Chantel, 18, has recently joined Parenta as a marketing assistant and is doing a business administration apprenticeship. She explains what her first week in the office was like for her, and some of the things she’s learnt so far:
Your first day at any new job is scary and overwhelming; there are countless new faces, nothing looks the way you might have imagined and you have a lot to learn before you’ll begin to feel comfortable in your role.
To start with, I had the grand tour of the office, I met a lot of people (whose names I can’t yet remember) and began to have an idea of what was on each floor. I then went on to spend the day with the Customer Service Team, where I listened in on their phone calls and discussed the programmes they were using; this gave me a general feel of the company, its values and the customers they look after. I learnt a lot about what goes into the day-to-day running of the business, who had what roles and the impact they had on the company; as well as understanding the services that Parenta offer.
On Tuesday I got the opportunity to go along with one of our telesales representatives to a sign-up for one of our apprentices at a nursery. This was a great experience for me to envisage the nurseries that we work with, witness the atmosphere and also the chance to find out more about the process of a sign-up.
The sign-up process involved an explanation of what an apprenticeship is, how it works, what they will be expected to do, how they can benefit from an apprenticeship and how they can progress onto future qualifications after the apprenticeship. I learnt about childcare itself (being new to this particular sector I was unsure how their qualifications worked) and how to assess whether a course is right for a particular candidate as well as the necessary qualifications for later progression.
Wednesday I was finally in the office and working with Natalie (Parenta’s Copywriter), who explained that I would be writing a few short news stories and then one creative piece. For the first part of the day I was researching into the news stories that I had been given and gathering information for the article. In the afternoon, I then began my story on the benefits of doing an apprenticeship over going to university. I really enjoyed this aspect of the day; it gave me a lot of creative freedom to explore my own ideas, experiences and my own style of writing in a way I felt very comfortable.
In writing these pieces I also learnt the different stages that go into the development of an article, how they go back and forth to be verified and then the process of uploading them on to our Parenta website to ensure that they follow the suit of our existing articles. I also learnt a lot about the childcare sector itself, as this was the topic I was writing about. I had to do lots of research so that I understood the issues that were being raised, which would then enable me to write the articles in a way that could be understood by the desired audience.
Thursday I got to do some of the exciting stuff: website building. This began with a brief overview of the systems that they use for the websites and a tutorial of the essentials I had to know. I then got thrown into the deep end and was instantly given the task of putting footers onto each of the websites. I found this very useful as it gave me a chance to work with the websites and understand how the software worked whilst also getting an idea of what it was the clients wanted their websites to look like.
The final day of the week and I now understand the daily process of the team, when they have catch-ups, what tasks to be getting on with and again I progressed in my ability to use the website software.
This week has been an eye-opener into what will be expected of me in future weeks to come and how I can develop within this team. My knowledge of the business, the childcare sector, website design and marketing has also expanded – giving me the basics needed for my role.
Would you like to find out more about doing an apprenticeship?