The life of an Apprentice

It’s now been 5 months since I started at Red Tiger and to celebrate National Apprentice Week, I thought I’d share an update with you on my progress so far. Even though the majority of these months I have been working remotely at home, I have still learnt so much and thoroughly enjoy my role at Red Tiger. Obviously, in an ideal situation, being in the office would have been much easier for me to settle in and develop my skills, however the team have been brilliant at keeping me on track, training me in new areas and ensuring I don’t feel too isolated.

Before starting my apprenticeship, I was an A-level student at Runshaw college, studying Geography, Business and English Language. After my second year coming to an abrupt end in March of 2020, I received my results in August and started at Red Tiger in September.

Why I chose an apprenticeship

Despite always being quite academic, I’ve always known that University wasn’t the right path for me, however I still wanted to get some qualifications after finishing college. For me, I didn’t want to go straight into a regular job, however I still wanted the aspect of learning within my role and to gain experience, as well as gaining a qualification. After looking into the different options, I decided that going into an apprenticeship was the perfect balance of work experience and learning new qualifications that I was looking for.

My monthly responsibilities

My usual roles include creating and posting social media posts, updating the customer database, and responding to emails and taking bookings for our excel courses. As well as this I sometimes help out with recruitment, take minutes during meetings and write blogs, so have gained experience within ‘WordPress’. As I’m working remotely, I have regular calls with the team, including ‘catch-up’ calls and ‘operations meetings’ with Paul and Steve, and ‘marketing plan and strategy’ calls with Ruth. However, as well as the work with Red Tiger, I also receive monthly assignments from my college- usually linking to an aspect of my job- which I then have monthly review calls about with my mentor, Anna. I usually complete these assignments within work hours (Thursday & Friday afternoons), so I’m given plenty of time to balance college work as well as my jobs within Red Tiger.

How my mentor helps

My mentor at Runshaw is great at explaining the individual units and learning outcomes that I have to complete, as well as giving me productive feedback once submitted. I get assignments every 4 weeks, where me and Anna have a call and she thoroughly explains the areas of which I’m writing about and what range to include. Every 8 weeks, we have a progress review, where me, Anna and Paul have a meeting to discuss my progress and how I’m finding my role. For me, these calls help me stay focused on my learning and help me reflect on what I’ve learnt so far in my role.

Over the past 5 months, I feel I’ve become much more confident in my role and responsibilities, and have gained a range of knowledge and skills throughout. I’m excited to continue in my job and develop my skillset, as well as hopefully being back in the office!

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

My first week as an apprentice

Throughout my time at college, despite enjoying studying and being relatively academic, university was never at the top of my list of paths to take after my A-levels. I took Business Studies, Geography and English Language, and after an unusual end to my college years I received BBB in my A-level results, and am currently waiting for my business studies appeal to go through (hopefully to an A). The fact I was unsure on my ideal career path, along with the growing student debt, meant I was on the search for alternative routes after college. After researching and learning more about apprenticeships, the idea of earning and learning seemed perfect for me. I applied for the Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with Red Tiger Talent, in which I will receive a National Vocational Qualification (Level 3) after around 18 months.

Southport Office

Due to the current uncertain times, I wasn’t actively looking for a job/apprenticeship, and was considering continuing with my part-time shifts in a café, or looking for extra part-time work, for a year, or until an opportunity came along. However, I received an email from an “apprenticeship-finder” company who listed multiple business admin/marketing apprenticeships for me to potentially be interested in. The one with Red Tiger Talent particularly appealed me as it included areas from both administration and marketing, which I have had an interest in since starting business at college. I applied at the start of July and a week or so later had a call from Runshaw that I had been offered an interview. My first interview was through zoom, thanks to COVID, so I spoke to both Steve and Paul and they asked me general questions about myself and my experience and how I would approach the role. Shortly after, I received an email from Paul stating I had been accepted for a second interview, which this time would be face-to-face (socially distanced of course!). So I drove to Southport for a chat about the role and what I would hope to achieve if I was successful in becoming the apprentice. Within the same day, I had a call from Paul where I was offered the role and was set to start at the beginning of September.

On my first day at Red Tiger, I was introduced to the systems that I would be using and found out more about the business and what it does- a lot of information to take in! I learned that my duties include updating the customer database, along with helping with blogs and marketing on the business’ social media. Paul talked me through the different areas of Red Tiger, including Recruitment and Training, and how they are about to formally launch their Career Coaching services in the near future. Although the amount of information was slightly overwhelming, I feel I have a relatively clear understanding of the company so far and can see myself becoming more and more familiar in months to come.

Within my first week, I have listened in on candidate phone calls, watched multiple training videos and updated contact lists and candidate details. I’ve learned more about the type of jobs Red Tiger recruit for and how the process is carried out. Learning whilst on the job is much more interesting than simply learning at college, as with the 1:1 training I feel I am more engaged and can frequently ask questions. As well as being in the office, I’ve also had a small amount of days working from home, where I am set tasks to complete throughout the day, as well as sometimes having scheduled calls to join. On one of my days working from home, I joined a live webinar about Targeting on LinkedIn, which I made notes on, for me to use when I become comfortable with advertising on the site.

Within my next few months on the apprenticeship I hope to become confident using the systems introduced to me, and become comfortable with the marketing side, including advertising on social media platforms. I hope to get as much training as possible and to keep learning about different areas of the company, so that in a years’ time I will be capable of developing the marketing on social media, as well as being competent with keeping all the sites up to date. As well as this I plan to gain and improve skills on different software, like Excel, to widen my ability.