I’m a Social Media Apprentice and no, I don’t just ‘Sit on Twitter all day’ | Bridgwater & Taunton College

I’m building a career for myself, learning crucial business skills and gaining invaluable first-hand experience in the world of work. All whilst having a load of fun! How? I thank my Social Media Apprenticeship. Here’s how and why I’m where I am today.

Fresher’s Week had ended and I was left with the hangover from hell, a bunch of fuzzy memories of new friends ordering yet another Jäger Bomb, and still no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Yes, I’d made it into uni and yes the social aspect of uni life was everything they said it would be; but something didn’t feel right. How could I commit my time and money to a course I wasn’t 100% happy with doing? I gave it four months, but after Christmas I made the huge decision to leave university and focused on finding a pathway to a career that was right for me. Leaving uni wasn’t the end; it was the beginning.

After brainstorming for a long time about the type of career I might want to aim for, I discovered the world of social media for business. This was my “Eureka!” moment, if you like. I discovered the ‘Social Media for Business Apprenticeship’ with Bridgwater College, where I’d be working for a Public Relations (PR) company called Empica. It sounded so suited to me. It involved my love of writing, being creative and using the world of social media; all to promote businesses. I compared the opportunity with Bridgwater to other apprenticeships and found theirs to offer the best opportunities to me; they have a great support team, the wage is incredibly generous compared to other apprenticeship wages, and there is a strong chance of employment on completion of my apprenticeship.

I applied for the apprenticeship, completed the interview process and was thrilled to be told I’d been chosen for the apprenticeship – all within a month. The interview process wasn’t at all difficult or scary. I was interviewed by the manager and a couple of other colleagues at Empica PR (the company I’m now an apprentice for) at their office. The interview was done in an open, chatty and friendly style where we had some great discussions about my potential role within their company and I answered the questions they had for me to the best of my ability. I’m now coming into my 7th month working for Empica PR, as an apprentice, and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by! My co-workers are so friendly and helpful and I never feel singled-out or unimportant because I’m an apprentice; I truly feel part of the team and it’s a team I’m proud to be a part of. I even have my own business card now too – cool, right?

My daily tasks include monitoring and looking after Empica’s client’s social media accounts. Usually when I begin describing my job to people they’ll jump in and say “So you get paid to go and sit on Twitter all day?!” I always laugh it off and explain that there is SO much more to my job than tweeting here and there. During my time with Empica so far I have helped organise, and attended, the grand opening of a new hotel; been to an awards ceremony with clients; written a press release for an up and coming local musician; attended various business networking events and filmed a local art exhibition. When promoting businesses on social media there is always so much research and planning that goes on before posting anything. It’s a totally different world to the social media you’re used to using for personal accounts.

Since beginning my apprenticeship I have noticed a huge change in myself; I wake up and I feel driven and motivated by what I do – I’ve never felt that kind of pull from anything I’ve set my mind to before. I’m far more confident interacting with people, especially in a business setting. I feel a sense of independence and maturity as well, as I’ve taken my first steps into the world of work. On top of all of this, I’m learning new skills in IT, events organising, promoting techniques, written skills and lots more. I’m constantly learning new things whilst working.

Being an apprentice for Empica has also helped me set clear, long term goals for myself. When I was at university I had no idea what career I’d end up in; now I know I’d love to be the head of Social Media for a PR or Advertising company one day. I’ve also thought about being the head of Social Media for a magazine, such as Cosmopolitan. I’m a lot more focused on the future now and I’m looking forward to it, rather than being scared because I don’t know what I want to do.

Overall, I think everyone figures out their own way of getting where they want to be. If that way is University and that works for you, then that’s great. However, don’t feel pressured to go to Uni just because it’s what everyone else seems to be doing. I value my apprenticeship as it enables me to learn on the job and gain invaluable experience of what working in the real world is like. The things I have done in my 7 months with Empica I would never have had a chance to do if I had stayed on at Uni, and truthfully, I doubt I would be any surer of what I wanted to do career wise. If you want to take a hands-on approach to landing your dream job I would strongly advise considering an apprenticeship.

If you're interested in an apprenticeship like Paige's check out our Apprenticeship page here.

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