Thinking of doing a PR apprenticeship in 2021? Meet Emma

At the beginning of this year, Team AMBITIOUS welcomed Emma Knott as a PR and Communications Apprentice. Our second apprentice to join the agency, Emma has had a different induction to the world of PR than most – remote working and learning for the moment!

We asked her to give an update on her PR apprenticeship so far. Over to you Emma…

In this unusual time, I really feel like I’ve landed on my feet with a PR and Communications apprenticeship at AMBITIOUS PR. It’s National Apprenticeship Week so a fitting time to acknowledge the benefits of my own experience.

I guess I’ve had a different route on my apprenticeship journey. I always thought that apprentices were teenagers coming straight out of school and getting into the field they wanted; however, I realise that this is vastly changing. I’m 25 years old and I think this is the most incredible opportunity for me and was meant to be (cheesy but true).

A bit of background

I always knew I wanted to work in the creative industries.  I even studied journalism at university, but after graduation I didn’t go straight into the sector, I went back to a hotel job. I eventually got myself a job as a Business Development Manager working for an events company, which is where I found out that I wanted to focus on marketing and social media engagement.

Then the dreaded announcement of Covid-19 came and I lost my job. After this happened, I was just looking for a full-time job in the events sector because that was familiar and I honestly didn’t think there would be much in the creative industries to get into.

Becoming an apprentice

 I was looking at the GOV.uk website and by chance came across the PR and Communications apprenticeship being run by AMBITIOUS and Cirencester College. I had a light bulb moment ‘go pursue what you really want to do’! I had journalism experience but not specifically PR, so to learn and work simultaneously really caught my attention.

I was so excited when I got the interview and I enjoyed doing the research for the interview brief. I was immediately interested and invested, so I knew it was a perfect role for me.

I joined AMBITIOUS at a crazy time, but I’ve never felt like I’m on my own (even though I definitely am in my office at home). I get plenty of help, and was made to feel like part of the team from the minute I joined.

How’s it going?

I’ve been working at AMBITIOUS for a month now, and I already feel like I’ve learned so much and been given a lot of responsibility. I am loving writing for social media as that is my main interest and I can flex my pun skills! I have put a lot of my experience and what I already know into my work, but it has been a while since I’ve done this so the help from the team has been amazing. A huge benefit of an apprenticeship is that you’re there to learn new skills and to put them into practice straight away.

It hasn’t all been a walk in the park (even though we’re doing a lot of that at the moment), I’ve faced a few challenges learning the role remotely. I have felt silly asking certain questions over email that probably would’ve just come up in the office. I also found it challenging adapting myself to a new company from home and sometimes felt incredibly shy on Zoom when I wouldn’t have in person. I enjoy meeting people and online is just sometimes a bit awkward isn’t it? Having said that, everyone has been so supportive which has put me at ease.

Balancing college and learning

 I spend four days a week with AMBITIOUS and my Wednesday with Cirencester College. This was also a very different experience than I was used to. As much as I was really looking forward to getting back into learning, it was also all online. I’m used to attending big lecture theatres with lots of people at university, so I was honestly a little bit apprehensive.

The sessions have been done really well though. I’ve had plenty of support from my tutor and regular meetings making it feel more personal than university. I’ve had 4 lessons so far with two incredibly interesting industry professionals. These are huge benefits of an apprenticeship as it really enhances your learning and experience at work.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the social media engagement sessions with Jonathan Pollinger, these are very relevant for my work and I have used lots of information from these sessions in my role. We were very interested in the new app Clubhouse so I managed to get training on the app and even get an invite through my tutor, which will help me develop a blog post for AMBITIOUS. It gives me hope that there will be many more opportunities like this for me to learn and gain external knowledge that I can use and develop in my practical work.

What’s next?

As I mentioned before, this is an unsual time and we would usually be meeting clients, networking and going to events. I’m taking this time to really focus on learning the ropes of my role, so that I’m ready for when things get back to normal. I’m looking forward to making it into the office with everyone and hopefully doing things as a team. I’m incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to pursue my career goals in the PR industry and would recommend the route of apprenticeships to anyone with similar goals.

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