How I landed my first job with no experience!

I’ve been with the City & Guilds Group nearly six months now and recently I’ve been thinking about what our Group purpose really means to me.

‘We help people develop the skills they need to progress into a job, progress on the job and move on to the next job’.

Into a job

Even though it feels like forever ago now, it wasn’t long ago I was sitting in a school hall completing my A-Level exams and not really thinking much about what my future holds. And if I’m perfectly honest, this time last year I was still dead-set on going to university and studying for a degree as that seemed like the only way forward. It was only later in the year that I started really thinking about it and decided university wasn’t for me.

I would say I am generally quite a hardworking and determined person but looking for a job was a lot harder than I expected. I may have had good A-level grades behind me, but with no experience I wasn’t getting anywhere.

That’s when I started looking at apprenticeships. I didn’t know much about them up until this point, but once I started looking I loved the idea of ‘earn while you learn’ and the opportunity to start at the bottom and work my way up. I like to challenge myself and I saw this as the perfect way forward for me.

After a few interviews I was offered the job at the City & Guilds Group as the Group Brand Engagement Apprentice. With a real interest in English and communications it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to use my skills.

On the job

Now here I am nearly six months on!  After successfully getting through the interview process, I started here in October 2015. I enjoy my job and feel I am progressing and learning every day. I think it’s important to try and better yourself and set goals at work. Even if it’s something little like ‘by the end of the day I am going to get these three things done’ or something a bit more complex like ‘by next month I want to have a better understanding of this’.

In terms of my apprenticeship, I am keeping on top of my work as I start to get more involved with my modules - completing case studies on a weekly basis. I feel my apprenticeship helps me to develop my knowledge and being in the work environment helps me to develop my skills and experience on the job.

Onto the next job

This is the part of our purpose that really got me thinking. I’ve made that progression of getting into a job and I am currently developing my skills through my apprenticeship to allow me to progress on the job. But what does the future hold for me? What will be my next job?

My apprenticeship is due to end in January 2017 (which feels like ages away but it will come around so quickly). Whether it's here or somewhere else I hope I am able to use my skills from my apprenticeship and experience from my job to help me progress onto the next job.

Read more about Ellie's journey:

Ellie McWilliams

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Ellie is the Group Brand Engagement Coordinator at the City & Guilds Group. Ellie helps to deliver internal communications and brand engagement activities for the Group. She is involved in a wide range of projects as well as updating the Group intranet and weekly round-up of stories from across the Group.