When I was getting ready to leave school, I always felt ‘pushed’ by teachers towards A Levels with a view to going to University, but due to the way I like to learn and what I wanted to do in life, I felt this wasn’t right for me.
So I went out, got a brochure from my local college and started trawling through it for courses.
After a lot of um-ing and ah-ing, I finally decided on a two-year course studying for an Advanced Diploma in Creative and Media and a B-Tec in Media Production.
Throughout the course I spoke to many people who had been to Uni and couldn’t get a job, people employed in the creative industry and even college tutors, who all seemed to say the same thing: “A lot of employers look for the experience in the industry and your ability, not the bit of paper you have.”
Yet, confusingly, we’d all being guided towards the University option.
Towards the end of the second year I’d put myself off the idea of going to Uni and was left with no advice or guidance about what else I could do. So while everyone was busy writing Personal Statements, I was looking at the best alternative way to start a career doing something creative!
Eventually I came across apprenticeships and they were exactly what I was looking for; theoretical knowledge, a qualification and the experience of actually using what you learn in real life situations.
After many applications to different companies, I got an interview with my local council and was taken on as an Administration Apprentice. It wasn’t the most exciting position, but I gained valuable work experience and vast knowledge about things I would never have learnt at Uni or college.
Another year later and I got a job in Marketing with Total People. On a daily basis I get to do loads of creative things such as email marketing campaigns, advertising vacancies on websites, designing of posters and other company materials, photography, making videos and more!
I started a social media qualification with The Juice Academy in July and so far it’s been a lot more enjoyable than college ever was. Everyone is really friendly and supportive, you’re working with other people new to the industry and you’re also being taught from people doing the job already.
I know the things I’ve learnt and what I’m going to learn will definitely be of use to me – I don’t regret not going to Uni and I’m very happy I made the decision to do an apprenticeship!