11/07/2017, The end of my apprenticeship: Since the PRCA Apprenticeship scheme launched 6 years ago, over 240 non-university-goers have kick started their career in PR. I, Ella Porter, today officially an Account Executive, was one of those people.
On A-Level results day I was overwhelmed with celebration; opening my letter to see A*-C grades and receiving an acceptance onto the English Literature course at The University of Kent, I cried with joy and proudness of what I had achieved.
However, the truth is, I was never convinced by university, or even passionate about English Literature. I was a literature student who wasn’t fussed about reading.
Into my first term, I found myself sat miserably in my room with 0 motivation to complete my assignments, 0 motivation to go to my lectures, travelling home to visit my at-the-time boyfriend every weekend and spending the time during the week sleeping or drinking. By December I dropped the dreaded bomb on my parents ‘I am quitting University. I have no plan B yet but it’ll be fine’. All I knew was that I wanted to carry on learning and developing as a person.
At this point I started to look into apprenticeships on the GOV website and found the PRCA apprenticeship scheme. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about public relations but decided it was worth a shot! After being accepted into a few different companies I decided to go with BCM Public Relations as I also knew absolutely nothing about their energy, tech, manufacturing and aerospace industries, and I like a challenge!
A PR apprenticeship allowed me to work a fulltime job, get paid and gain a qualification. I was able to work on a small team with 5 clients, meaning I had interaction with the clients and media from day 1. I am now in the same career position as a graduate, if not, a better position as I have gained hands on work experience.
I’m not saying one higher education path is better than the other (as I am still open to gaining a degree later on in life), I’m just saying you need to consider all your options. University is great if you really know what you want to do, but if you’re like myself, who couldn’t decide what I wanted to be when I ‘grow up’, don’t jump into a minimum 3-year commitment and a lifetime debt just yet, look elsewhere!
If you’re still struggling have a look at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/apprenticeships/should-i-do-a-degree-or-an-apprenticeship