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07 October 2015

Six Months as an Apprentice

by James Cottis

When I was about halfway through my first year of sixth form, I started to realise that maybe it just wasn’t for me. I’d already changed my subject choices after a month or so, and still only found myself interested in one of the subjects I was doing. I think my main problem was the fact that I really had no idea what I actually wanted to do, and so I didn’t want to spend two years of my life being unhappy and getting qualifications for subjects that I most likely wouldn’t pursue a career in. I decided to leave sixth form and explore the world of apprenticeships.

After a few months of what felt like endless searching, I still hadn’t found myself an apprenticeship that I really wanted to do. I’d applied for a few, and been to some interviews, but my lack of confidence seemed to be holding me back. I decided to get myself a part time job so I wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing while I figured out what I actually wanted to do. Having a job also gave me the confidence boost I needed, and after six months of working in customer services, I finally realised that I wanted to work in media. After having a job where I had to constantly speak to strangers, I felt a lot more comfortable with applying for apprenticeships and preparing myself for interviews.

A few short weeks after deciding where I wanted to be, I became a part of the team here at Twist as a Social Media & Digital Marketing apprentice. I’m now six months into my apprenticeship, and I don’t regret leaving college at all. Sure, I don’t have any A-Levels, but I didn’t exactly need or want a qualification in Health and Social Care. If I’d stuck with college, I wouldn’t be working full time, doing a job that I actually enjoy. I love the fact that I’ve basically been given a head start, and I’m still going to a get a qualification at the end of it.

The last six months have been great, and I can’t wait for the next six. I’ve learnt a lot about the industry, and have gained new knowledge on things such as SEO, copywriting, and social media management, as well as building and improving on my existing knowledge and skills.

A lot of people don’t understand what my role actually entails, and so when I say I’m a Social Media & Digital Marketing apprentice, they tend to assume that I’m just Tweeting all day and sharing things on Facebook. Although that is part of what I do, my job actually involves writing blog posts, copywriting for websites, SEO and of course managing social media accounts.

I always have Twitter running in the background of whatever I’m doing, and I check Facebook accounts on a regular basis to post and share relevant content, as well as keeping an eye on activity from followers. I also have to do a lot of SEO tags, which involves keyword research, and reading up about the business in order create tags that are relevant to their industry and specific to what they do so that they can be easily found on search engines. Writing blog posts is probably my favourite part of the job. It involves a lot of research and proof-reading, but writing has always been one of my hobbies. Copywriting for websites is a similar process, but it can be a little daunting if I don’t know much about the company or the industry, so it often involves a lot more research than blog posts do.

The past six months have been a great experience, and I’m so grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to work in an industry that is relevant to my interests. I hope to be able to develop my skills further, and possibly move on to do some design work in the future. I can’t wait to see what the next six months will bring, and where this career path will take me.

If you would like to learn more about apprenticeships, you can visit www.apprenticeships.gov.uk


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