Apprenticeship Q&A

By Kristie Nanson

Join us as Kristie gives an insight into her Apprenticeship journey

1. If you could describe your apprenticeship in three words, what would they be?

Exciting, challenging and engaging.

 

2. Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship rather than go to University?

I actually went to university (albeit only for a month) but I just realised that it wasn’t for me.  I just kept thinking do I really want to spend nearly £30,000 for a degree that I didn’t desperately need to secure my dream job? This was enhanced even more as I realised, I actually didn’t know what I would do with this degree when I got it!

It was at this stage that I started looking into apprenticeships.   I was quite sceptical at first, as I thought it may not warrant the same opportunities that a degree would.  This was absolutely not the case, as there were so many different opportunities and PR was definitely the one, I was most excited about. I had completed some work experience at The British Fashion Council in their PR department and really enjoyed it, prompting me to think, if there is a way to get there without a degree, why not?

If you want to be able to earn money on the job, work in dynamic and engaging environments with the possibility of career progression, I strongly encourage that you look into apprenticeships.

 

3. Why should potential apprentices choose PR?

It is a great career choice for people who are creative, who like a varied working life and actually are not sure what they want to do, because there are so many different sectors and types of PR to choose from and always room for growth.

I would also say that you are rarely doing the same thing every day, and you have to be flexible to sometimes juggle lots of balls at the same time.

 

4. How have you found adjusting to working life after college?

This is interesting because after college, I went straight to university, where I promptly dropped out. Rather than seeing this as a failure, I worked as a waitress for a while to save up some money to travel across Canada and America. It was so much fun, and further developed my communication skills, while giving me valuable time to be completely independent.

So, when it came time to start working, I was raring to go, ready to get stuck in with everything and anything I could get involved in. It was something completely different, so was definitely a challenge but I was completely supported by my team and have built up confidence in my new-found abilities.

 

5. What are your favourite things about your apprenticeship?

I really enjoy actually working, and being responsible for my own work, whilst constantly learning from my experienced colleagues and this is something that university does not expose you to – working ‘hands on’ in a PR environment.  The added bonus is that you get paid to learn on the job!

At Oracle, I am very lucky, as while I primarily work on PR projects, I am also given the opportunity to try out other areas of the company, such as digital, events and marketing so it’s a chance to see if I have skills in other areas.

 

6. What skills have you developed since starting work at The Oracle Group?

It sounds really silly, but I was always a little bit self-conscious when answering the phone, just in fear that I would say the wrong thing and embarrass myself. I have really made some progress with this, I pick up the phone to journalists and the general office phone.

I am also much more aware of media influence, as now first thing in the morning, I check my phone, either on Twitter or on news websites to see what is happening in the world or to see if there are any new statistics available to feature in a press release, which I never have done before the apprenticeship.  I now feel completely clued up on important issues and how I can incorporate them.

Its improved skills that really could not have been improved upon if I hadn’t been working in a PR environment. For example, calling journalists, pitching features, writing press releases they are only things that can be worked upon in the PR workplace. Another thing is confidence, as I would say I was very shy when I first started because I was unsure of everything, but everyone at Oracle made me feel so welcome, and I have just never looked back since!

 

7. After you’ve completed your apprenticeship, where do you see yourself in five years?

I am about five months into my apprenticeship, and I think the beauty of the apprenticeship is that I don’t have to know what I want to do in five years, as I am still finding my feet.

I would love to do something that would incorporate aspects of history into my working life, as I really enjoy writing about it and I am sure at Oracle I can weave this in somewhere. We’ll just have to see!