ITEC: Camilla, what were your thoughts and plans about your future career when you were coming up to leaving school?
Camilla: I knew after school I wanted to study at college however after college I was a little lost. I no longer wanted to study at university – I wanted hands-on experience, but having no experience at this point I found it very tough!
ITEC: When you left college, why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?
Camilla: Having gone to college (studying Art and Design) I wanted to go in to a creative job. Unfortunately the creative industry is a competitive industry and required me to gain more experience. So instead of going to university, I felt that doing an apprenticeship would be the best way forward. I would earn money, gain experience on my CV as well as gain qualifications, again adding to my skills.
ITEC: What do you feel you gained from your apprenticeship that you would not have got at school, college or university?
Camilla: I gained invaluable and irreplaceable hands-on experience in the working world. Because I was learning at the same time, I didn’t feel pressured and I didn’t feel stressed even when I made mistakes (as everyone does!).
ITEC: What was it like working for your employer? What did your job entail?
Camilla: I worked for a photographic studio, Nicol’s Photography Studio, with Nicola (the studio owner). She was a fabulous mentor and teacher and a great person. I had the best two years working for her, the work didn’t feel like a job at all. I was a photographer’s assistant at this time, doing admin tasks, photo-editing, manipulation, data entry and eventually taking bookings and shoots.
ITEC: What skills and knowledge have you gained through your apprenticeship?
Camilla: I gained an in depth knowledge of IT, photography and customer service. The apprenticeship gave me more confidence in the industry and with customers.
ITEC: What are you doing now?
Camilla: I am currently a freelance photographer working for myself and contracting with other companies.
ITEC: What contribution has your apprenticeship made to where you are now in your career?
Camilla: Without the apprenticeship I wouldn’t be where I am today! I wouldn’t have the skills or the confidence to shoot weddings, portraits and events and I wouldn’t have the knowledge to do the admin and IT work it entails. It was the best decision I ever made and gave me an incredible start to my working life.