My name’s Lauren, I’m undertaking a Social Media and Digital Marketing Level 3 apprenticeship at Steadfast Training, and I’ve been asked to share a bit about my Apprenticeship experience.*
(* I’m not really a fan of this kind of ‘write about yourself’ exercise, and I apologise if I drag on a bit – I’m a fan of words, and being concise isn’t necessarily something I’m good at.)
I studied Chemistry, Psychology and Art A-Levels (as well as the ever useful subject, General Studies) at Spalding High School Sixth Form and then took another year after that to study a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at New College Stamford – still with no idea what I really wanted to do in the future, I applied for Psychology at Uni, got 4 unconditional offers, and later accepted the Sheffield University position.
On 19th September 2015, I turned up at Sheffield University, checked-in to my accommodation, took my belongings upstairs – and then just completely broke down. University wasn’t for me, and I had slowly been realising that from the moment I applied, it just hadn’t clicked. I felt like I had to go, simply because of the pressure that was placed on me, by my secondary school, from starting GCSEs onwards, to go to Uni and be ‘successful’.
About 3 hours after arriving, I’d repacked my belongings into the car, and was on my way back to Spalding – with absolutely no clue on what I would do next; I’d probably just set a record for ‘fastest university drop-out’ and was now having to really think about my future.
After 4 weeks of frantic job-searching, and several rejections, I got a phone call from Steadfast Training replying to my application to a Business Admin apprenticeship. I was interviewed a few days later, and within two days, had accepted an Apprenticeship to start at the beginning of November.
I had applied to several office jobs with a similar job description to my apprenticeship, but my lack of experience in the role lead to me being rejected, despite being told I was a great candidate – being left with a ‘thank you, but no thank you’ and a ‘best of luck’, I was getting used to this rejection malarkey. This is undoubtedly the best thing with doing an apprenticeship – the experience I have gained without being expected to have had similar job roles in the past has been wonderful, and will be a great help with building my career.
My apprenticeship is going really well, I was put onto a Social Media and Digital Marketing award instead of Business Admin, as it is more versatile and is quite a sought-after qualification. I’m definitely enjoying the units I’m covering, and the work and the environment is something I’m thriving in. While my friends are all living on Pot Noodles and are a few hundred pounds into their overdraft, I’m earning a wage and saving for my future, which is another bonus.
I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anybody who’s unsure on what they’d like to do – you’re still able to go to university after, if you wish, and the work experience is really a great thing to have on your CV. I definitely don’t think apprenticeships get enough representation in schools and sixth forms, especially Grammar Schools, as all of the attention is on getting a degree, which is unfair. My younger siblings are all looking into apprenticeships themselves, after my good experience here at Steadfast Training, which is great!