Reflecting on my PRCA Apprenticeship | Keith Bishop Associates
The time we spend growing up from being a child into an adult is one that is systematically controlled as if we are all on the same conveyor belt with the common goal being school followed by University. However, this was very different for me and something that at the time, raised many eyebrows from both my teachers and peers.
After passing all of my A-Level exams with grades that would have secured me a place at a top Russell Group University, I actively chose to be part of the first wave of government-funded apprenticeships and secured mine via the PRCA. Why break away from the “norm” and not follow your peers are thoughts that rushed through my head days before my friends embarked on their first steps of freedom. However, now looking back I have no regrets.
The application process was simple and I was shortly contacted to come into the PRCA HQ for an induction day. The day was constructed with a mixture of team-work sessions which probed your creative juices and showcased how you worked with others, re-bounding off their ideas and developing them into campaigns. After scouring their apprenticeship opportunities page I came across Frank PR. I applied and a few days later I heard that I had been shortlisted for an interview with a task of coming up with two creative brand campaign. Two nerve-wracking weeks later I found I had scored the job of being their apprentice for 15 months.
Life as an apprentice at Frank PR was a whirlwind, from arriving as a young, inexperienced school leaver I quickly learnt and got into the swing of things. Four days a week I grew into a full-time Junior Account Executive where I was given a top baking brands social media account to run on the first day, along with working on an array of other exciting consumer brands. Every day with different, from jumping on client calls, presenting at new business pitches, updating and analysing client documents, selling into the press stories and cultivating fresh, innovative PR ideas, it was full-on. On the remaining day of my week, I worked on my PRCA Level 4 Apprenticeship which included lots of reading, essay writing followed up by on-the-job examples. This really helped in concreting all of my knowledge and enabled me to learn all elements of PR that there is to know. My assessor was brilliant, being on-hand at all times to help and advice, marking my work quickly and always giving constructive criticism to improve the quality of my answers.
The experience was life-changing and enabled me to catapult my career into the media world, bundled with knowledge and a thick skin to take on anything! I would highly recommend the apprenticeship to anyone who may not think University is for them. You learn on-the-job invaluable experience that gets you ready for “the real world”.