Luke has just completed an advanced digital media apprenticeship with Get Manic. We talked to him about his experience.

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?

I was torn between finding full-time work or doing retakes. I didn’t do well in my A-Levels but the thought of having to retake exams again was stressful. I was also working in Waitrose and suddenly thought that I didn’t want to be working in a supermarket my whole life. An apprenticeship seemed like a way to open doors, and not just supermarket doors!

What did you hope to gain from doing an apprenticeship?

I wanted to have the financial security to move out of the family home by securing a full-time job but was aware that I was still young and had limited experience in the digital industry which I wanted to go into. Becoming an apprentice was an amazing opportunity to earn whilst also learning. I know I learn best by doing and realised learning on the job was the most efficient way for me to enhance my skills.

What was involved in applying to be an apprentice?

From start to finish the process was less than two weeks. I searched all over Indeed and the Creative Process website for digital apprentice vacancies and applied to lots of them. I was then invited for a recruitment event where I impressed the recruiter and was immediately put forward for an interview with two employers. The interviews went brilliantly and I was offered both. I chose to go with Get Manic because it was based in the centre of Brighton. Brighton is an exciting digital hub and the perfect place to hone my digital skills. Alongside this, it’s also a fun place with lots going on and a young demographic. It’s a very livable city and I plan to be based here long-term.

What did you learn from working on the job?

I was given a huge amount of responsibility and freedom in my workplace, for which I am extremely grateful. There is a common myth about apprentices that they just make the tea and answer the phones. I was responsible for a huge variety of business tasks from SEO to sales, social media marketing to customer service. Because I had so much responsibility, I learnt a huge amount very quickly. Another fantastic thing about my job was that it was with a small company so I was a crucial part of the team, rather than a tiny cog in a massive wheel!

What did you learn from your days in the training centre?

The best thing I learnt on my training days was Social Media Strategy. I thought (as a young person) I knew all about social media but actually there’s so much to know. I learnt how to approach it from a B2B perspective rather than just C2C. I didn’t realize I had a passion for social media marketing until the training days. I want to specialise in Social Media in the future.

What did you think of the tutors and staff at Creative Process?

Everyone was incredibly supportive and without their continuous help, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the apprenticeship. At one point I fell behind on my work but my tutors were very patient with me and encouraged me not to give up. They always made it clear to me exactly what I needed to do and were on hand if I had any questions. I worked hard to catch up and ended up on top of things and completing the apprenticeship.

What was the best thing about your apprenticeship?

Meeting and networking with other young people working in the digital sector who had similar interests and goals to me. We became very close as a group and always helped to support one another over the duration of the course. It was particularly important that I developed great personal connections as I had moved on my own from my family home in London to Brighton.

What would you say to someone who is interested in becoming an apprentice?

You have nothing to lose. You gain experience, a qualification and money. It’s a win win win! Not enough people consider doing apprenticeships and rush head first into university when it might not actually suit them.

What are your long-term plans for the future?

It’s funny, I hated school and could never be bothered to do the work and didn’t see the point. Now, I can’t get enough of learning! I want to do as many courses as possible and learn from the best in the business. I’ll eventually move to a large agency so that I can learn from leading experienced digital marketers. I’d also love to live in the US for awhile to get a global view of digital. The great thing about being in this sector is that it’s in every country now and there are opportunities everywhere which are growing all the time.

If you had to sum up your apprenticeship experience in one sentence, what would it be?

The hardest, most valuable year of my life.