Being an Apprentice – Tamzin Klyen

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Recently I have seen a lot of blog posts about the benefits of an apprenticeship, yet they are all written by employers or the people who are trying to convince you to get an apprenticeship. That’s all well and good but maybe the point of view of someone who is doing an apprenticeship will interest you?

I have been working for Utility People for a year in August, I started less than a month after my GCSE’s. School was okay for me, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the next 2 years so I got myself a job as a business Intern for Utility People, and I am really pleased they have just decided to employ me for a second year as a Marketing Intern.

The past 10 months have been a real eye opener for me – the difference between working and going to school is surprising.  There are so many things you come up against when working that school doesn’t prepare you for, for example general etiquette within the office is something you have to watch and learn from the people around you.  Even working that extra couple of hours in a day when you are usually doing from 9-3:00 will take some getting used to.

When I first started I was scared, I would be the youngest in the office, I was fresh out of year 11 and I had no idea what working life was like. However, when you start an apprenticeship your colleagues and managers know that you are new, they will teach the ropes and you will learn a lot more at work than at school.

Being an apprentice has made me a lot more confident in developing my own ideas, voicing my opinions and being proud of the work that I produce. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but without having my managers, directors and colleagues there to teach me, I would not have come as far as I have in the last year.  You may think I’m over exaggerating, but it’s true, and the skills you learn at work can be practiced in your everyday life.

Nowadays you need a job to get experience but experience to get a job. That is exactly what an apprenticeship will give you, because as well as working, I am doing an NVQ and by personal choice, a qualification at the Chartered Institute of Marketing in my free time.

So, by the time my friends have finished school I will have 2 years’ experience, 2 NVQ’s and be 2 years into my CIM qualification.

Overall, my top 5 favourite things about an apprenticeship are:

  1. The freedom to express my ideas and opinions
  2. The fact that as you learn you develop skills you never knew you had
  3. Every day is different
  4. I’m nearly 17 and I’ve already started my career
  5. Of course, the pay check at the end of each month helps as well!

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