Down a different path
This time last year, Joanne Reid had completed her end-of-school examinations and was working full-time as a waitress.
Despite receiving two offers to study marketing at university, the 17-year-old decided to go down a different path to most of her peers.
Preferring not to go to university, Joanne decided to start building her career and applied to become a marketing assistant at nSYS Services, the automated procurement and invoicing specialists in Aberdeen. She explains why she felt this was the right path for her:
“I figured out that I wasn't too keen on the idea of university, so I thought that beginning to build my career at 17 was the best choice. I applied to become a marketing assistant at nSYS Services which was a one-year apprenticeship back in July last year.
“I had to complete a number of assessments throughout the year with my assessor from QA in order to achieve my Business and Administration qualification. My assessments involved demonstrating the skills I was learning on the job and answering questions which showed the new knowledge I was obtaining.
“It was a really challenging year, especially as I was not accustomed to sitting in an office five days a week from 9am to 5pm. I really enjoy sales and marketing but it's not always easy marketing such a diverse portfolio of products. It has taken me a while to get to grips with all the different solutions and I have a while to go before I fully understand it from a technical point of view.
“Project management is an area I would really like to get involved with. Again this will be a completely new adventure for me as I have no experience with project management so it should be interesting.
“I don’t regret not going to university. It was one of the best decisions I've made in life so far, the fact that nSYS is a relatively small company has really benefited me as I have the opportunity to help out in different areas of the business and learn lots of new skills which I doubt would have been possible in a larger company. I will use the skills and qualification I have earned for years to come.
“It's really important for companies to take on apprentices as it allows us to learn on the job and experiencing real-life situations rather than reading it from a textbook. I think coming out at the end of it with no debt to pay back is also a bonus.”