So, it’s National Apprenticeship Week, and I am an apprentice, so it only feels right to provide an update on how everything is going at Nouveau and why I think apprenticeships are the way forward.
The amazing thing about this apprenticeship role is rather ironic, in the fact that I do not feel like an apprentice whatsoever. Nouveau have welcomed me in like they would any other employee, I feel as if I am part of the team and have something vital to offer. The only difference between me and everyone else is that I still have a lot to learn, and my colleagues understand that. There is so much support here at Nouveau, if I need advice or help with anything I can guarantee that people are willing to provide. My experience so far, by a country mile, is much more enjoyable than I could have possibly imagined before my apprenticeship had begun.
Initially, I chose the apprenticeship route because as a family orientated individual felt moving to university would have negative effects on my life, as well as my family’s. I didn’t want to move out of my house as that would mean I wouldn’t be there to help support my family at a time when they needed it most. It was of no concern to me that I wouldn’t be getting a university degree or living the uni-lifestyle for a few reasons. Having a degree or graduating from a university doesn’t necessarily mean you are more intelligent than someone who hasn’t. Sure, it shows you have the capability, but it isn’t clearly sufficient enough to justify employing you. Many top employers such as Elon Musk (a character I find rather intriguing) and Google are starting to understand that top talent doesn’t necessarily come through the ability to pass an exam, but instead can also come as an inevitable result of life experience and practical understanding of the trade itself. An apprenticeship allows you to gain this experience, developing yourself into a top talent whilst doing it.
Another reason for me taking a role as an apprentice instead of jumping into university to study is so that I can better understand the way businesses work. Without confined restrictions, I have learned so much about how businesses are run and operated. The apprenticeship may be for a marketing qualification, but by working closely with the other departments within Nouveau I have a fantastic vision of how a sales, marketing, technical and management team all link together to create an operation that works seamlessly. Without the hands-on experience that an apprenticeship offers, my understanding of basic business functions would be minimal in comparison to what it is now. On top of this, working as an apprentice has allowed me to make hundreds of new connections in the IT industry. Within these new connections that you make as an apprentice is another opportunity to learn and enhance your skills as a human being. Talking to CEOs of successful businesses and other people of high significance is very insightful and an experience that is only readily available if you are directly working with these people.
After seeing Nouveau’s advertisement for the apprenticeship and then doing some research into what the company was about, I knew that this was the place for me. I wanted to work in the IT Industry as technology is ever-evolving and is only going to get more prominent in our day to day lives as time goes on. Additionally, I saw that Nouveau had been going for a good 24 years so I knew the company would be well established as Andy Stevens and Gary Smithers had run it for its entire lifetime. During my interview, it became apparent that the direction that the business was heading in required creativity, and I felt like that is something I could offer in abundance, especially regarding the Nouveau store site which I have taken control of.
I am truly enjoying my apprenticeship at Nouveau. Having learned so many business and life skills over the last 6 months, I would recommend the apprenticeship route to anybody who wants to get their foot in the door of the world of work. I have met some great people who have taught me a lot, and day by day my skills continue to develop. I’ll continue on my path to marketing wisdom by following the late philosopher and teacher Confucius’ ideology: reflecting on my progress, learning from other people around me and trying to get as much experience in this industry as humanly possible.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
An apprenticeship is abundant with all three of these aspects.
To me, to be an apprentice is to experience, and in my opinion, the experience is the most valuable asset one can have, especially regarding professional development.