At the beginning of this year, Emma Knott joined Team AMBITIOUS on a Communication and PR apprenticeship with us. 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 this Communications and PR apprenticeship. 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. My thoughts initially being that apprentices were teenagers coming straight out of school, however, this is vastly changing. You can be 25 years old, like me, embarking on an incredible opportunity (cheesy but true).
A bit of background
The creative industries were always where I wanted to work, even studying journalism at university. After graduation, I didn’t go straight into the sector, I went back to a hotel job. Eventually, I got myself a job as a Business Development Manager. This 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, as this what was familiar. I honestly didn’t think there would be much in the creative industries to get into.
Starting a PR apprenticeship
By chance, I came across the PR apprenticeship being run by AMBITIOUS and Cirencester College on the GOV.uk website. There was a light bulb moment for me: ‘go pursue what you really want to do’! I had journalism experience but not specifically PR, so learning and work simultaneously really caught my attention.
It was so exciting when I got the interview and I enjoyed doing the research for the interview brief. Immediately, I was interested and invested, so I knew it was a perfect role for me.
I joined AMBITIOUS at a crazy time, but never felt on my own (even though I definitely am in my office at home). Plenty of help is given to me and I 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. My favourite task is writing for social media as I can flex my pun skills! It has been a while since I’ve worked like 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 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. Adapting myself to a new company from home was challenging for me as I have 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 Wednesdays 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 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 four 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. I managed to get training on the app and even get an invite through my tutor, which helped me develop a Clubhouse blog post for AMBITIOUS. It gives me hope that there will be many more opportunities like this. They help me to learn and gain external knowledge that I can use and develop in my practical work.
As I mentioned before, this is an unusual time and we would usually be meeting clients, networking, and going to events. A benefit to this is the extra time to 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.
If you’re interested in learning more about apprenticeships with AMBITIOUS, contact us.