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Posted on 7 February 2020

Meet the Apprentice – Rebecca Blackhall, Media and Communications

I’m an apprentice within the Media and Communications team at The Calico Group. This blog is showing my support for National Apprentice Week 2020’s message of ‘Making Impact, Not Tea’. I wanted to give people who are considering applying for an apprenticeship an insight into how my apprenticeship has developed my skills and what it’s like on a day to day basis – Rebecca Blackhall

What inspired me to become an apprentice?

I always knew that I was going to be career driven since I was in high school and an apprenticeship wasn’t something that crossed my mind at first. After finishing school I went on to study for my A-levels, on completion of these I got into university but decide to turn down the offer as I wanted to build on my skills and real life experiences.  So, I decided to go back to college to study a Level 3 extended diploma in Graphic Design. After finishing the course I was off to university.  Half way through my first year I knew that something was missing and that university wasn’t for me. Hearing about apprenticeships through family and friends and their success stories pushed me to go for this opportunity as I still got to learn, but allowed me to gain the experience at the same time.

Why I chose a digital marketing apprenticeship.

I have always been creative in whatever subject area I have studied in and I was interested in expanding the skills I’d  already obtained from my previous education.  As social media and digital technology are rapidly evolving, I felt that this would be an exciting career path that will continue to change and expand.  This is what excites me about digital marketing. Going to university putting my real-life experiences on hold, I wanted to gain experience whilst learning, to prepare me for ‘real world’ situations.

My role and a typical day in the office

My weeks can be very different as the services and companies which make up The Calico Group vary from housing and construction, to domestic abuse support. So from week to week I can be writing for one service, and then needing to change content and tone of voice for the next. My main tasks are social media monitoring, creating content, scheduling social, design work, promoting events which can include ordering materials and promotion online. I love getting to help out at events that we have promoted as a team as I get to work on my communication skills and also see all our hard work payoff. I really enjoy what I do because no two days are the same.

What I enjoy most about working for The Calico Group.

When I first joined the company I found it difficult to explain what Calico actually did.  Being with the company for a year now, I have really enjoyed getting to know about all of the services and the different roles, and see how all of our staff contribute to our main value of ‘making a real difference to people’s lives’. I have enjoyed learning the ways of writing for different audiences and adapting language for each of service. The Calico Group doesn’t only look after their clients and customers, but they also look after their staff, whenever I have a problem or I’m struggling with work there is always a helping hand at Calico.

How do you think an apprenticeship has improved or opened up your career options?

From my experience of being an apprentice it has given me genuine skills that will be transferable into the next stage of my career path. Giving me the confidence and an understanding of what working within the digital sector is about, with the help and mentoring of the amazing team I work alongside. In a year I have enhanced my social skills not only on social media platforms but within the company and surrounding local businesses.  This experience has helped me build on my confidence whilst allowing me to trust in my abilities and skills when applying for future careers.

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