Changes

For the observant among you, you may have noticed an aesthetic change to the blog. For the even more observant, you may have also noticed a slight alteration to my URL. I’ve switched from Blogger to WordPress and I couldn’t be happier. To me, this feels like the right direction for me to go with my little space of the internet. I hope that’s okay with you all.

There has been a lot of changes in my life over the past few months, but the key thing is my change of job role at work. I’ve gone from being an unqualified PR Apprentice to becoming a fully qualified PR Account Executive. The change hasn’t been massive in terms of the work that I’m undertaking, but I do feel a much greater sense of responsibility in my job right now.

I wrote a post on our company blog about my experience as an apprentice. You can read that here if you wish. I’m a real advocate of apprenticeships having been through one myself and seen the positive impact that it can have. I hope that I’ll have plenty more opportunities to talk outwardly about my apprenticeship experience on here in the future as I really do believe it’s helped to shape me as a person in some ways. I’m over the moon to have completed and passed, and I’m so glad that I have been offered a full time permanent position at Quantum.

Hopefully, over the next few months, you’ll start to notice a content change as well. I want to talk more about the things that I feel most passionate about: equality for all and mental health awareness. I’m hoping to get some good conversations started and perhaps make even a small impact on some people’s perceptions of issues that I feel should be discussed more.

As always, I’ll still be posting the occasional life update. Lots more photos and lots more fun. That’s what I’m hoping for.

I’ve missed blogging. Blogging has been a huge part of my life for years now. I set out to document everything from the beginning and that’s what I’m going to do more of now. I’m feeling focussed and ready to go.

Getting back into blogging…

At a recent work appraisal, I was talking to my Managing Director about some of the things that I’d like to achieve within the next year, both in and outside of work. One point of focus in our chat was this little blog of mine.
It’s been a chaotic few months to say the least. Truth be told, I’ve been struggling. There’s been a lot of things going on in my mind and really, I haven’t been in the best of places. It’s been tough but I’m getting through it and I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received from those around me. I’ll probably write more on it in the future, but for now I want to keep this as lighthearted as possible.

Aside from some of the negative things I’ve been going through, there have been many good moments over the last few months that I’m sure I’ll get round to sharing with you at some stage. Not every day has been a good one, but the good ones have been incredible.

By way of a quick life update, I have been working my butt off to complete all my coursework for my apprenticeship, which will be submitted next week for marking a week after that. I’ve got my final meeting with my assessor on the 27th October, and on the 28th I will be an officially qualified PR practitioner. I was absolutely delighted to be offered a permanent position at my current place of employment when I complete my apprenticeship, so from the end of October, I will be an official, full time and permanent, PR Account Executive.

I’ll be back within the next couple of weeks to update you further on things. I hope that the posts will become more regular on completion of my apprenticeship coursework. I’ve missed these little ramblings and I thoroughly look forward to chatting with you all again soon.

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What shall I do next?

At the beginning of my time at sixth form, one question was on everybody’s minds: What shall I do next? I was fortunate enough to be given some advice on a variety of different after-school options, from charitable gap years around the world to university and everything in between.

The options were exciting to say the least, but also pretty terrifying. Here’s why: At the age of seventeen, I was expected to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – a terrifying prospect, especially considering that we are all living a lot longer than ever these days, and the retirement age in the UK seems to rise every other year.

I have no real complaints about my secondary school at all. I spent seven years of my life walking into that building every single day and created so many memories there. I learnt so much, not only in lessons but also outside of the classroom, and not always positive.  The only thing that ever bothered me about my secondary school was the limited information they gave me on apprenticeships when I decided I didn’t want to go to university. I was one of many that chose to not go to university in my year, and I think that the advice we were given wasn’t necessarily always right, not from my experiences since.

Today, I thought I’d put a few points together about apprenticeships which may or may not help those of you who are struggling to decide what you want to do next.

Apprenticeships are not worth less than a university degree

Apprenticeships are frequently considered inferior to degrees. Why? Mainly complete snobbery. To get into my apprenticeship there were requirements. I had to achieve particular grades in particular subjects at A Level, and go through an interview process. Doing an apprenticeship does not mean that you are less intelligent than those who go to university. Some of my friends at uni have even commented that they wish they’d done an apprenticeship, simply because it would’ve saved them a whole lot of money in the long run.

Apprenticeships are paid meaning you do not start your adult life in debt

Many of my friends who are studying at university are racking up massive debts. If you don’t budget properly it’s surprising how quickly you can go from having hundreds of pounds of loans and grants to being in your overdraft.As an apprentice, I am earning money. The current minimum apprentice wage is £3.30, but many companies are willing to pay more for trainee staff if they think you’re worth. Even if you are only being paid the minimum, it might not seem a lot of money but it’s a lot better than having nothing at all.

Apprenticeships help you gain something that many university courses do not offer: real life experience

The lessons that I have learnt since beginning my apprenticeship in PR have been incredible. I’ve gained so many skills, not only in PR but also more generic and transferable skills that I can take with me wherever I end up. Things I once found difficult, I’m increasingly finding a hell of a lot easier, and I’m exceptionally lucky to have such a supportive team of employees around me. In an appraisal last year, my managing director told me that he’s taken on staff straight out of university who have had absolutely no idea about how to behave in an office environment. Degrees give you so much valuable theory-based information, but it’s rare that they’ll give you the valuable hands-on experience that I have had since beginning my apprenticeship.  That’s not to say that doing a university degree is not worthwhile, and people learn lots of completely different lessons from attending university.

Let me know your thoughts on the “What shall I do next?” debate in the comments below.

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The Highlights: March 2016

Much like February did, March has flown by. I’m so excited to finally be getting away from the winter wardrobe and towards summer. Sunny days make me happy. 
Some of the highlights:– A spontaneous night at Bluewater with Ben– Wearing sunglasses for the first time in 2016– Reaching and exceeding three months with Ben- Taking a week off of work to chill in Aylesbury with my wonderful better half- Leaving work in daylight for the first time this year- Reading one of the most beautiful books ever written- Celebrating Ben’s birthday (and finally getting to give him his presents after waiting so long)From my Instagram:

 

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Advice to my younger self…

Dear little me,
I’m writing as a 19 year old with a little bit of life experience. I’m sure I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, but I’ve got a bit of advice for you.

You are going to go through school feeling inadequate and unwanted at times. Do not let this tarnish your overall experience. As you will learn in sixth form, there is more to life than people’s pathetic opinions and you’re a hell of a lot better than you believe.
Talking of school: enjoy it. It goes quickly and, as much as you’ll hate sitting through poorly planned Physics lessons and you’ll die of boredom in History, some of the people you get to spend time with are truly inspirational. I’m certain some of them will change the world some day. Learn from these people, they’ll teach you a lot.
And by the way, all the pressure you put on yourself to succeed will work out well for you in the end. Don’t stress.

As you’ve always said, you’re not going to go to university. You’re going to leave sixth form with good A Level results and head straight into an apprenticeship in PR, and you’re going to have to grow up pretty quickly. Don’t forget to take time to breathe. I promise you, you are more capable than you think you are.

When you feel like you can’t cope at the end of sixth form, go to the doctors. They’ll diagnose you with anxiety and they’ll help you to start to feel better. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to people.

Throughout your life you’ll meet some wonderful human beings who you think will be around forever. They won’t but that’s okay. You’ll quickly learn that not everyone stays. Focus on the ones who do and don’t let the ones who don’t get you down. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Love life? That’ll be a rocky ride for a few years. Caz is going to give you some great advice – you know you should probably listen to him, but you won’t, you never do.
Reach out when you need to, don’t suffer in silence. You don’t have to deal with anything by yourself. Just make sure you’re talking to the right people. Not everyone is as trustworthy as they seem.

Just before your 19th birthday, you are going to meet someone that will change your life for the better. He’s the greatest thing that will probably ever happen to you. You’re going to have some of the best days with him and he’s going to be there when times are really tough. He is going to save you. He’s going to become your best friend and your partner in crime. He’s going to prove to you that you’ve always been worth more than the way you’ve been treated in the past. He will remind you daily of how loved and cared for you are. Hold on to him and appreciate him every single day. He’s perfect for you.

Read lots, write as much as possible and take as many photos as you can. Time goes pretty quickly and before you know it, you’ll be me.

All my love,

Beverley

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Breaking the ice

The first post to a blog is always a bit awkward so to break the ice:

My name is Beverley, I’m currently 19 years old and I live in Kent
I’m currently an apprentice PR account executive at a local PR agency.
I am very fortunate to be in a beautiful little relationship with my best friend and partner in crime, Ben. I’m sure he’ll be featuring a lot here.

This isn’t my first blog, in fact I’ve had several over the years, but this is the one that I’m determined will be something I’m truly proud of. I needed a completely fresh start and that is exactly what this little slice of the internet is giving me.
Writing is one of my passions (hence the career path) so I feel like it’ll be a nice idea to start blogging properly.
This blog is going to feature lots of posts about various aspects of my life: my thoughts, feelings, opinions and experiences.

I can’t guarantee that posts will be regular, but I can guarantee that they will be honest.