Olly’s Apprenticeship: Choosing an Apprenticeship over University

The newest addition to the Purple Robot team, Digital Marketing Apprentice Olly Kenyon, explains to us his decision to opt for an apprenticeship rather than follow the university route.

Throughout my time in Sixth Form, I literally had no idea in what kind of industry I wanted to work in when I left, and this is the same for many people around the same age as me. The decision to go to university is one that you are often forced to make prematurely and it’s something that can really catch young people off-guard. Granted, some individuals are fortunate to know what they want to do from a very young age and go to university to pursue this, but that isn’t the same for everyone. Personally, going to university was not an option for me. I couldn’t go and study for a degree if I had no idea what I wanted to do. It didn’t feel right.

The idea of an apprenticeship was something that I never fully took into consideration until I had finished Sixth Form. For some reason, I was under the impression that only a handful of apprenticeships are available at a time, and that the chances of me finding something I would like would be close to impossible. It was only when I started researching that I realised how accessible they really were, and this inspired me to investigate further. Initially, it was very hard for me, as someone with no end-goal for a ‘dream job’. I just didn’t know where to start. It was important to take the positives out of this situation, however, as this meant I could explore many different industries until I found something that I would be happy with.

The real turning point for me was the advice that I was given by the people around me. Recruitment agency ‘LAGAT’ and the National Careers Services helped tremendously. They had listed my qualities and looked at my applications and concluded that something within the Digital Marketing Industry could definitely work for me. It was a mutual decision and I began searching around. It felt amazing knowing that I was making progress, and with this support, I was able to begin sending my applications out.

I cannot stress how important it is to apply to as many different places as you can if you think it could be for you. If you think something might interest you, there is no harm in sending off your CV and seeing if you can get an interview. By doing this you are gaining valuable interview experience and you get the opportunity to see that particular working environment. It is no secret that interviews are nerve-wracking, but like everything, it gets easier the more you do it. Remember that while it is important for the employer to see if you are the right candidate for them, it is equally as important for you to get a vibe for the place and see if it is right for you.

It is perfectly fine to not know what you want to become or do when you leave further education. There are probably more options than you think. I recommend looking around and reaching out to careers advisers to get a second opinion. Do not feel pressured into a decision until you fully know. Everybody is different, and you should fully explore your options before making this choice.