February 9, 2021
Starting an apprenticeship whilst in lockdown was always going to be a challenge but starting in the Tech sector has somewhat eased the process.
Naturally, having grown up in a digital era, I presumed that it would be a simple transition as I was familiar with the commercial uses of technology and am often called upon by parents to act as an IT guide.
Overall it has been a suitable, if not ironic, fit that at the height of two separate lockdowns, I am introduced to PR through the industry that is seemingly keeping the world together right now.
Getting to grips with PR and tech
My top five learnings to date have been:
- The worlds of PR and tech both have their own vocabularies which can be bewildering at first, but assimilation is always possible
- Cybersecurity has become even more of a notable topic within tech, as companies and individuals grapple with a work and personal life lived heavily online
- Despite regular reporting of cyberattacks and vulnerabilities, the constant nature of cyber threats can’t be overstated as there are many more ways that we can be vulnerable online than I had previously realised
- Not every approach will bring the success initially desired – building meaningful relationships is central to PR success, as is developing an understanding of the topics of interest for each journalist and publication; there are many external factors that come into play
- Draw on support from colleagues and mentors to further learning; and to generally enjoy the workplace.
Keeping all of this in mind has helped me gain a footing in a field rather new to me, as well as in a situation new to everyone else.
Advice on starting an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship aims to bring together the advantages of education and working. They are for those with a preference for hands-on learning rather than learning through theory of the practice. It gives real life outcomes and consequences that are valued in the world of work.
It is important for both colleagues, and particularly apprentices, to acknowledge the gap in experience, as ignoring it will only present problems. Every effort must be taken to progress as a professional which includes asking questions, putting forward ideas and being open to tips and criticisms.
Employers will also play a vital supporting role throughout an apprenticeship by working collaboratively with an apprentice as with any other employee. Any restriction in communication – let alone coddling! - apprentices will hinder the experience of being introduced to the industry at the start of their career.
Despite the obvious setbacks of working from home, not to mention starting a new job, the Tech sector has been an insightful, at times challenging, introduction as a PR apprentice.
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