Olivia at work!

Olivia, one of WhiteHat’s wonderful apprentices, has written a blog about her experience as an apprentice! With her kind permission, here is her story. You can also follow her here.

Some may think an apprenticeship is an easy route to take instead of going to Uni, but this may not always be the case (although, I will never find out which one is harder). Why did I decide on the apprenticeship route some people may ask, but the truth is, I didn’t want to waste time and money when I could be learning, working and earning all at the same time. Others may take an apprenticeship as they are undecided on what to do next or to try something that they thought they wanted to pursue. There is no harm in applying for an apprenticeship then deciding it isn’t the route for you but there is also no harm in completing an apprenticeship and then wanting to go to university to further your education.

I look at my apprenticeship as a pathway to my career. If I can get a qualification in the industry that I want to be in then why shouldn’t I do it? Although it took me one year, five training providers and a house move to find my apprenticeship, I’m glad I took this step in my life.

I have now been in my placement for 10 months and it has been a ride. There has been good times and bad but I am getting through it to get my qualification. My training provider, WhiteHat has been very supportive throughout my journey, offering advice and guidance whenever I needed it. My apprenticeship coach is always there to guide me on the path to success. She visits once a month to teach me, sign off my units and check how my apprenticeship is going. This support is beneficial as an apprentice because it makes you an independent learner in the workplace. But if you want to succeed at something you have to stick it out and never give up, no matter how hard it gets. I have met some amazing people at my workplace with so much knowledge, these are the people I will remember in my future career.

When you are the youngest person in a company, it helps you grow and learn what the real world is like. I was very lucky to start my apprenticeship at the age of 17, meaning that I will have the knowledge and skillset at a young age to take with me wherever I wish to go next. When I ask people to guess my age, they never believe that someone so young would be doing a full time job like I am today.

So I still have eight months left of my Level three Digital Marketing apprenticeship but I don’t think the road will be as long as I think it will be. If I keep myself together and keep pushing through, I can get this qualification. An apprenticeship is a good way to go if you don’t believe university is for you. Yes the ‘Uni life’ may be fun but I will miss that if it means I get ahead of everyone else now. My friends will come out of university in 3, 4 or 5 years’ time with their degrees but by then I aim to be a step up in my career, using the knowledge I learnt in my apprenticeship.

Everyone needs to start somewhere and my journey started here.