What does it take to be an apprentice?

Charlotte Matthews recently completed her Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Bournemouth & Poole College. In this blog, Charlotte will give you the inside scoop on what it takes to be a successful apprentice! 

I’m Charlotte and I started a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship in September 2018. Last month I graduated from my Apprenticeship (pause for applause!) and I wanted to take this opportunity to shed a little light on what it’s like to be an apprentice. 

I always knew I wanted to do something amazing in my career, that I wanted to be incredibly successful but what I didn’t know was how? 

After taking the time to look at my skills set, I realised that marketing would be the ideal industry for me. I was confident, passionate, enthusiastic, loved to sell and was inspired by the glamorous lifestyle marketing initially presented. 

I had just finished my A- Levels and had unconditional offers to attend university, yet I decided an Apprenticeship was by far the best option. It allowed me to avoid getting into debt, gain a qualification and get the work experience I needed to stand out from the crowd and compete against graduates in the world of work. 

Yes, it was the right option but leaving school and entering the world of work at the ripe old age of 18 was tough. I secured a prestigious placement at a social media agency for my Apprenticeship. I was on a different photoshoot each week, working with huge international clients. I learnt about client relationships and how to develop and deliver creative concepts. I was there for over a year, working four days a week. On my day release from work, I continued to reply to emails, liaise with clients, proof copy, take phone calls and attend meetings. On weekends I perfected my portfolio, coursework and prepared for exams. I built my theory from the ground up.

At the same time as this I gained my Coding and Principles of Marketing qualifications with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, my CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) and now my L3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship.

After all of that I changed placements. I moved from a trendy and fast paced digital agency to Bournemouth & Poole College’s Marketing department half way through my course. This was just another challenge in my journey. I chose to do this in order to ensure I fulfilled the different competencies that were part of my course. I had to adapt to both agency and in-house environments, as well as new teams. I proved myself to my managers once again. I had the opportunity to learn a whole new way of working and got to know new target audiences. 

After finishing my Apprenticeship, I was offered a permanent position in the Marketing department here at the college as a Digital Marketing Co-ordinator. I’m able to continue my work and build even further on the skills and lessons I’ve learnt throughout my course.

1 year and 10 months later, I’m stronger, more resilient and confident. Apprentices follow this path through choice because we expect nothing less than fantastic for our futures. If you think you too are up for the challenge, I would strongly encourage you to choose an Apprenticeship. It will be hard work and challenging at times but it will be worth it in the end. 

Apprenticeships are not the simple choice but nothing great was ever easy. If this is what I’ve achieved in 2 years at the age of 19, what will I achieve in the next 10?  

If you would like to see what a day in the life of an apprentice looks like, head over to our Instagram channel and tap through our highlight 'Takeovers'. 

Make sure to explore all the different apprenticeships we offer here OR get in touch with our apprenticeships team on: apprenticeships@bpc.ac.uk


*Photo Credit: @socialsecret