I had quite an unconventional secondary school and sixth form experience. Despite being rather academic, I really didn't enjoy school. As I got to sixth form, I decided to pick English Literature, Sociology, Philosophy and Ethics and ICT. I hadn't done ICT since year 9 and all I did in year 9 was look for where I lived using Google Earth!

Jessica shares her story on TalkRadio

Unfortunately not everyone enjoyed it as much as me and a lot of people dropped out of the class, so I wasn't able to continue it for my second year. This is when I decided to start looking for alternatives. I didn't see the point of picking up random subjects for the sake of it when I knew what I was interested in. So, I decided to drop out of sixth form and look for an apprenticeship where I could do something I was interested in and still gain my qualifications.

My teachers were pretty supportive but my head of sixth form did not encourage or help me at all. So I was always in two minds. But then as I did more research I saw the benefits for myself and didn’t need convincing. The opportunity to work full time but work as an apprentice is what caught my interest. You don't have the pressure to  know everything, because you’re there to learn! Not to mention you get paid and get qualifications along the way.

Fast forward a year, I’d completed my Digital Marketing Level 3 apprenticeship at the same time my peers were finishing up at sixth form. I’d gained a year's worth of work experience, had my A-Level equivalents and I was promoted to a digital marketing executive. I was in a fantastic position, but I really wanted to move into the tech space.

"It made me question my future in tech"

I was able to get a job in a tech company. But it was tough, because I started during the peak of the pandemic. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the company culture and the things I was learning, the pandemic made it very difficult. It made me question whether I really enjoyed tech or not, if I was smart enough, if the tech space was for girls like me, so many thoughts went through my head and I decided to take a step back.

I decided to leave and look for a level 4 tech apprenticeship. I had heard of Multiverse back when I started looking for apprenticeships so I searched them up.  I found so many apprenticeships, so many opportunities for so many different pathways. I came across the data analytics apprenticeship at Financial Times and had my eye set on it!

I spoke to a member of Multiverse and she assisted me with completing my profile. She gave me tips for perfecting my video, and a few grammatical tips. I then had a very short interview with Multiverse before I could start applying. The interview was awesome, really relaxed and felt like a conversation. I applied to FT, and was called back for an interview within a few weeks. Multiverse helped me with interview prep which really paid off. I then had a final interview and was told within a few days I had got the job!

"My apprenticeship has been amazing"

I was extremely grateful because I was previously feeling very low because I felt like I'd let myself down by leaving my previous tech job. So being given another opportunity to work towards my Level 4 apprenticeship then gradually progressing to a degree level apprenticeship was an opportunity I will always be thankful for.

So far my apprenticeship has been amazing. I have learned so much, both from my job and from Multiverse’s events. I’ve been able to do things I didn't think I’d ever be able to do.

From work, I’ve completed 3 projects which I found challenging which is a big win. With Multiverse, I've been given PR opportunities which I wouldn't get elsewhere, I've also been able to join the community Elevate programme - which are both in place to advocate for apprenticeships.

If I could give a young person advice, I'd say follow your heart, sometimes you have to go backwards to come forward - like in my case. I had to leave a really good opportunity in order to find my feet and try again. So don't ever beat yourself up about that. It's also really important to research because there are so many apprenticeship opportunities, not just in London, so build and use your network, and stay updated!

Learn more about apprenticeships at Multiverse