Written by: Melissa Gould
Why an apprenticeship?
When I finished sixth form in May 2021 I still had no idea what it was I wanted to do and knew nothing about apprenticeships so I continued working my part time retail job in hopes that I would soon figure it out. When New Year’s 2022 came around and I was still no closer to knowing, it began to upset me. At the end of that February and with the help of a career’s advisor, I decided I wanted to study Digital Marketing. I knew I liked English and Business in school, am interested in social media and what’s popular and was keen to live in a city so the careers advisor directed me to a digital marketing apprenticeship.
The idea of university never appealed to me meaning: as much as I wanted a degree, being able to get one was always out of the question. This was of course, until I found out about the apprenticeship programs that were available in this field. I could do my apprenticeship and come out the other end with qualifications, real-world work experience in my chosen sector, my savings intact and no student debt.
After getting advice from a career’s advisor, I took to the Government website and found Purple Lime’s apprenticeship advertisement and applied straight away. I was invited for an interview the week after, was offered the job a couple of days after that and then began my new apprenticeship 3 weeks later. This was my first ever proper interview and it was scary. I wasn’t sure what to wear or where I was going, the Sunday before my interview I forced my parents to come with me so I could see exactly where I was going and how long it would take me to get there. I brought a new blouse for the interview and then forgot to take out the tag so, when I got back in my car after the interview, I realised that I had been walking around with the tag hanging out the top of my new blouse. I thought for sure that I had not got the job.
The handy thing about apprenticeships is that they can start whenever your employer is ready, there is no set date of the year that all apprenticeships start; they’re flexible.
Top 5 reasons for doing an apprenticeship:
- The qualification you get at the end
- The valuable and recognisable work experience you get out of it
- You will be paid a salary to learn your chosen subject
- You are in control of your own study time but have support when you need it
- The ability to build up your savings whilst you learn
How Purple Lime welcomed me
Going into the Purple Lime office on my first day was the only time I had ever stepped foot in a working office, and I had no idea what I was doing. Having two screens? I barely knew how to use one. I had heard about imposter syndrome before, but this was the first time I had really felt like I shouldn’t have been there. For the first couple of months there were a lot of things that I didn’t understand, such as what the terms M&A, R&D or P&L meant or simply how to attach a document to an email as an embedded link. it felt daunting at the beginning, but broken down into individual tasks, they were completely manageable to learn. Learning as much of the job as possible is what an apprenticeship is all about. Getting over the feeling took time but was made easier by the Purple Lime team, who welcomed me straight away and reassured that no question was a silly question. Everyone was happy to help me, including the directors, sometimes that’s a learning curve all of its own. The Purple Lime family are a bunch of young accountants who like to have fun and support each other with anything and everything, which made settling in and feeling comfortable in my new environment so much easier.
How Purple Lime have supported me
Purple Lime has gone above and beyond to support me throughout my apprenticeship so far. No matter what I’ve needed I’ve been offered support or, where possible, a solution. Even as an apprentice I was always expected to produce high quality work and was gently pushed to grow my skills wherever possible. Having an understanding team when it comes to studying is imperative as it allows you to focus on assignments with the knowledge that there is help around you and no pressure to be doing something else.
9 months into my studies, the apprenticeship provider I was with was shut down by Ofsted, essentially making me and my apprenticeship redundant. During this time, Purple Lime did all they could to make sure I was taken care of which made a time that should have been very stressful far less so. It’s usually down to the apprentice to find a new training provider, but Purple Lime management took charge with their connections and made this process super simple for me. With their help, I was able to enrol onto a new apprenticeship provider and lose out on very minimal study time meaning that I was able to keep my job and continue with my learning. So far my journey with my new apprenticeship provider, Professional Apprenticeships, has been great and I’d recommend you getting in touch.
How I have grown
When looking back to where I was nine months ago, it shows me how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. The learning process during an apprenticeship is extremely gradual so it can be difficult to notice when you’re growing. Looking back through old reports I’ve collated, or past media plans I’ve created, it is clear to see how I’ve grown both professionally and independently in knowledge, understanding and ability.
It is easy to feel disheartened at some points of an apprenticeship as it often feels as though you’re 100 steps behind everyone else in the room but, without even realising you will catch up and be able to join in with or even lead discussions that used to sound like gibberish. I am now competent in many areas, can interact with clients and colleagues on accounting matters and can hold my own in meetings which is something that I couldn’t even imagine doing 9 months ago. I can independently produce insights, reports, marketing plans and social media campaigns without assistance and know what I am talking about when doing so.
Purple Lime have been essential in my growth, the unparalleled support and wealth of knowledge around me has acted as a catalyst to help me become the marketeer I am growing into.
In summary, everything new is scary and big life changes are scarier still, but you take one step at a time and you will get to the top of your goal mountain. Looking back at your tricky journey, you will feel an incredible sense of achievement. Go for it!
If you’re interested in starting your journey with Purple Lime, we’re always looking for talent www.purplelime.uk.com/careers/