn’t lower by doing one. Thanks to this information, I decided to do an apprenticeship rather than go to university and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made - I’m student debt free and was paid a wage while learning!

While doing my apprenticeship, not only did I achieve a qualification through having monthly one-to-one meetings with my tutor and having two hours a week dedicated to completing my work, I also gained one year’s work experience which was critical when it came to getting my next job. This is one of the major pros of apprenticeships compared to university; I know many people who have come out of university and struggle to get entry level roles and settle for internships (often unpaid) to build up their experience.

The skills and professional experience I gained by doing an apprenticeship helped me get my first role at DMA Talent as Marketing and Events Assistant for DMA Talent. I’ve now been here for 2 and a half years and in that time have been promoted to Marketing and Events Executive. Not only did my apprenticeship provide me with the skills which I am still developing today, it also gave me invaluable soft skills needed to excel in an office environment. I had already been in countless meetings, met important clients, attended trade events and worked full time so was prepared for anything that was thrown my way.

In my day to day role, I drive our social media output across all channels, implement our communications plan and manage our database.

If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship, go for it! The things you learn about the world of work will set you up for the rest of your career and the experience will allow you to ensure that the career you’re looking to pursue is right for you without committing three plus years of your life to it and a lot of money.

Got a question about apprenticeships? Drop me a line at James.Dredge@dma.org.uk

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