23 March 2017

Starting out in PR: Why I chose an apprenticeship

It wasn’t until I started my fashion blog, back when I was 17, that I was exposed to the brilliant world of public relations. Until then, I had no idea that an industry could possibly cover everything I was interested in, from creative writing to organising events, working with large brands and brainstorming ideas for campaigns. Who wouldn’t want to fall into such an exciting industry?

I began to gather work experience from a range of different companies to get an idea of what working in PR would feel like. I had valuable experience from well-known women’s magazines such as LOOK, Cosmopolitan, Prima and OK!, and already had a reasonable understanding of how PR worked.

During that time, I spoke with a few people and was introduced to the PRCA apprenticeship scheme. This was the perfect route for me, as university never really appealed to me and I had always enjoyed learning on the job.

I found OneChocolate and saw that they were taking on an apprentice, so I had a look around the company website. It was clear to me from the start that OneChocolate would be the right place for me to grow and develop within the company. They are award-winning and had successfully run a great deal of campaigns with huge brands like PLAYMOBIL, Panasonic and Griffin Technology. I didn’t waste any time and applied as soon as I could.

The application itself was tough, yet thorough. The process started with a phone conversation inviting me into the PRCA headquarters for a group interview with about 15 other applicants. During the interview, we had several tasks to complete as a group, and had to present at the end. All 15 of us were marked and assessed on our performance, and were then shortlisted that week.

Within the next couple of days, the PRCA gave me a call to organise a phone interview with OneChocolate. From that phone call I was then invited down to their office based in Soho for a formal interview. A few weeks later, I got the chance to meet Jill Coomber, one of the co-founders of OneChocolate, and I was offered the position as their apprentice later on that week!

As well as being given the chance to work as a full-time employee for 15 months, I am currently working towards my Level 4 Diploma in Public Relations. I really am living the dream for a 21-year-old who decided not to go to university. I would encourage anyone looking to get into PR to apply for an apprenticeship. It has been the best decision I have made yet. I have only been here one month, and I have already learnt so much. This apprenticeship will give me the skills to move forward with my career in public relations.