In Nublue Blog Where could a Nublue apprenticeship take you? Posted by Stefan After twelve months with the Nublue team, our apprentice Rona is moving on to continue her career and education. Before she leaves us this Friday, we took the opportunity to ask her how she found her time with us – and what advice she has for school leavers interested in an IT apprenticeship. Hi Rona, and thanks for doing this interview! You first came to Nublue from Lancaster Girls’ Grammar in September 2013 for a week’s work experience. How was that for you? I loved my work experience and felt that working would suit me more than sixth form, hence why I decided to return here after school. What was the process like to join us as an apprentice? I got asked to join as an apprentice after my second time coming for work experience. It was a lot different from school and I found the transition difficult yet rewarding – I think the hardest thing to get used to was having to work while my friends were on school holidays. Could you give our readers an overview of the kind of work you’ve been doing with us over the past year, and the kind of challenges and learning curves you’ve had in that time? I started off doing basic training, which was just completing tasks relating to web design and development. But before long I found myself helping out on real client work, and by about nine months in I had projects of my own to complete which was really exciting. Had you always wanted to work in web design? What sort of things were you doing in web design before you started with us? I knew I wanted to do something based in IT work, but I’d only experienced what I’d done during my school IT lessons which included things like designing games and coding websites. I also did Computer Science, which meant I had to complete programming tasks in Visual Basic. What kind of skills, knowledge and software have you been putting into practice while you’ve been with us? I’ve massively improved my skills in CSS, HTML and PhotoShop, as well as trying out Java and PHP. How has your work with clients helped to build on the skills you’ve gained over the year? I think working with clients has helped improve my confidence in myself and my work – and has also greatly helped me in communicating with other people. Be yourself in your interview and bring in some examples of work which will show the interviewer what skill level you're at. What would your advice be to people who’d like to start a web design apprenticeship? Will they need any skills or knowledge before they can be considered for an apprenticeship? (Any interview tips for nervous applicants?) I’d say definitely do online tutorials on HTML and CSS, and get a general idea of responsive designs and how they work, as they were something I really struggled with at first. Be yourself in your interview and bring in some examples of work which will show the interviewer what skill level you’re at. What kind of skills and knowledge can you put on your CV now that you’ve completed your apprenticeship with us? I can say that I’ve worked on a variety of websites in both design and development roles, and that I’m able to address clients in a suitable way. We know you love music and design – so do you have any side projects going on outside work? I’m currently organising a Northern Soul Night in aid of Cancer Research, which is lots of fun but takes up a lot of my time. I’m also helping a small management company opened in Manchester by one of my friends to find some new acts. So what’s next on the career ladder? Has your time with us helped you with your career ambitions? Next step is a year’s course in Engineering and then moving down to London to pursue a career in the industry. I would definitely say my experiences at Nublue have helped me take this new opportunity, as it’s enabled me to get enough UCAS points through my apprenticeship to be able to take a one-year course, rather than a two-year course, next year in order to get into a good university. What would your advice be to other young people who’d like to work in web design or the IT industry? Why should they take an apprenticeship? I’d say that taking an apprenticeship is the best step for anyone looking into a career in IT, as employers are always keen to find people with working experience rather than just good grades. Thanks for your time Rona! It’s been fantastic having you on the team, and we wish you all the very best with your career!