Guest blog by Tatiana Elvy Gine

Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, 7-13 Feb 2022


Shorter days and longer nights. Winter can seem very long and daunting, especially when coupled with numerous assignment deadlines and upcoming exams.

A few years back I decided, like many others, to complete my studies by attending university. I was naturally encouraged by friends, family, and trusted teachers alike to pursue this pathway: this was all that was believed to be on offer for me. 

Prior to university, I attended a grammar school and was doing very well academically. The chance to go to university seemed like the right choice: no one in my family had gone previously and this was combined with the fact that many of my friends had chosen this path and it did seem like an exciting opportunity to meet new people. 

My time at university

University at the start was great. Freshers Week came and it was a blast! But after my first couple of weeks, the reality of university became much clearer.

Seminars, lectures, assignment deadlines and a gradual feeling of loneliness became more and more apparent. 

Being away from my friends and family, and now being on a course that didn’t align with any career goals of mine, I started to question myself and ask myself what it is that I want to do with my life. 

I excelled at English and enjoyed it whilst at Sixth Form. But studying it at university was a whole new ball game. After speaking to my family about my concerns and getting their support, I made the tough decision to leave university.

Once settled back at home, I decided to take a gap year to figure out my next steps. This consisted of having fun and developing transferable skills. I worked in customer service, which built and developed many foundational soft skills – communication, time management, teamwork.

Additionally, I spent time undertaking e-learning courses and stumbled across Digital Marketing in which I found much joy and purpose. 

My apprenticeship journey

Now knowing where I wanted to go career-wise, I needed to get my foot in the door. Sky happened to be advertising their apprenticeship programme and coincidentally a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship programme. After a competitive recruitment process, I found myself on Sky’s apprenticeship, rotating between all the marketing functions throughout the 18-month programme.

Upon completion, I was offered a full-time position at Sky. I am glad I took this career path, to find the career of my dreams. Here are 4 reasons I believe you should consider an apprenticeship:

 

  1. Discover earning potential – Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to earn a respectable salary. According to a report by Barclays, apprentices can earn up to 270% more over a lifetime than university graduates. Salaries for apprenticeships in Digital Marketing can range from £18,000 to £24,000

  2. Rapid progression & development – Apprenticeships kick-start careers, as you’re usually assigned a line manager who acts as a mentor and coach through your apprenticeship. They guide you and support your career aspirations 

  3. Gain relevant professional experience – Graduates often face the barrier of lack of work experience upon completing their degree. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to gain hands-on experience relevant for the future of work. All successful apprentices in England receive an apprenticeship standard which outlines the skills, knowledge, and behaviours required of apprentices

  4. Achieve social independence & confidence! – Overall, in my experience and that of many others, you’re trusted and respected as any other member of the team. This amount of trust naturally allows you to become more independent – this independence has emancipated me from previous self-doubt.

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