The Apprentice


“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Last June I finally hung up my school bag and retired from the Economics book which had been my daily guide for the past two years. I knew that university wasn’t for me, after applying to uni and receiving 4/5 offers with an unconditional from Nottingham, I willingly declined them all. Instead I set myself a mission to find an apprenticeship in an environment where I would thrive before the September that my peers would pack their suitcases and move away. On August 17, I came home from collecting my A level results to receive a call from Sage – for the first time, I was employed and by a FTSE 100 company.

My own apprentice journey at Sage so far has been everything and more than I expected it to be. I am so proud to be able to say that I am employed by such an incredibly driven and innovative company, who put their colleagues and customers first. In terms of running an apprenticeship scheme, Sage are challenging all the traditional ideas and myths surrounding what my day-to-day role as an apprentice should look like.

No, I do not spend my time making teas and coffees and running errands.

No, I did not choose an apprenticeship because I “couldn’t hack university.”

And yes, my apprenticeship qualification will lead to a bright future of opportunities and experiences.

What my day-to-day role really looks like…

I am a Product PR apprentice for the global Sage communications team. I work with others in both internal and external communications to deliver key Sage messaging to our customers, partners, analysts and colleagues. At the end of my apprenticeship, I will have worked towards a Level 4 Public Relations Foundation Degree.

In my first week in the London offices (after an induction in the Newcastle headquarters) I was set to research disruptive technologies – Artificial Intelligence, Collective Intelligence and Blockchain. I didn’t quite grasp the scale to which Sage was engaging with these technologies until my manager sent me the draft of Optimism and Ethics – An AI Reality Check and asked me to help manage this project. I rolled up my sleeves and as well as helping with the copy writing aspect of pulling the research report together I was asked to run the social media aspect of this project from planning, to creative production and onto hosting and sharing content online.

My manager wanted MY perspective on how we should be communicating this out to market – and as a Gen Z colleague, Sage was passionate about gaining my advice and input into how this content would resonate with my peers.

Below are the highlights related to this experience so far, with lots more to come, I’m sure!

Developing and implementing a social media plan – it was really encouraging to see my work on the twitter accounts of senior colleagues and Sage official accounts. And the social media plan didn’t stop with twitter, I had bigger visions for spreading the awareness of AI and its potential, more on that below

You can view some of my tweets here.

Animated Video - I put together a proposal for an animated video to be produced, that would share Sage vision and values of AI and also help to educate our viewers. I pitched this with our agency and once I got the go ahead, managed every aspect from drafting the script, to reviewing the story board and managing studio recording of the voice over with Kriti Sharma, our Vice President of AI at Sage.

If you would like to watch the video please click here - video.

House of Lords – With my rapidly evolving understanding of AI, I was assigned to a team that were to work with Kriti Sharma to help prepare for her session to give evidence in the House of Lords for the Artificial Intelligence Select Committee. Working with our public affairs team we researched the members of the committee and the conversations other tech firms were having with the panel.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this work come together and Kriti confidently convey the issues we had worked together to identify.

You can watch the session here– session.

… and what’s to come?

I have definitely landed on my feet finding this apprenticeship with Sage and it has reassured me (and my mum!) that I made the right decision in not going to university. 100%.

It’s just the beginning and I have a long way to go, but I am excited about the future here at Sage, and with some awesome projects on the horizon I am certain I will be making a valuable contribution to the Sage communications team!

This article was first published on LinkedIn.