Broadcasting benefits of apprenticeship

It’s astounding how quickly time passes, especially when your day-to-day life has begun to hold such significance concerning your future; but yet minutes continue to turn into months in an instant.

For the first time in my entire life the summer holidays of 2011 were filled with dread rather than the buzz of freedom and uncertainty consumed every last memory I have as a sixth year pupil.

I am aware I tend to slip into drama queen status but when your closest friends, the people you see every day, are moving on you begin to panic slightly.

Our school paper allowed me to concentrate on something other than UCAS deadlines and open days, replacing them with submitting articles and interviews; this was the future I imagined.

School – Galashiels Academy – and I had had our differences that we had worked out but by the end of my last year we both knew it was time to part ways, I was in need of something new and that is exactly what I got. I remember it vaguely – being confused at getting woken up by a phone call from the school as my leaver’s form was well and truly complete, and I remember hearing the word BBC.

Apprenticeships are few and far between so high up in the media sector and knowing this made my application form easy; I thought there was no chance I would walk away with something here.

When filling out the form, I was more overwhelmed by the fact that my teacher had even bothered to contact me and was extremely enthusiastic for me to apply. This feeling continued when I received my initial interview as I felt great to be making my teacher proud. This was soon washed away by fear.

Interviews are scary and although you know everyone else knows this, including the person who is interviewing you, there is no beating the fear down and as I walked into BBC Scotland it engulfed me.

I can talk for Scotland, to anyone, anywhere, but at that moment I was speechless! I sat in a small group of smartly dressed 18-23-year-olds and cringed while beginning to have inner battles of non-existent self-confidence and determination accompanied by trying to decide whether I really wanted this.

The interview, although it is a cliché, is a complete blur but I do remember finding my voice in time for the group session and dominating our decision-making exercise; which I now blame on the nerves although the other now fully-fledged apprentices think differently.

After 700 candidates and two interviews I got the call to confirm me as one of the ten apprentices the BBC were taking on in the next September.

The summer I had dreaded now seemed brighter and when attending T in the Park and standing beside ginormous BBC Scotland signs it suddenly struck me – I am an official employee of the BBC; how life had changed!

While writing this article, I have found it surreal to think that this was less than a year ago and here I am now sitting in the BBC at work. This apprenticeship has opened so many doors for me by allowing me to work with some truly inspiring people and being part of events and productions I would never have dreamt that I could be a part of.

Apprenticeships are not what they used to be – not once have I made a cup of tea or used the photocopier! I work with production teams all over the BBC in every department and have learned things that universities could not begin to teach me, along with meeting nine other apprentices that I now class as my closest friends!

Music radio is my passion and having already co-produced and presented a live show on drive-time BBC Radio Scotland I feel this apprenticeship has made this dream attainable.

I urge anyone thinking about possibilities outwith university to consider this opportunity as they don’t come around often and they are unquestionably significant in achieving any goals in the media industry. Where better to start than the world’s biggest broadcaster, the BBC?