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In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week from 5th - 11th February, we will be sharing the inspiring stories from apprentices working for RRG currently. Today we hear from Sophia Ward who works as a Marketing Co-ordinator at RRG Toyota Huddersfield.
I have grown up with a family business, so I’ve always had the drive to work, attending exhibitions from when I was around 12 years old and onwards. My dad has always had a strong work ethic, which inspired me from a young age to succeed in my career. During the choice of options after leaving school, I knew I wanted to work but I still wanted the qualifications and study time. I felt that apprenticeships were the ideal option, despite it being an unconventional route. Although I was advised against apprenticeships from my careers advisor at school, I still applied for many. Soon after, a training provider contacted me to discuss what I was looking for and my requirements.
I was interviewed for a job in Sheffield, days before my 16th birthday and was later told that I got the job! The start of my career. I worked as a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprentice for 2 ½ years. This gave me the valuable skills of not only attaining theoretical knowledge on the topic, but applying that and being exposed to a working environment. I then began a Degree Level Digital Marketing Qualification, as I still wanted further education whilst working. After settling into my studies, I knew I wanted to level up my career more. A Marketing Coordinator role appeared for RRG Group and felt that the role was right for me.
I am currently nearly 4 years into working and have been studying my degree for nearly 2 years; I couldn’t be happier! I feel I have grown so much as a person, through building industry specific knowledge and being exposed to a working environment – a completely different route to typical university. I currently have a Level 3 Digital Marketing Qualification and I am now working towards achieving a Degree Apprenticeship qualification and a full B(A) Hons Degree in Digital Marketing.
I feel that an apprenticeship is a unique learning experience, one of the highlights being that you have people around to help guide you and support you. You meet a diverse range of people, some who have been in the industry for 20 years+, and those who are also starting their career. You gain different perspectives from people, meaning you can grow on a personal and professional level.
Alongside this, I have the autonomy to manage my own schedule. This allows me to tailor my work and learning to suit me and maximise productivity. The holistic approach of application to a workplace and theoretical learning allows for development of theoretical practices, whilst applying this within the business’ strategy. I don’t feel I’m just an apprentice, I’m a part of the team and carry various responsibilities.