What’s it like to be an apprentice? | December 2019

8th January 2020

I’m Sophie Cooper, an apprentice at InterLearn working in the marketing team, studying towards a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship and I’ll be sharing my experiences with you as I progress through my course giving a realistic account of what it’s like to be an apprentice. So, if you’re interested in apprenticeships, hopefully you’ll enjoy this blog series and find it useful!

Elves and elf day!

The ‘C’ in Christmas stands for crazy round here (as well as challenging, but more on that later). In December everything got merrier and more festive in the office because everyone was going crackers thinking about Christmas and the end of a really great year. Whether it was decorating the tree, blasting festive tunes or questioning who their Secret Santa was, people were really getting into the holiday spirit; and I took the opportunity to share this with our learners and employers – look through our December social media posts if you want proof. We had two new short-term recruits who graced the office, Elfin Kim, the new apprentice, and Elfin Tom, the new intern. They definitely had their fair share of fun around the office, which I got to document as part of the marketing plans for December, sharing their individual journeys online, which was very different for me! It’s not every day you’re posting about what elves are doing in the workplace.

Ok, so getting back to the topic of being festive, you’re probably wondering what me and my colleagues are doing all dressed up in elf costumes. I mean that’s not really the usual dress code at the office. Throughout December there was a number of Christmas charity events we got to participate in, and this was Elf Day on 6 December,  a fundraiser for the Alhzeimer’s Society where you don your most ‘elftastic’ outfit and raise money and awareness to beat dementia; we ended up donating over £30!   You can read more about it here.  It was really fun on these days getting to cut loose with work colleagues and have some festive fun whilst getting our workload completed. With everyone having a really great time, it was very interesting to see them getting stuck into Christmas and what it meant for them. As the classic song goes: ‘step into Christmas, the admission’s free!’.


What I’ve been up to…

As you can imagine, this month my main task involved creating copy for social media posts involving InterLearn’s two resident elves. This is because December kicked off the start of our Elf on the Shelf campaign. This was to try and encourage both the holiday spirit and on-the-job training in the workplace, reaching our learners through our social media channels.  This involved thinking up scenarios that our elves would be involved in at the office, what they did at the weekend and what their end goal was. So basically, for December I was a Christmas storyteller. Something I definitely didn’t see myself doing in this role! Saying that, though, it was refreshing to have a wide amount of variety in the social media posts I create. It just means one day is never going to be the same as the other!  And that’s something I’m very excited about.

Another task, that had been extended from last month was rebranding important apprenticeship documents within the company. Using the pre-designed templates and transferring over the relevant information to these as well as re-wording key areas. This task, for me, involved a high level of responsibility and I was definitely ready (I’ve said that too many times, haven’t I) to take on this challenge! It was nice to know that my manager and colleagues were there if I was ever stumped about what to do. This made me worry a whole lot less and meant this task was easier to complete. I was also, at the time, creating the #happinesscalendar, with one of my colleagues. This meant that I was multi-tasking quite a bit and I could get a bit conked out from this, but equally I knew that I would only have to say if it was all a bit too much (but I do love a good challenge!) Even though this was challenging, these tasks were given to me in chunks, so I found it quite manageable. And it was good knowing that I was really stretching my skillset because it meant I was enhancing my potential and finding my limits. One of the great things of doing an apprenticeship, being stretched but with the ‘safety net’ of your line manager and experienced colleagues.

Overall, I’ve had a really fun and different month at InterLearn while doing my job and learning at the same time. Going into work wearing the zaniest Christmas outfit I can find as well as learning just how much fun the team is around here, I mean if the photo doesn’t say it all! I’m really excited to see what I’ll be doing next month.

I would definitely recommend pursuing an apprenticeship if you want to gain experience and #earnwhilstyoulearn because I’m growing into a more resilient and independent person always striving to succeed, every day. If you’re an employer, I’d also encourage you to take on an apprentice in your workplace. I’d like to think that if you were to ask my manager, she would tell you that it’s a great thing to do!

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