Leaving school can be quite a daunting experience. The pressure applied to the vast majority of 16 year olds to continue within academic education is beyond measurable, with only the two main options of work and sixth form being offered.
Attending sixth form was a great intellectually stimulating experience for me, however, when the higher education workshops began, I found that I was not the only young person who was unsure of which path to take. Not only did I feel obligated to apply to University, but, choosing the one course, which will potentially shape my career, left me feeling the anxiety of it all. During this time, my best friend began a Creative and Digital Media course at Collage Arts and told me that she had been working, learning, and earning at the same time. My parents detested the thought of me leaving education and feared I wouldn’t return, despite this, I made a well thought out and firm decision to take a gap year as an apprentice at Collage Arts. My main reason for making this decision was very simple; academic and practical work are two very different fields. In the real world, my career would entail a mixture of the two; however, without really experiencing it, it appeared to be a bigger risk to waste three years, or more importantly £27,000.
I gained skills from Collage Arts that have contributed majorly into making me the strong, self-motivated and independent woman I am today. I was able to manage and work alongside talented film makers, photographers, graphic designers and producers in such an inspirational environment. Moreover, I was given the opportunity to work with different employers, from Factory 21, situated in The Chocolate Factory, to Mulab which required me to work in Italy for three weeks; an experience I am extremely proud of. I also began running my own events company with two of my colleagues, Evelyn and Tania. Now, 6 months later, we are still running MXXV; a modern experience for events and multi-media. The three of us, who were in very similar situations when we began, all successfully applied to University.
Sadly, I am no longer an apprentice at Collage Arts; however, was offered an amazing opportunity to continue as a part-time employee, assisting with marketing and events. Evelyn has even landed her self the role of designing the Quarter! I am also a student at The University of East London studying BA Events Management with Advertising, and have more experience and knowledge than the majority of my peers. The experience and knowledge I have attained from the apprenticeship has enabled me to excel in productivity and confidence as an undergraduate student. Most importantly, Collage Arts has enabled me to gain entrepreneurial knowledge and a self-governing mind-set that I previously lacked. Apprenticeships are an extremely positive option that I believe every young person should be exposed to.