I am currently on a 20-month apprenticeship with the Development Events department at the NT, which organises events for the fundraising sector of the National.
Our events range from galas to intimate dinners; we cater for 5 to 500 guests at any one time. My role is specifically administration, but I cannot say this is all I do. The role is so varied and I feel like I do a different and exciting job most days.
I applied for the apprenticeship after finding it on the National Apprenticeship website. It appealed to me because I have a passion for running events and believe my organisational skills are good – the fact the role was based at the NT was a major plus.
Every day is totally thrilling and the NT is an amazing family to be a part of. I think my favourite moment so far would be helping to organise and run the Chairman’s Dinner 2013. It was a dinner for our corporate partners to offer thanks for all their support in 2013. The dinner was a complete success and each table was themed around a show from our 50th birthday performance. I think the pleasure was in seeing all of the hard work my team had put in coming together. Our events are almost like a performance or show. The rehearsals take so much out of you but the finished article is so rewarding.
The apprentice support system at the NT is fantastic; I always feel I have someone to turn to if I need any help or just some general encouragement.
At the end of my apprenticeship I will have gained a level 3 certificate in Creative and Cultural Venue Operations. My study time is split between one day a month at college and then collecting evidence on the job. I am also taking part in a Theatreworks scheme, which I attend once every two months. This is a specially tailored course of group sessions which aim to build on my communication skills.
I feel so lucky to be able to come to work at the NT every day, and since I have been here I have been given non-stop opportunities to improve not only my work skills but my personal skills. The advice I would give someone who wanted to get into an apprenticeship in a similar job, would be to go for it! Apprenticeships are so rewarding and the skills and experience that you can gain cannot compare to any other training. An apprenticeship is so hands-on, it really gives you the opportunity to see if the job is suited to you first-hand.
I am hoping that I will gain numerous skills from my 20 months here, and ideally I would love to remain a part of the NT. Even if this was not possible, I have gained so much confidence in myself and my own skills that I feel like anything is possible.