Discovery are all about developing talent, not just for the employers we work with, but for our own business as well. Since 2015, we have recruited eight apprentices in our Birmingham office and we’re always looking for more opportunities to bring young talent into business!
In light of National Apprenticeship Week, we were keen to understand what our apprentices’ thought of their experiences of their apprenticeship route so far. So, we interviewed them!
This interview is with our Apprentice Marketing Coordinator, Sarah, who began her Level 2 Business Administration course back in 2015. Fast forward two years and Sarah has now nearly completed her Level 3 Marketing-specific apprenticeship. Here’s what she had to say about the experience…
Tell us about your apprenticeship journey.
I started as a Business Administration Apprentice with Discovery back in 2016. During this year, I learnt a lot about the business and how it works. I was more involved with the administration side of Marketing at the time. Once I had completed my first qualification, a year later, I then began my Level 3 Qualification in Marketing. My second apprenticeship was much harder than the first, but it really challenged me to think with more of a business perspective which has been incredibly useful in my professional development. I also learnt a lot about leading projects and have had lots of involvement in these in the past year. Its definitely been a great learning experience on both apprenticeship courses that I have taken and I’ve developed so many new skills.
Why did you choose the apprenticeship route?
College didn’t work out and A Levels just weren’t for me! I couldn’t see any good route to go to University and it felt like there was no hope! But then I started reading about apprenticeships and I thought; this makes sense! Classroom-based learning and theory work never really made much sense to me, so learning on the job and experiencing things in real-time has definitely been effective and has a much stronger impact, I think! Not only that, but earning while you learn is incredibly rewarding and certainly pushes you forward to try harder.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship scheme and why?
Yes. I would always recommend the apprenticeship route to young people my age. What people don’t realise is that university isn’t for everyone! Not everybody learns from that type of teaching style and sometimes, experiential learning just has more of an impact on some people and that’s okay! It doesn’t matter how you get somewhere, as long as you still reach your destination. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain experience, earn money while you learn and also career development is much quicker!
What skills have you developed during your time on an apprenticeship?
I have developed so many! I’d say commercial awareness is one of the key skills I’ve learnt since being here. I’ve also learnt a lot about how each department depends on eachother and I think this is an important part. You should always respect people across all different departments, as nothing would ever happen without each and every one of the team!
My communication skills have also improved a great deal. I remember coming into a business environment, how hard it was to adapt my tone and manner to fit in professionally. I remember the first time I picked up that phone and answered a call, too! That was a big moment for me but it’s all really helped me to build and grow on these skills.
I’ve also learnt a great deal of business administration and marketing skills which will really help me to develop within my career.
What our other apprentices had to say about their experiences with apprenticeships…
“I worked in full time employment after I finished my A-Levels and I didn’t enjoy the job I was doing. I knew I didn’t want to go to university. I knew it wasn’t going to be right for me. I felt stuck doing a job that was meaningless, but when I started looking into apprenticeships I felt like it was going to give me more opportunities and get me started on the right path to getting the job I really want.
Along with this, an apprenticeship would enable me to get a qualification alongside earning money, whilst also doing a job that will encourage me to grow. Apprenticeships are a great way forward if you’re like me and don’t want to do A-Levels or university, as they will develop your knowledge and skills.”
– Emily Wilson, our Administration Apprentice
“I started my Apprenticeship this time last year, I was a shy lad that needed exposure to the real world. Since the beginning of my Apprenticeship, I have gained so much confidence and developed a really good understanding of the recruitment industry.
This knowledge has helped me to progress from an apprentice into a full time Recruitment Project Consultant. I strongly believe that without the knowledge of the industry my apprenticeship has taught me, the progression I have experienced wouldn’t have happened.”
– Matthew Dines, our Recruitment Project Consultant, who started out in 2017 as a Recruitment Apprentice
“Once I finished my A-levels, I was unsure about a career path. I decided to go to university; I thought it was a good option as all my friends had applied to go. However, a couple of months into my first year, I realised that the course I was studying and the university balance wasn’t for me.
I then started applying to apprenticeships. I felt I needed to learn and be active in a role at the same time in order to keep me engaged. Since starting my apprenticeship, I’ve been developing my knowledge and skills in a job I enjoy and I am seeing the benefits of my work every day.”
– Jodie Gill, our Recruitment Apprentice
“I chose an apprenticeship because I believed it was the best way to kickstart progression within my potential career. After I did A levels, I felt stuck because I didn’t want to go to university and I didn’t want to just get a normal job with no clear view for development. That’s why I have followed the apprenticeship route. It’s honestly the best choice I have made for myself because I can work my way up into a role that is in consistent demand and gain qualifications throughout the process”
– Matthew Collier, our Recruitment Apprentice who began his apprenticeship two weeks ago.