When I decided three years of studying at university wasn’t for me, I began looking at opportunities through the Government Apprenticeship Schemes, writes Will Dann.
Whilst I had heard of apprenticeships in areas like engineering and construction, it really surprised me to discover that it was possible to pursue a career in PR through a similar apprenticeship scheme run in conjunction with the industry trade body, the PRCA.
After further thought I soon realised that a career in PR looked like an attractive option because it fitted well with my A level qualifications in English, Media and Business Studies. Following six months as an intern with Fleet Street Communications, I was offered the chance to start a formal apprenticeship with the company.
It goes without saying, I believe apprenticeships are tremendously positive. For starters, you earn while you learn and are surrounded by people who have gained experience in PR throughout their career.
I also have the opportunity to pick up valuable experience from my colleagues, combining practical work supporting clients with a structured learning programme – something I wouldn’t have experienced at university!
Four months into my PRCA apprenticeship and I have already gained media coverage in publications that I’m really proud of. It gives me a huge thrill going through the process of finding out relevant information to write a press release, targeting the local and trade media, and then following up with a call to a journalist to sell-in the story.
I’m extremely grateful for the fantastic experience I’ve had since starting my apprenticeship with FSC, not just from the PRCA but from the guidance and responsibility given to me by my colleagues.
How the apprenticeship works is every week I have a catch-up call with my PRCA assessor who runs through the tasks he will be setting me in the coming period. It also gives me the chance to ask him any questions if I’m struggling on a particular topic. I’ve also received extensive support from my FSC mentors, Natalie, my account manager and Tess, an associate director at FSC, who both guide me if I’m unsure on anything, and provide regular advice on how I should approach a particular task.
Looking to the long-term, the apprenticeship is giving me a solid foundation from which I can hopefully build a successful career. Knowing FSC also employs a former apprentice has been really useful for me in terms of discussing her experiences, and seeing how she has gone on to progress.
Will Dann is Fleet Street Communications’ apprentice