This article has been guest written by Keenan McHugh, Digital Content Assistant at LV=
Now that our apprenticeship journey has ended we took some time to reflect on our past year and wanted to share with you some of our thoughts from the very beginning to the present.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship and why LV=?
After sixth form I really wanted to start a career in digital; an area that I have always been passionate about. I knew that getting in to the industry could be difficult without university however I felt I was ready to go in to full time work with the skills I already had. This is why I looked in to apprenticeships as I thought I would personally learn and develop so much more and also gain valuable experience along the way.
LV= stood out as it’s such a recognised company and based in Bournemouth which is great for me as I have lived here my whole life. Once I got the call offering me the role I was delighted as it was a huge opportunity to start my career.
What have you learnt over the past year?
Having the blend of college and work has been great as I have been exposed to a huge range of different areas within digital marketing. College was often very theoretical which helped me gain a better understanding of areas I would not normally be involved with during my day to day role. One of the things I have learnt during work is how to use my proactive nature effectively within a team, whilst also following the processes we have in our digital content team.
My organisation and communication skills have also greatly improved and I now feel like I can take on tasks start to finish and be fully involved in each area of the process from design to implementation. Being in the digital team I have also learnt how to use many different pieces of software that are really useful for website optimisation including the use of our Content Management System, which is used to create and edit web pages within our different LV websites. Being involved in so many different projects across the business has allowed me to understand how different areas of the business work, which has in turn, given me great product knowledge across the Life business.
How have you found the whole experience?
Overall it has been a really great experience from start to finish. At the start I was quite nervous coming into an environment I’ve never been in before and my team really helped me with this as they were all really welcoming and willing to answer any questions I had. Once I started to become more confident with the systems we use I really started to feel like I could take on any task given to me. Overall it has been a really great experience that has not only helped me kick-start a career within a fantastic company but also has helped me develop as a person.
What would you say to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship as an alternative to higher education?
I would say that for a lot of young people university is seen as the next step after sixth form to continue with education and this means some people end up doing courses that they are not passionate about and maybe would not be happy working in when they are older. This is why they should definitely explore the other options available to them as they may find that an apprenticeship available which will allow them to start a career and also start gaining really valuable work experience within an industry. College is also really helpful as it aids the transition in to working life by still having the education side that most people are used to and also gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Now that you have your permanent role how do you see yourself progressing within the business?
Now that I am truly settled in my role I would really like to push to become a key team member of the digital content team and get involved with many of the digital initiatives that LV= are really starting to support. I think I am now fully able to be involved in any key projects and hope to get more opportunities to work with different areas within the business to meet new people and learn more about various products and to showcase what I can do. I’d really like to push for a more advanced role within my current team and take on even more responsibility with the overall goal being to earn a more senior position within the company.