In 2015 my journey with The Hive started. I came to the end of my two years at sixth form and knew that University wasn’t for me. I continued my job waitressing part time and then heard about the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship that The Hive was advertising. When I read the job description for the role it really appealed to me as I loved social media and had previous photography experience (GCSE & AS Level). I applied for the job and was lucky enough to secure an interview and to my delight I got the role. I started in August 2015.

Throughout the apprenticeship I learnt a lot and experienced many different things such as commuting to London for college, attending business networking events and even meeting the Mayor of Southend. September 2016 came around and I had finished my apprenticeship. I had realised a lot of things at this point:

1. I love the interaction with the public/different businesses. I realised this from being on the reception at The Hive, meeting and greeting different people each day

2. I really enjoy using social media for marketing purposes as it gives you such a wide and varied audience to market to

3. An office role may not be the perfect career choice for me as I enjoy being more ‘active’

I decided to take a gamble and apply for a Beauty Therapy course. This was a completely different career path but from the skills I had learnt at The Hive felt like it would be the perfect career for me. The course was two days a week and this allowed me to continue working here at The Hive part time as ‘Events, Sales and Marketing Officer’. I have now come to the end of my beauty course and decided that I would like to pursue it as a career. I have managed to secure a new job role in a local salon in which I will be completing my Level 3 beauty therapy qualification. Unfortunately, this means my time at The Hive will soon come to an end.

As I look back and reflect on my whole journey from apprentice to Events officer a lot has changed since my very first day here. I now have a lot of skills when it comes to using various social media platforms to market a business. I have gained a whole new level of confidence and generally know a lot more about the way the business world works. I truly believe that my experience of learning whilst working has allowed me to mature as an individual and open my eyes to what I am good at and enjoy doing. I know there doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation between my roles at The Hive and being a beauty therapist but I know that without my experience at the Hive I wouldn’t be prepared to go into a salon and start working and wouldn’t know what I enjoy doing in regard to working.

I would just like to say to anyone who is considering an apprenticeship to take the leap and go for it because at the end of the course you will have gained a lot of valuable experience, developed skills and have an idea about the type of career you would like to pursue.

Finally, if anyone who is reading this post has met me and been a part of my Hive experience no matter how big or small I would like to say a big thank you as I have learnt so much from not only the lovely team I work with (Seb, Stephanie, Mark and Calum) but also the hive members and many individuals I have encountered at events. Although my journey with The Hive is now over it has allowed me to go on with my new journey.

Emily Whitfield

Events, Sales and Marketing Officer

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