03 February 2023

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I finished my Business Apprenticeship with Burges Salmon in April 2021 and since then I have been working in our Marketing department, and have recently been promoted to Marketing Campaigns Executive. My apprenticeship taught me many valuable lessons, and here are my four top things I have taken away from my apprenticeship and how they help me with my job now.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I was always afraid that I would look silly by asking questions in meetings, but I quickly learnt that asking questions is the best way of leaning. And a lot of the time, there is someone else in the room who is also asking the same questions as you, and they will benefit from you speaking up and asking!

Confidence is key!

I know they say fake it until you make it, but I have found this advice to be really useful. Even if you are feeling nervous about something, I always take a few deep breaths and remind myself that I wouldn't of been asked to do this if the person asking me didn't believe in me, no one wants to see you fail! Putting yourself in situations that make you a little nervous can really help to build your confidence, as nine times out of ten they will go well and you will forget why you were nervous in the first place!

Manage expectations.

As an apprentice, I was quite nervous to say no to people giving me tasks or projects when I already had a lot of my plate, but with the help from supportive line managers and gaining confidence, I learnt to say no to things and to manage expectations of my colleagues. It is so important to learn this skill and say no to things when you have too much on, and you'll find that people really appreciate this. It doesn’t always need to be a flat-out 'no' either, just let them know when you will have an opportunity to take a look at that piece of work, but don't push yourself to take on anything you can't!

Say yes!

On the flip side, it is always important to say yes to things and to take opportunities that come along. There have been lots of opportunities during my apprenticeship where I might have felt apprehensive about something, like leading a meeting with a client or attending a large external event by myself, but those moments are the ones that have stuck with me for the best reasons - they taught me the most and helped to build my confidence in my role.

If I could tell 18 year old me one thing before she started at Burges Salmon, I would tell her take every opportunity that comes along and run with it, as she has no idea how far that attitude could take her.


This article was written by Lauren Brenton.

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