University is not the ‘be all and end all’ for everybody
20-year-old Sam Carey is a PR apprentice at Hill+Knowlton Strategies
University is not the ‘be all and end all’ for everybody, and unfortunately, I figured this out quite late in school. However, once I discovered the apprenticeship route, I was dead set on getting into the world of work. I’ve been working ever since my 16th birthday, as I mainly thought ‘Why not?’, and also, I really enjoyed meeting people outside of my regular circle. Having this mindset really helped me when finding the confidence to apply for the various apprenticeship schemes, and there are quite a few now!
Learning that the PR industry had an established apprenticeship route was a gamechanger for me. I was convinced that I could only follow the finance, consulting, or tech routes, but after coming across the wider PRCA apprenticeship campaign I was pleasantly surprised. That feeling has carried on through my time as a PR apprentice at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. There are endless opportunities to speak with the media, interact with very senior internal and external stakeholders, and having my opinions heard, despite being a junior member of the team. I’m a creative at heart, and love writing, so being able to craft articles, interview questions, and copy for media pitches and press releases has allowed me to really develop this passion. But this is not an exhaustive list, I’ve also been involved in planning some great events where my role was to get media attendance so they can profile our clients.
I have definitely grown as a professional, but also as a person. Working in a diverse, fast-paced agency filled with different cultures and experiences has meant my emotional intelligence has also improved. I speak to people every day as part of my job—journalists, clients and colleagues, so I can absolutely say this path has led me to become a better listener, as well as being able to anticipate the needs of others.
The support from the PRCA has been unmatched during my apprenticeship, and constant feedback and support from my mentor has been crucial to my progression. It’s like having your own dedicated cheerleader that also knows when to challenge and test you.
I would recommend the PRCA apprenticeship to anyone who wants to work in an environment where creativity is championed and wants to feel supported at such an early stage in their career.
To find out more about apprenticeship training at PRCA, visit prca.org.uk