Unexpected promotion two weeks into the role

24 April 2017

Name George Giles
St Albans
Apprenticeship Level 4 Marketing and Business Administration
Position Marketing Assistant and Children's University Officer, Oaklands College

George joined Oaklands in September 2016 in the Marketing Department at Oaklands College. Despite joining as a Level 3 Apprentice, his proactive approach and existing qualifications meant he quickly progressed to a Higher Apprenticeship as a level best suited to his needs and development.

He now manages the College’s Children’s University project as part of his Apprenticeship in addition to lending vital support to College events. Read his story below:

On completing my A-levels at Sandringham School in Sociology, Media Studies, Business and Economics, I was keen to explore all the options available after school. Despite looking at university offerings, local employment and further full time study, I felt like I wanted something that gave me the opportunity to learn on the job. An apprenticeship allows me to continue learning whilst earning and get real-time experience in a working environment. In July this year I came across the Marketing & Business Administration apprenticeship at Oaklands – a position which would see me at the heart of the College’s events.

Just weeks into my time at Oaklands it was decided I would progress to Level 4 as a Higher Apprentice which saw me in the same role, but with an increased level of responsibility. Higher Apprenticeships require a project to manage and so I was given the opportunity to support Children’s University, the local arm of a national project which encourages and rewards primary school children to take part in ‘fun learning’ outside of the classroom.

Being given the opportunity to manage a project has really boosted my confidence and made me feel like a valued member of the team. The marketing department is fast-paced and diverse – no two days are the same. In my first few weeks I’ve been on school visits, managed guests lists for events and hosted campus tours for prospective new students. I’ve tried my hand at photography at events and am also getting a grasp on our college social media. An ever changing routine means I feel I’m picking up new skills every day.

I was privileged to have a key involvement in organising the Higher Education Graduation at our Welwyn Campus in October. I managed data input of guest lists and external companies such as photography, lighting and gowns ahead of the event, and was on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly for our students and guests on the night. The night celebrates years of hard work for our students and gives their families and us at College the chance to celebrate their achievement. To have a such a hands on role and being trusted to co-ordinate so many details of the night felt rewarding when I saw how it all came together.

Next half term is a busy time for marketing with lots of public facing events such as Open Evenings and Twilight Taster sessions for prospective students and Community events such as the Christmas Light Switch on in Welwyn Garden City in November, which as a College we play a big part in.

It’s been a busy first half term – I’ve learnt so much and am looking forward to the challenges of the next!