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University vs. Apprenticeship … what’s the best career option?
05 Mar 2020
by Jan Minihane

National Careeers Week, apprenticeship. apprentice, 2020

As National Careers Week comes to an end, our 20-year-old digital marketing apprentice, Sophie, gives us her thoughts on her journey into the world of PR.

“Choosing the right career and the correct path to get there is often tough, and I’ve learned through experience that the most trodden path isn’t always the best for you.

From a young age I was regularly asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. I was never too sure, but always knew I wanted to do something creative and to do with writing.

At around 15, I realised that journalism was the career for me.”

Is university the only way?

“I come from a family of university-goers and it was always expected that I would attend university, too. To become a journalist there was no other route than to get a degree … so off I went to Cardiff University.

I’ve worked since the age of 15 at various part-time jobs, and during the final year of my A-Levels I began to realise that I was very suited to working life, and maybe uni wasn’t for me.

I felt this way throughout my first year at Cardiff. I enjoyed my Journalism degree, but it wasn’t enough ‘work’ for me (I love a challenge!).

After a Summer of working full-time, I made the decision to leave my studies and knuckle down to work.”

Apprenticeships are always an option

“After a module at university that covered social media and digital marketing, it became clear to me that I loved all things creative and digital.

I did some freelance bits over the summer (designing websites, running social media pages etc.) and when the time came I began to do some apprenticeship hunting.

I have always believed apprenticeships are an incredible option – who wouldn’t love to get a qualification, whilst gaining experience and getting paid? Not to mention, I can still see those close to me without having to book a train ticket!”

Joining J&PR

“I started my apprenticeship with J&PR in December and it is everything I hoped it would be and more.

I’m learning so much on the job – from social media algorithms, to creating content, to software … and everything in between!

I also attended Kirsty’s DIY PR course in February, as we’re hoping to get me trained up in PR soon, alongside my everyday apprenticeship tasks.

I wouldn’t have begun to consider these responsibilities at university until my Masters!”

The importance of National Careers Week

“National Careers Week is all about inspiring students and showing them the various ways they can achieve their dream role.

Apprenticeships are an incredible route to take if you, like me, no longer want to be in education and they can provide valuable experience in the process.

We also often have students with us on work experience, which is something I never did.

I think if I’d have done work experience with J&PR I never would have left! Work experience is a fantastic way to get a taste of working in this industry and is definitely inspiring for the students who visit us.

Deciding to leave university and join J&PR was the best choice I’ve ever made. I love my job and love working with such a great team.”

And we love having you in the team too Sophie! Here’s to your career in the world of Public Relations and Digital Marketing with J&PR.