Deanne Stevens is encouraging others to consider apprenticeships as a route into their dream job, as she continues to boost her skills in a busy events marketing business.
The 21 year old is backed by her employers, who are delighted to see apprenticeships back in vogue, and hope more businesses see the benefit of growing their own in-house talent.
Deanne has completed her apprenticeship with JS Media in Milton Keynes, a bustling company that organises job fairs in major shopping centres. Alongside work, her apprenticeship has been supported by Cambridge Regional College.
“I’ve learnt hands-on, useful work skills in so many areas,” Deanne said. “It is all hands on deck when there is an event, so I’ve learnt a lot from colleagues.
“I feel I’ve experienced more than if I had just learnt in a classroom.
“Experiencing the buzz of working in marketing rather than learning from a text book has inspired and motivated me.”
Deanne successfully completed her marketing apprenticeship under the framework of Cambridge Regional College.
The combination has taught her real-life work skills while developing a thorough understanding and passion for marketing.
So much so, she is about to begin a Marketing Degree at Anglia Ruskin University, taking one day out a week from work to complete her studies.
“The biggest lesson for me as an apprentice is being well organised,” she said.
“Spreadsheets are a God-send! Learning Excel in a classroom is one thing but using spreadsheets in a proper work setting makes you realise they are invaluable!”
Deanne has learnt social and digital marketing skills and helps organise job show events in large shopping centres in Milton Keynes as well as the two London Westfields shopping centres.
She writes articles for their in-house job fair newspaper and is involved in the day to day running of a busy marketing department.
In addition to the daily job skills, Deanne has enjoyed the independent learning on a one to one basis with her college tutor, who travels out to check on progress.
“Apprenticeships are a win-win because you experience work, earn money and get a qualifications at the end of it,” she said.
“I love what I do, I’m passionate about it. It has grounded me and I feel I’ve matured more than if I had gone to university.
“I’ve come out of my shell plus I think learning via apprenticeships are more useful to an employer.”
Her line manager, JS Media Exhibitions Manager, Yvette Johnson, said: “I’m really pleased to see apprenticeships come back in vogue.
“It’s not just for school leavers either. Apprenticeships give people of all levels, abilities and ages the opportunity to train in a useful way and at their own pace. I would like to see apprenticeships boosted still further so they are the equivalent to graduate level.
“From an employers’ perspective it means we can grow our own talent, like Deanne.”