Whilst I sit waiting for my dinner to cook, I thought I would talk you through my experience when attending the Juice Academy Bootcamp yesterday, so if this post is of interest to you, go and grab yourself a brew and have yourself a read.
To put it simply, the Juice Academy is an institution that works with companies that are looking to hire apprentices in digital marketing, and specialises in training apprentices in all areas of the matter, allowing them to gain a certificate in coding, as well as a Level 3 and 4 certificate by the Chartered Institute of Marketing – In addition to all of the practical skills you gain from working with a company in the industry as well!
I thought this post may be helpful to those that are interested in the scheme, attending the Bootcamp or going through something similar. Before I start explaining the day, I want to go off on a slight tangent and stress that university isn’t the right path for everybody, and even I have struggled to settle into my business and marketing course at university due to it not being very practical, inhibiting my creativity greatly.
So, lets go to the part you guys probably want to hear about, the Bootcamp. It sounds like the X-Factor, right? Trust me it wasn’t as scary as it first sounds. The whole purpose of the day is to allow employers working in digital marketing to find a new apprentice that suits their company and ethos, some being PrettyLittleThing.com, The Social Chain, Vimto, Regetta and many, many more.
After each brand attending had pitched what they had to offer to the candidates, the first stage involved being put into groups and creating a self-portrait of yourself, which highlighted your hobbies, passions and why you feel like you should be employed. The room I was in became an arts-and-crafts scene with everyone trying to get their creativity across with different pens and materials to catch the employers’ attention. After completing my fab self-portrait (I wish lol), it was time to present it to the other 49 candidates and employers collectively, highlighting what makes me different and unique. This was by far the hardest and most frustrating stage considering you only had 30 seconds to get your reasons out (which flew by!). However, it was also this stage where you could start to get a sense of the competition and what the others also had to offer.
Following this, the second stage involved staying in the same group but this time working together, in order to create an idea of how the academy could be made into an app – Just a quick pointer, this stage is perfect to get across your team player and leadership characteristics, so make sure to utilise the time you have, because it isn’t much time at all! After dividing up tasks, we started to work on our idea, and before you know it, we had to pitch it to the other candidates and employers explaining why our idea was viable.
It is fair to say that as the day progressed, my nerves did start to disappear due to getting closer to the others who share the same passion of digital marketing, especially during lunch, where you could finally have conversations that weren’t fully job related.
After lunch, it was time for ‘speed-dating’ – in other words, time to sit with each employer for 3 minutes and explain why you love social media and why you feel they would be the right company for you. This was by far the easiest part of the day, as it was just 1:1 time with you and the employer, where you could talk informally about the role and what it had to offer – It was during these interviews that I realised they really do pick up on all of your characteristics as they day progressed, so it is so important to shine in all aspects of the Bootcamp!
Finally, the daunting part had finally arrived. It was time to find out if I had gained a place on the apprenticeship scheme at the Juice Academy, and if I had managed to get a job with one of the amazing employers that attended. Person after person, candidates were taken upstairs to be told if they had managed to get a job, and before you know it, the jobs were all taken.
Unfortunately, I was with the two-thirds of candidates that had missed out on the opportunity to get an apprenticeship with the amazing employers that were at Bootcamp. It was easy enough to say that I was gutted, but after sleeping on it, I realised that there is always a next time (in July, in fact!), and there is always other opportunities ready to be exploited elsewhere.
I strongly believe in fate, and the idea that what is meant to be will be, and this has always been a comfort barrier whenever I have had knock-backs. But in light of all of this, I received an interview for the BBC literally 10 minutes after leaving with a ‘no’ from the Juice Academy, and just like that I felt like fate was on my side.
To finish this lengthy post off, I just want to highlight the importance of not giving up, and using knock-backs as a way to realise what went wrong and gives you time to improve these imperfections. Sometimes, it can just be the luck of the day, and always remind yourself that you went, you experienced, and now you can work to improve.
Life would be easy without knock-backs, and simply, life isn’t that easy.
Hope you all have a great day!