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Apprenticeships – Progressing in Marketing at Drake Circus

By Melissa Brain
Marketing and Business Apprentice at Drake Circus, Plymouth

09 Mar 2017

As someone who couldn’t bear the thought of spending another couple of years in a classroom, learning through experience was something that I found really appealing.

Before joining the team at Drake Circus, Plymouth, as an apprentice, I’d completed three A-Levels in English Literature and Language, Philosophy and Ethics, and Psychology. I also had a lot of background in childcare and primary education. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I had an interest in marketing.

I decided to look into what marketing and business administration apprenticeships were available online, which was when I found an opening at Drake Circus. I was eager to play a role in planning events on a massive scale and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. I also liked the idea of working within a team, particularly one of this size; there are almost 70 people on the Drake Circus team and around 1,700 people work in the retail stores and restaurants. 

When I got the phone call, I was ecstatic to know I’d been chosen out of so many other candidates and excited to start my first full-time job since leaving school. 

Working at Drake Circus was even better than I had anticipated, as I was given responsibilities that far surpassed what I was expecting as an apprentice. I’ve been provided with a wide range of opportunities and training that will benefit me in the future. The areas I work in vary from retail support, marketing, administrative duties, customer service and, more recently, finance.

I started my Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship in December 2015 and completed it a year later. I’ve now moved onto my Level 4 qualification, equivalent to a Foundation Degree, which I hope to complete in early 2018. In the future, I hope to continue my stay here, hopefully progressing onto my Level 5, with a strong focus in marketing and finance.

For anyone looking into life post-18, I highly recommend fully exploring everything available to you, as university and college aren’t the only options. Think about areas that you enjoy or that interest you and research what is available to you linking to this. Apprenticeships enable you to learn on the job while gaining vast work and life experience that will aid you well into the future. 

Greg Lumley, Centre Director at Drake Circus: “One of the rewarding parts of having an apprentice is seeing them flourish once given an opportunity and guidance. Melissa is a great example of a young person who is actively engaged with the team and is not only benefiting from their experience but is also adding value through her work.”

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