I completed my A levels at College during the pandemic, so I had a different experience than normal! Despite this, I really enjoyed my lessons, and my subjects were engaging and enjoyable even when they were virtual. The other students in my classes were great and we all supported each other during what was a very strange time.

Outside of virtual lessons, attending College in person was great for having discussions and debates in my subjects, and to develop certain skills like public speaking. Outside of lessons, I attended the Creative Writing Club, which was very helpful when I started to write CVs and cover letters for apprenticeships.

Overall, the College really had an impact on my future: If I hadn’t been exposed to the range of subjects and enrichment activities, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to apply for different apprenticeships and utilise the transferable skills I had developed while there.

When I left College, I knew the TV apprenticeships wouldn’t be out until the summer but was ready to go and threw myself into my search as soon as they were out. Apprenticeship applications are hard work, and you may not hear back immediately. For Channel 4, I had three interviews, plus a workshop and an open day – a five-stage process. It’s not enough to have a CV – you must be able to demonstrate your passion for the sector and think about how you’re different.

My time at Channel 4 in Product Marketing lasted 15 months, with Euan Blair’s company Multiverse overseeing the qualification. I had a fantastic time, working on launches for Channel 4 and other TV programmes, and won the ‘Community Builder’ Award at the Multiverse Alumni Networking and Awards Night. I then moved to ITV for a relationship marketing role before deciding on my current role at Everyone TV where I work as a Marketing Executive. I work across the Marketing and Editorial departments to support on social media and the website with close links to the main British broadcasters BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Having experience at two of these hugely supported my understanding of the TV industry and laid the groundwork for my professional development. I’ve worked hard and the hands-on, real-world experience I’ve gained has been a great foundation for my ongoing career.

I’d advise College students to research different pathways earlier – in my first year I was very sure I wanted to go to university, and it wasn’t until my second year that I started to consider other options. So, I’d say keep an open mind to all options after A Levels. Apprenticeships are fast becoming ideal qualifications for a lot of employers, as they show both your practical experience and understanding of roles in a variety of industries. New apprenticeships are being introduced all the time so keep a look out for what is being released!

Amy Ruffhead

Reigate College: 2019-2021

Higher Education: Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Multiverse while working at Channel 4

Currently: Marketing Executive, Everyone TV

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