What’s it like to be an apprentice? | January 2020

10th February 2020

I’m Sophie Cooper, an apprentice at InterLearn working in the marketing team, studying towards a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship.  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!

Happy January!

To kick off the start of the new year, me and my other colleagues in the Marketing Team were tasked with creating a Happiness Campaign; a fantastic idea from our resident Customer Services Exec, Lanny! This is because January itself is said to be the most depressing month of the year and where we have an unhealthy amount of negative thinking. We wanted to change this by injecting some positive thinking and implementing tasks to increase your happiness! From eating cake to reframing your mind to taking a walk and dressing up your pet; I loved brainstorming these ideas and bringing these ideas to the forefront of my mind because it increased my happiness too!

We also supported Brew Monday, a campaign held annually by the Samaritans; you can read more about it here. Brew Monday is held on the 20th January each year, which is said to be the most depressing day of the year, so it’s intended to combat these January Blues. The theme is to ask family, friends, colleagues to come together with a cuppa and have an open conversation to manage the ups and the downs of life. Whilst on that day I wasn’t in the office, me and my work colleagues all sent in photos of us having a cuppa, showing that you don’t need to be physically together to stay connected. This really lifted my spirits and throughout January it was really great to see it boost the mood in the office!

What I’ve been up to…

This month my main task was brainstorming ideas and specific days to add to the Happiness Calendar, editing the copy and uploading this to the socials. This involved researching National Days related to positive thinking, gaining relevant statistics on the topics and creating mini tasks to go alongside the post. For me, this challenged my creativity and how I engage with an online audience, all of which are enhancing my social media skillset, essential in the Marketing Team! And I found it was really fun! It was a nice change of pace to focus on a different aspect of learning, instead of being specifically in the workplace, it was more about everyday learning and how this can change your life. I particularly loved doing the Dress up your Pet Day post because we got to showcase my team members dog dressed up and he looked woof-der-ful (get it?) And all my other colleagues sent in photos as well; which was really great to see this engagement; as well as the fierce fashion of these furry friends!

Another task, that had been handed to me was contacting our Learning Support Coaches (LSCs) about any stories they would like to share as part of #NAW2020. With the focus of National Apprenticeship Week 2020 being #LookBeyond, we wanted to find out more about the diversity and backgrounds of our learners and what an #apprenticeship meant to them. This was very nerve wracking as I hadn’t done this before, but the LSCs where all really kind and more than happy to help! And it was great to hear how learners are loving their #apprenticeships, you can read more about it here. With #NAW2020 right around the corner me and the Marketing Team had a group meeting where we brainstormed ideas about how we would make the most out the week and the accompanying content for our various platforms. From this I was tasked with creating the copy and scheduling the times these went live on social media; in a tight timeframe. I found this experience really put my time management and creative thinking skills to the test and I was able to complete more than I thought I would have. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t sell yourself short because you’ll be surprised about what you can actually do!

Overall, I’ve had a really fun and positive month at InterLearn while doing my job and learning at the same time. Bringing more happiness in the workplace through the Happiness Calendar and finding out more about the benefits of apprenticeships, as well as how quirky the Marketing Team really is (you’ll be surprised!); I can safely say 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 #earnwhileyoulearn 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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