I am proud to say that I am currently 1/11th of Britain’s first ever PR Apprentice scheme run by the PRCA and Pearson. The apprenticeship programme offers an alternative route into an industry currently dominated by graduates. The scheme provides on-the-job training, qualifications and development all while benefiting from real-life work experience.
My own story began midway through this year. Upon completing my A-Levels, I decided that university wasn’t the route for me and this decision was based upon the fact I believed that I would gain more valuable experience within a work placement, where I’d be able to combine on-the-job training and learn first-hand what it takes to work in PR.
Fortunately I came across this brand new PRCA and Pearson scheme – and as if by fate they had just announced their first ever apprenticeship programme. Francis Ingham, CEO of the PRCA has since stated he believes that, “The apprenticeship [scheme] will change the face of our industry”. 3 Monkeys were one of the few agencies who had initially signed up to the scheme and I was invited to take part in a fun and challenging assessment day at 3 Monkeys HQ. Thankfully I managed to impress on the day, and I started the apprenticeship in September!
The scheme runs for 12 months and during this period I’ll have a full time position at 3 Monkeys, where I will learn, absorb and throw myself head first into the PR industry. From my time here so far I still believe that this is the best approach for me to learn about the industry, and will equip me so that I am appreciative and fully prepared of what working within the world of PR is actually like – not what a text book may suggest. Alongside my time here at 3 Monkeys I also get to spend one day every fortnight at a training centre with Pearson, who set me academic based assignments which ultimately amount to a level 4-foundation degree in public relations. So I’ve got a great practical and theory balance, which will hopefully mean at the end of the 12 months, I’ll be going into the industry with my eyes wide open.
When people ask me what it’s like starting out an apprenticeship within the PR industry, I tell them that it’s similar to learning to play the guitar. You can start off playing the basic chords (“Smoke On the Water” anyone?!); yet until you find that unique blend of using your own creative guitar licks and intuitive skills – that’s when you can create some seriously good pieces of music. I’m really engrossing myself in the foundations of PR, and learning the nuts and bolts of day-to-day life, but I’m also lucky enough to gain exposure to the strategic and creative thinking which adds the colour and direction to the many campaigns the agency delivers.
One of the highlights so far, of my very short career, was definitely helping to work on the Windows 8 Phone launch last month. Being a part of such a world renowned event, mingling with senior journalists and seeing cutting edge technology launched to the world, was a really special occasion and one I’ll definitely never forget. I even had a good chat with world renowned DJ Paloma, who commented on my impressive dance floor shapes. Well, if the PR career fails, maybe dancing will be a decent plan b!
For more information on the scheme or to hear more about working at 3 Monkeys Communications, please have a look at the two below links: