Advice from an Apprentice – it’s tough, but you’re tougher

By Emilio Koumis, Apprentice

Picture this – it’s the final few months before your A Level exams. Not only are you nervous, sleep deprived and quite frankly fed up, but your plans for the future are a complete and utter mystery. This was exactly how I felt, and so did thousands of other Year 13 students across the UK, according to a recent study looking at how exam stress affects students.

It really wasn’t until the month before my exams that things started to fall in place. And for those reading who are currently in a similar situation, just hang on. Things will eventually work out.

Swooping in, like a giant mystical unicorn, coming to save me from all my troubles and worries, was the Aspectus Academy apprenticeship scheme. My career adviser (who I would recommend building a good relationship with if you have the opportunity) sent me this interesting role. As I begun reading through, I finally began to feel hopeful. This was it. This was exactly the type of role that I had been looking for.

PR and marketing had always been of interest to me, and I had finally found a company that I could see myself fitting into and excelling in. This was a perfect example of ‘going with your gut instinct’.

Don’t be disheartened

Of course, there will be times when you may not hear back from certain companies you apply to, or in some cases, make it so far into the interview stages, only to be told you didn’t get the role and that “you’re just not the type of person we are looking for.”

Fortunately for me, during the interview process at Aspectus, they were extremely helpful, and never made me wait longer than 24 hours for a reply when I had any questions.

What to expect once you get the role (and you will)

From a young age, I had dreamt of working in the city. I would imagine myself in an expensive suit, on the train commuting to a big office, and eating lunch at fancy restaurants. Sure, I don’t actually wear an expensive suit to work every day and the only thing I have waiting for me on the train is the usual, and quite unpleasant, smell of sweaty commuters (of which I could be one myself!) But that’s not the point. The point is, I had an image in my head of what I wanted my life to look like and that helped me find what I wanted to do. I stayed positive, which leads me on to my final point.

Staying Positive

Working at Aspectus, it’s difficult not to be positive. How can you not be when you’re surrounded by enthusiastic, happy, and hardworking people? I haven’t been at the company for long but the culture and atmosphere in the office is admirable. Here, there is no such thing as a ‘bad social media post’ or a ‘failed attempt at gaining a journalist’s attention’. These are all opportunities for us to learn and grow as individuals and develop as a team. If one opportunity didn’t go as well as you would have liked It to, it’s okay! The next might well be the perfect one. Try adopting this mindset when applying for apprenticeships too. If one doesn’t go to plan, the next one might go exactly your way. Always stay positive.

Persistence Pays

Searching, finding, and applying for an apprenticeship can be difficult. Building a good relationship with anyone who you believe can help make the process easier is worth it.  If you have access to a career adviser, use them! These people are here to help you.

Finding out you haven’t made it to the next stage of an interview can be very demotivating. However, there are some positives you can take out of it. Think about the experience you have just gained. Now you know what an interview process looks like so you’re able to be much more prepared for your next one. You may have realised that it’s not as daunting as you might have initially thought and therefore next time, you’ll be more confident. If you’d like some in-depth tips on how to ace an interview, give this a read.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

In other words, keep trying! Continuing to actively look for apprenticeships even after being turned down is a great achievement in itself. If you have found your way to this blog, that already demonstrates your proactiveness.

The apprenticeship search: it can be tough, but you’re tougher.

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