By Sophie Babic, Account Executive
I remember the look of shock on my Sixth Form tutor’s face when I said I didn’t want to go to university. At the age of 17 I didn’t know what career I wanted to pursue and I felt left behind as my peers started planning for their futures. I’ve always been academic, but with hundreds of courses available, I didn’t want to spend thousands of pounds enrolling on a course I wasn’t 100% certain about.
Having studied English Literature, Media Studies and Drama at A Levels, I’ve always had a passion for writing, communication and media. In my past roles I didn’t have the opportunity to use my creativity so when I saw a vacancy to become an apprentice at Speed Communications I jumped at the chance. Having family that worked in PR, I had a basic understanding of the industry and I felt positive about entering the world of public relations. Being able to gain practical experience whilst learning and developing key skills was important to me and felt more beneficial to my future than studying full time for a degree.
I am now six months into my role at Speed, studying towards my Level 4 PR qualification with the PRCA. In such a short space of time I have learnt valuable skills and have utilised my talents to develop as an individual.
Agency life is definitely fast-paced, but the team at Speed are constantly checking in with me and ensuring I am getting the most out of my experience. I am constantly challenged and being given responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate theoretical knowledge for my apprenticeship.
Being around professionals with such varied experience in PR is invaluable to my learning. I am constantly observing campaigns taking shape, new clients being won, and coverage being secured which is something I could never see in a lecture. The course also includes webinars, virtual classrooms, and networking which allows me to learn from a huge amount of PR professionals.
Starting off my apprenticeship working from home was tough, but now we are hybrid working I can enjoy the mix of home and office-based working. Mondays have been set as our culture day where everyone comes into the office, and I look forward to it every week. The team at Speed make me feel valued and celebrate my achievements, which helps to grow my confidence every day.
I think apprentices are a vital part of the workforce and I hope that more organisations offer apprenticeships in the future. There are so many benefits of work-based learning, and a degree doesn’t guarantee job security, nor does it define someone’s capability. Having apprentices on board also provides new insights and increases productivity.
The first six months with Speed have been such an exciting time for me, and I look forward to continuing to gain experience and see where the future takes me after completing my qualification.