National Apprenticeship Week: Courtney Ball About me My name is Courtney Ball, I’m 20 years old and I am the communications apprentice at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Responsibilities of my role include managing the website and social media channels, sending out online newsletters to members as well as creating visual resources for online and much, much more. (I really like how varied this role is and I get to be creative!) My Apprenticeship I am currently doing a Level 4 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with the 3aaa Academy in Swindon; I started in September 2016 and in October 2017 I completed a level 3 digital marketing qualification as well as Level 2 ICT functional skills. From October 2017, I started my Level 4 Digital Marketing qualification which I hope to finish at the end of this year (2018). The apprenticeship itself involves a combination of college sessions, on the job training, off the job training and regular visits from my college tutor. Currently, I attend college twice a month and I have two home study days a month. I also have visits from my tutor every 4 weeks and the rest of my time is spent at the office. However, I do attend courses, conferences and webinars to help with off the job training. Why an apprenticeship? I applied for this apprenticeship when I finished college and I still wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I had plenty of options which included, going to university, to find a job or to choose something completely new – whether that was by working or to stay at college.I chose to look for a different career path but I also wanted to work, so an apprenticeship seemed the right way forward. Before I started to research, I thought you could only do apprenticeships in manual crafts e.g. brick laying or carpentry, but when I starting looking into it, you can really do apprenticeships in anything. I wanted to choose something that I was interested in and something I was good at and a career in marketing seemed the right fit. When the position came up at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, I was really excited to work for an organisation I really believed in. Opportunities this apprenticeship has given me Since starting my apprenticeship, I have gained an extensive knowledge of creative marketing, wildlife conservation and working within a large organisation. I have learnt how to deal with the local press and I had the opportunity to work with different people including volunteers and members of the public. Qualifications I have achieved are a Level 3 Digital Marketing qualification, Level 2 ICT Functional Skills and Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work and hopefully a Level 4 Digital Marketing qualification. Future for me I hope, once my apprenticeship finishes, I’ll be able to stay at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust in a full-time communications role or go to a similar organisation where the role is still varied, creative and has a cause I believe in. Apprenticeships give you a great opportunity to learn on the job and from others that are in the same profession and to also give you ‘real world’ experience in your chosen career path. I would like to thank Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for all of the opportunities and support they have given me to really make this role my own.