“What I wish I and my employer had known before my apprenticeship….”

We asked our apprenticeship ambassadors to write an a few words on the following question.

What they wish they had known before their apprenticeship started? And what they wished employers had known?

Late in 2018 we started an apprentice ambassador programme to give our learners a voice for the future of Creative Alliance and development of the workforce for the creative, digital and marketing sectors. See the first ambassadors bios here

Here is the first article from Matthew Bubb – The rest to be released over the next few months.

Matthew Bubb

Apprenticeship:

A lot of people seem to be so caught up that Uni is the only step in life after school or colleague to become successful, when that just isn’t true. If you’re doubting yourself if Uni is the right choice for yourself then looking at apprenticeships should 100% be an option to consider. I looked at a number of universities, didn’t know what I wanted to do, just thought it would be fun to have booze up for 3 years with my mates. But then I looked at the bigger picture, and while that did sound like a lot of fun, probably not the best decision in life. So I looked at apprenticeships, which not only allowed me to have that fun as I was spending every weekend traveling the country seeing my mates at uni, but it also actually felt like I was learning real life valuable skills.

If you are currently an apprentice, I can’t stress enough that for your apprenticeship year you give 150% the entire time, get involved with every opportunity and get yourself known within your business, you get out what you put in. I was lucky in this aspect as It worked 2 ways with SuperDream (the company I’m at), I was pushing myself but then they pushed me further, little things like presenting the monthly staff meeting to the entire agency including the MD and CEO when I was 18 made me develop faster. Make yourself memorable for the right reasons and a job at the end of your apprenticeship should 99% be nailed on.

This one will seem like mostly fun activity, but it’s also very important, and that’s networking! Any opportunity you have to attend a networking event with your company, go! I’ve been at SuperDream 4 years now and I haven’t missed one.  It’s the best opportunity to show your face to people who have been in your industry for you years and to get yourself known. Through networking I’ve made new supplier contacts, won some new business and actually just made some new friends.

So in a nutshell to learners/future learners

  • Uni isn’t the only route.
  • Work hard and you’ll see the benefits.
  • Your network is your net worth.

Employers:

A lot of the time, not only is it a new journey for the apprentice, but also the company taking them under their wing. I was SuperDream’s second apprentice and the first my line manger had manged. Now we aren’t like normal employers, we don’t have a set of skills already occupied, and it’s your job to help us gain them. Now I’ve been very lucky because my line manager has become one of my best mates the last 4 years, and a lot of that came from just how supportive he was when I was an apprentice. Understand that we will make mistakes, and that you have to be slightly more lenient with us because we’re learning.

Ensure you are always supportive and gives us as many training/learning opportunities as possible. I was attending a new training session every other week, be it learning a piece of software like GA, or a separate skill that can help you with your current job role, for example for myself, I started as an offline media buyer, but I attended many PPC and social media training sessions which have all helped me develop further with my current job role and have given me a more diverse set of skills.

Finally although we obviously have a job to do for you, remember we also have apprenticeship assignments to do, and some days we will have to priorities getting those done to ensure we pass the apprenticeship, so just be mindful of our work load and make sure we aren’t completely overwhelmed with both company work and apprenticeship work.

In a nutshell for employers

  • We will make mistakes, be patient and supportive.
  • Allow as many training sessions as possible.
  • Manage work load together.

If you are looking at hiring an apprentice then please find out more here.

If you are looking to applying for an apprenticeship then please view our vacancies here

 

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