Part 2: Considering an apprenticeship? Do it! You will not look back.

Part 2: Considering an apprenticeship? Do it! You will not look back.

November 12, 2015

I have been extremely lucky to have found a company that took my request to pursue design seriously. As soon as I asked about it I was being given tasks and demo projects to work on. At no point was I left in the dark, I was given guidance and opportunities every step of the way. Learning in the relaxed environment made me feel comfortable enough to take on my research and try new things. Being in such a small office helped me get advice from people I trusted. I do think having a good relationship with your colleagues encourages you to work harder and learn faster; I was so inspired by the work I was seeing around me that I knew I would be learning from the best.

Eventually, after a lot of designing in Photoshop, I got to watch our developer code sites and pages based on my designs which was incredibly rewarding; I could see the project come to life! Not only was I following something I fell in love with but I was also managing the work I needed to do for my apprenticeship alongside it. Although a lot of the tasks asked of me by my apprenticeship awarding body didn't seem very relevant in our workplace (such as creating a leaflet using Microsoft word), I was given a lot of support from Hannah and Boyd. They would give me tasks that would benefit the company and feed my passion for design but also fit around what I needed to produce in order to progress in my apprenticeship.

Having been at Tipsy & Tumbler for a year now, I have not only learnt a vast amount about the day to day elements of working in an office environment as well as getting hands-on experience with design, but I have also discovered a lot about myself too. Not only have I strengthened my existing skills, I have also found weaknesses which can be improved upon over time through gaining experience and asking more questions. Completing this apprenticeship has helped me gain a confidence in my work that I have never had before. Admittedly, I struggled at the beginning. Showing and talking about my designs and spreadsheets was not something which came naturally to me, but having amazing constructive feedback from people that believed in me and knew I was capable really helped put me at ease and encouraged me to keep working hard.

Not going to university does mean that you miss out on the experience that comes with it and you have to be prepared to grow up quickly, as a full-time job comes with a lot of responsibility. However, looking back on how far I have come in a year is incredibly satisfying and definitely worth it. I have been able to take on more challenging tasks and a larger workload to become a valuable member of the team. I have also been able to design an entire app alone, a project I am incredibly proud of. I was also given the opportunity to learn basic HTML and CSS (thanks to a very patient front-end developer). A year ago, I never would have thought I would be doing half the things I do now. I couldn't have even imagined how rewarding it has been to work here and how much knowledge I have learnt without even realising it.

I have been very lucky doing my apprenticeship here and being given the opportunity to continue to work and learn with Tipsy & Tumbler. I have not only gained a qualification, but I have also developed strong relationships with the people I work with. So, anyone that is unsure of their path after school, or even later in life, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship. It may end up being the best thing that could have happened to you.