Here is the story of one of our apprentices about their journey to success.

Throughout school, I was always unsure of what career path I wanted to follow. After studying Business at GCSE level, I was sure that something within the business world, most likely marketing, was something that I wanted to pursue. During A-Levels my school (who focused on academia) heavily encouraged UCAS applications, provided visits to universities and conducted workshops to assist us in applying. So, like most others at my sixth form, I applied for the traditional university route.

vacant brown wooden chair at stadium
Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
However, as A-Level exams approached, I realised that whilst my friends were becoming more and more excited about embarking on their university journey, this same feeling did not resonate with me. Even though I had places at universities, I wanted something more as I had worked part-time since the age of fifteen. I enjoyed the prospect of earning money; but I valued the importance of a degree too.
I applied for the Rotational Degree Apprenticeship initially, which I discovered on Not Going to Uni. I went through the tough application process and made it to the final interview with the CEO of Kantar Added Value, a consultancy business working as part of WPP. However, during the interview I was told that the role was in Paris and I would be moving there within the next fortnight. I knew immediately that the role wasn’t for me as I was not prepared to do all of this for a job. They said that they were ready for me but I was not ready for them.

Therefore, I decided to apply to the L’Oreal degree apprenticeship, based in Hammersmith and a lot closer to home. In hindsight, I should have waited because I have little interest in cosmetics and that industry but I applied because I knew that the route was for me. Again, I got to the final interview stage and was tasked with a presentation and interview. The feedback was that the interview had let me down.

After a lot of evaluation, I decided to give it one more try. I started a new job in an estate agency to establish both office-based skills and dealing with people and conflict. I used the spare time I had to complete various courses such as interviewing and application skills. Once my current degree apprenticeship came online, I knew it was the best one yet! After reviewing my role, I did a social media and digital marketing course, as well as a video editing course to cover all the bases of the team I would be working in. These courses were online and really helped to stand out and give examples in interview.

woman browsing on her laptop
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam / Unsplash

My main piece of advice for those that have been unsuccessful would be to be resilient and try again if you know this is something that you want to do. Research the company that you wish to work for and try to think of examples of things that you have done that others haven’t. Read books and watch videos to better educate yourself about areas of the job description or company that you want to work for. Build a network, but most of all: be yourself and enjoy it!

Visit Pearson College London website to find out more about our Degree Apprenticeships.