After finishing my A levels, I had to make the decision to go off to University or start full-time work. I was offered a place at my first-choice uni but it left me with a question – did I really want to spend £9,000 a year for four years of study when I could learn and earn on the job for just 15 months?

I quickly made the decision to reject my university place and start looking for apprenticeships on the government website. There were many available, some local and some far away, with different working times and days and from different apprenticeship providers. A large part of my decision came down to location and the working hours, as I coach at a local cheerleading club in my spare time.

Having an apprenticeship at By This River has meant I can carry on coaching in the evenings as work is very close to my club. Both my bosses are very flexible and understanding of my passion for cheerleading and work around this too.

In terms of the actual apprenticeship, I am learning and doing a lot more than I would be if I were sat in a marketing classroom at uni. My apprenticeship providers, Arch, have enrolled me on various online courses such as Google’s Digital Garage and the Dot Native digital marketing course which I study during my working week. What I learn on these courses I can then put into practice at work where I am set projects and tasks by my line manager Wendy.

I am now nearly half way through my apprenticeship and have learnt so much and used so many new types of software. I have helped to grow all our social media accounts and blog, which has resulted in more website visits and networking connections than ever before – although I haven’t quite landed a lead just yet!

Whatever field you are interested in, I suggest you take a good look at the apprenticeships on offer. With these sorts of things, you never know until you try and although sometimes I may feel that I’m doing the same thing every week or that I wish I could be doing more – I know that this is the best thing for me in the end. When I finish my apprenticeship fully qualified, those people I would have studied with at uni will only just be starting year 2.

Happy National Apprenticeship Week!

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About the author: Katie Clarke

Katie Clarke joins us fresh from college as a digital marketing apprentice. 


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