Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce
Being ‘the next generation’ is a daunting prospect. With limited experience, no track record to trade on and often some high expectations to live up to, it’s a label that brings with it a certain amount of trepidation.
Whether we’re talking about technology, people or thinking, what it essentially boils down to is change – and that can be both a rewarding and challenging thing to manage.
I joined the Chamber as its first ever digital marketing modern apprentice in August. People of my generation are often perceived as entitled and self-absorbed, lacking in basic skills and unable to comprehend either their own limitations. This isn’t a description that I, or I hope the Chamber, recognises.
It is fair to say I had no idea what to expect when I started. I’d been to college and while I’d learned a lot of theoretical skills, I knew that the impact of what I was doing day in and day out would be far more rewarding for me.
I also knew I wanted responsibility. It’s a far busier role than I had imagined but I am continually learning, refining and advancing my knowledge both in terms of the hands-on practical aspects but also the softer business skills which are, in many ways, just as important.
The biggest thing it has given me however is confidence. Being part of the team delivering real-life projects has given me faith in my abilities, something I didn’t really have before. I now feel comfortable to contribute in meetings, to ask for clarification if needed and even challenge the traditional ways of doings things if I think I can offer a more effective alternative.
I hope what I have brought to the table is fresh ideas, enthusiasm to learn and a new dynamic in the multi-generational workforce which, when I started, encompassed people from their teens through to their seventies.
I’ve learned a lot during my time here and look forward to what is still to come. 2018 is the Year of Young People and I would encourage any employer thinking about offering an apprenticeship, or any young person thinking about applying for one, to do just that. Because whether it’s in our business, through the products and services we use; and especially when it comes to the next generation of talent, change is not only good, it is vital for keeping us moving forward.