The giant leap from apprentice to executive

By Danielle Skinner 3 years ago . 3 minute read

Everyone takes different career paths, whether you discover your passion early or later it doesn’t matter. I never saw myself as the sort of person to attend university and get a degree in something I wasn’t so sure about to support my career. Even more so, I had no idea what the future held for me and I had no idea which path to take. Let’s be honest we all want to be successful in our life. My aim was to leave college and pursue a photography career – that didn’t go so well. So, let’s start from the beginning…

College life – enjoyable but challenging

When it got to that point in college where you had to start thinking about your next steps, I was determined to make photography a growing passion and career, but it wasn’t as it seemed.

Many photographers are freelance and it was almost impossible to find an apprenticeship. Back to the drawing board it was!

As a kinaesthetic learner, I had ruled out university from the very beginning because I just don’t benefit from listening to learn. I would sooner be hands-on and physically do it myself.

My next step – the jobs fair

Jobs and careers fairs were the next steps to find the perfect path for me. My mum came with me to help inspire me further (plus I was too shy to go on my own!).

After exploring several different types of careers, I came across the Digital Marketing stand – I love being on computers, being creative and I am a frequent user of Social Media, it was a perfect fit!

The apprenticeship scheme – harder than I first thought

I ended up completing my Level 3 qualification with a local firm in Oldham in 2016 and recently completed my Level 4 with Aspect IT, a local computer support firm based in Oldham.

The difference between a level 3 and level 4 is intense because you’re much more independent with level 4. You had to make sure that you could collect enough evidence for your assignments and make sure you’ve explained in specific detail your findings without rambling on or being too vague.

I had to attend the apprenticeship centre for training which I always used to love. Not only did I make friends for life, but I was also that person that nobody forgets because I was always keen to learn by leading discussions and debates.

I’m quite the perfectionist so I always structure my work and make sure I had time to complete all assignments and got enough marks to pass instantly. After the tears and stress of completing fifteen assignments, I was finally level 3 and level 4 qualified, an achievement I’m so proud of.

My future

I finished my Level 4 apprenticeship early; I was nervous about the next steps as I didn’t know if I would be successful enough to be kept on or if I was about to become unemployed.

Luckily for me, Aspect IT not only offered my full-time employment, but they made me Digital Marketing Executive.

It changed my life – I feel a success!

Being in full-time employment has helped me build as a person and in my work. I am more independent, confident and even more keen to help the business succeed.

I have learnt more about press releases and I attend the local youth centre to represent the business to help inspire teenagers in to their careers. There is always room for improvement and knowledge.

Seeing me develop as an individual over the years gives me no regrets about choosing an apprenticeship. It does have challenges, but you tell me what doesn’t? I say bring it on.

I still do a little bit of photography from time-to-time, taking headshots for employees in the business, press release images and outside of work as a side hobby. I received so many compliments in the past that I couldn’t just abandon it.

The advice I would give to someone is that if they’re unsure of what to do as a career then your research is key. Without researching for jobs fairs and attending them, I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for Digital Marketing.

About Danielle Skinner

Marketing Executive, Aspect IT

Danielle is the Digital Marketing Executive for Aspect IT, an IT Support company based in Greater Manchester. The business offers an array of services including IT Support, Consultancy, Website Design and Software Development. We aim to eventually be the leading provider of computer support services across the North West.