Case Study – Camilla Hards

This month we interview Camilla Hards, who completed her IT User apprenticeship with ITEC in March 2012.  Camilla Hards 2013

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.

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