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A day in the life of an apprentice

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week Darren, our very own HR & Marketing Apprentice has written about his experience about being an apprentice here at Limelight HR. We gave him a few questions to help answer any questions you have about Apprenticeships.

Tell us a bit about yourself? What did you get up to before your apprenticeship?

I am Darren the HR and Marketing apprentice at Limelight HR. I grew up in Thirsk and went to De Montfort University in Leicester, I graduated in 2021. I wanted to continue growing and developing after university. That is why I am here I chose to gain experience through completing an apprenticeship here at Limelight HR.

Where did you hear about your apprenticeship?

I was looking for a role that allowed me to gain experience in a working environment whilst also supporting my future. I found that exact thing at Limelight HR. I applied online via the government apprenticeship website www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/.  I then had a phone call arranging my interview which is where I met Sally and Jane for the first time. I really enjoyed the interview experience and was honestly surprised how natural it felt. The interview itself was a good experience for me as I had never completed one that had felt ‘real’ before. A few days later I had a zoom call with Sally discussing the role and what she had planned for the business. In the same call she confirmed to me that she was offering the apprenticeship to me. I was so excited to accept as I knew I would be gaining valuable experience in a growing business whilst also working towards a qualification in Human Resources. Since starting my role I have been open to every new experience to me.

What made you decide an apprenticeship would be good for you?

After I graduated from university, I was left feeling lost as I had been in education for as long as I can remember. I found a job quickly after graduating which I felt had no future path/ development plan in place for me. I felt I was not using the knowledge I had gathered through my education, and I was eager to put what I had done at university into practice.

So, I decided to look for new opportunities in order to gain experience in a working environment. I wanted to know I was going to receive the support I wanted whilst I transitioned from being a student into an employee. I had considered an apprenticeship before going to university, but I was not sure what career I wanted to embark on. My three years at university helped me develop a vision for my future because I covered a range of subject area whilst at university. My degree helped me learn more about myself from what I enjoyed academically as well as developing life skills and people skills.

The pandemic had reduced my face-to-face learning at university as well as the many opportunities and experiences on offer. This made the appeal of an apprenticeship even greater. A few people were surprised when I decided to take up the opportunity of an apprenticeship after recently graduating. I feel this is because a lot of people think apprenticeships are just for school leavers aged 16 but in fact anyone can become an apprentice.

How did you choose your subject?

I have always been an open book regarding my subject area. Through school I didn’t have a favourite subject and that has continued since. I studied Media and Communications at university, but I have always been open to new opportunities hence why I am now working towards a qualification in HR. I like the process of learning something completely new and I feel that is what keeps me engaged every day. Since I was young, I have always tried to keep my options open as the world is constantly changing and evolving.

How is the apprenticeship different to your previous study & work?

I think the biggest difference for me is that I feel as though I am an employee now and not a student. I have a routine and I complete my work within working hours. When I was a student, I found it hard to relax even when I wasn’t working as I always had work to do and no limitation to when I had to stop working.

I could not have asked for a better first 4 months to start my apprenticeship, I have learnt a range of new systems, improved my confidence and I am so happy to have gained experience through the opportunities I have been given.

A day in the life as an Apprentice

In a week I spend 4 days gaining experience on the job and the other day studying broadening my knowledge about HR. I have gained so much experience in my first 4 months and love the range of tasks I complete day to day. My favourite project so far has been the making of The Planager. I loved how it all came together from an idea into a physical book that people could buy. I have also enjoyed working within the small team here at Limelight HR and have valued them as they are always willing to support me with anything I need.

What does a typical day look like during your apprenticeship?

I honestly think every day has been different. I have completed a whole range of tasks creating and scheduling social media posts, designing The Planager and gaining knowledge and experience in HR.

Daily I will check my emails regularly making sure I keep on top of them as some may require me to do work or respond to. I also check that the socials are up to date as well as create and schedule posts for the upcoming days. I try to block in my time so I know when I will complete tasks, this helps me communicate to the team where I am at with them.

Alongside gaining experience studying for my HR qualification. In my first 4 months I have had an introduction to the world of HR and completed lessons on English, Maths, Teamwork and Communication. I think it’s great that I gain the experience whilst learning.

What skills have you developed since starting your apprenticeship?

I have become more confident and have learnt how important communication really is. I adjusted how I structure my time as it is different when working compared to when I was a student. I have also been introduced to a range of software and systems like Dubsado, Canva, Plann and Creator Studio.

Where do you hope the apprenticeship will lead you?

I would love to pursue a career in marketing or HR or even both! I have never had a “career plan” as such, I am currently enjoying my apprenticeship and hope to continue developing in future.

What’s the best part of being an apprentice?

The best part for me is the experience. I have learnt so much since starting my apprenticeship and have been able to apply what I learn through my work. I am fully supported by Sally and the team which has made the perfect environment for me.

What advice do you have for others considering an apprenticeship?

Being part of the small team at Limelight HR I have completed a range of tasks from taking minutes at meetings, generating social media posts, and even designing The Planager which is now sold on Amazon.

I have found my apprenticeship fun and engaging and would like to highlight apprenticeships are not just for school leavers or young people. Anyone can become an apprentice they are even a great way to change career paths.

My advice would be to wait for an opportunity that makes you excited for the future because that is why you’re completing the apprenticeship. You want to be excited at where you are going every step of the way. Another bit of advice from me is when you have made it to an interview see it as an opportunity to get to know the business and try and get a feel whether the role being offered fits what you desire.