Work with Lauren

I’m Lauren a digital marketing apprentice at Impulse Leisure. Follow my journey through my apprenticeship, as I share the highs and lows of working life and the everyday duties I carry out.  I’ll also share the experiences of some of the other apprentices working at Impulse Leisure as well as pictures and videos on our social media accounts.

NAW

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Welcome to Work with Lauren on National Apprenticeship Week 2018, in today’s post I am going to be telling you 6 things that you should know about apprenticeships. What you thought you knew might be much less than expected, even as an apprentice myself I was shocked by the amount I did not know.

  1. You can do an apprenticeship at any age

I have recently learnt that you can complete an apprenticeship at any age, if you are reading this and questioning why you have been stuck in the same job, there is hope. Apprenticeships for over 19’s are targeted towards those who are looking for a career change or to progress within their current career and those wishing to earn more (so everyone).

You are probably thinking that there has to be a catch somewhere; I did to, high tuition costs? When in fact that is wrong as long as you up to the age of 24 you have a good chance that most or all of your apprenticeship costs would be covered by the government or your employer. Don’t worry even over the age of 24, you are still able to start an apprenticeship and there is even a chance that your employer will cover the costs.

  1. You can do an apprenticeship while in your current role

Some of our newest apprentices at Impulse Leisure are undertaking an apprenticeship while in their current role so that they can progress up the career ladder.

  1. You can do an apprenticeship in practically anything

Did you know there are apprenticeships available in over 170 industries? Check out my upcoming post on weird and wonderful apprenticeships.

  1. You get excellent benefits

On top of a range of employment benefits at Impulse Leisure, all apprentices are able to apply for an NUS Apprentice Extra Card which enables you to get a variety of discounts.

  1. 491,300 apprenticeships were started in 2016-2017

It is the aim that this number will increase in 2017-2018, what are you waiting for!

  1. You can find/apply for apprenticeships online

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to find/apply for an apprenticeship, I would say the easiest place to look is online. Most job applications can now be done from your phone *Sigh of relief*

The government even has their own website dedicated to finding & applying for apprenticeship, Gov.uk which is where I found my apprenticeship.

Sure, some companies also like to advertise on their own website, so if you know what you want to do then check out some local company’s websites and see what they have available.

For example, Impulse Leisure even has a page dedicated to apprenticeships for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in the leisure industry.

 

 

As we enter the digital age, it is also becoming more popular for apprenticeships to be advertised through social media, a tweet or post may just be your key to success.

The possibilities are endless, what are you waiting for!

For more advice and apprenticeship knowledge, watch out for my upcoming blogs on Work with Lauren on this National Apprenticeship Week 2018.

Lauren

Welcome back to Work with Lauren. As we are mid-way through National Apprenticeship Week 2018, could we consider a world where celebrities became apprentices at Impulse Leisure? If you are looking for an apprenticeship, what better way of seeing what we could offer than seeing what your favourite celebrities would be doing?

Ringside to Poolside

First up is Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, once renowned for his wrestling career but now I can see him as the perfect candidate for one of our lifeguard apprenticeships, after all if his performance in Baywatch is anything to go by, I can see him dedicated to the craft of saving lives.

Mad Hatter to Membership Advisor

Most would know him as Jack Sparrow or Edward Scissorhands, but as we don’t offer apprenticeships in how to be pirate, we look back at Johnny Depp before the big screen, with his sales experience selling ballpoint pens; I could see him starting as a membership advisor apprentice. He’s on track to go far if he sell’s memberships as well as he sells chocolate bars in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Singing to Social Media

The key to any good marketing apprentice, I should know is to be able to use social media and retain an audience. That’s why Katy Perry would make the ideal digital marketing apprentice, with her 109 million Twitter followers, making her the highest followed twitter account it is clear that she possesses the skills needed to succeed at a digital marketing apprenticeship at Impulse Leisure.

Coffee to customer service

We’ve seen her on the big screen as Rachel Green, impressing us with her range of customer service skills as she goes from waitress to personal shopper, for her customer service skills alone I could see Jennifer Aniston becoming a receptionist apprentice waiting to greet and help everyone in the centre.

Fine dining to frying

From customer service skills to a lack of customer service I turn my attention to Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay, whose 16 Michelin stars alone would prove that he has the skills necessary to take on a catering apprenticeship within one of our cafes. But his passion for foul language and witty Twitter remarks would mean that we would have our work cut out trying to tamper his anger and help him improve his customer service skills.

Abs to aspirational

Next we have a movie star, currently renowned as the greatest showman it was his performance as Wolverine that suggested he could be the ideal candidate to take on one of our fitness instructor apprenticeships. Hugh Jackman’s hard work and determination to keep his own body at peak fitness that would make him an abspirational fitness instructor and would push others to reach their peak fitness.

TV to PC

Last but not least, in order to complete our gang of celebrity apprentices we would need someone with good computer skills who is able to communicate with the public to tackle one of our business administration apprenticeships, that’s why I would choose Ellen DeGeneres to complete our group of celebrity apprentices, because other than her fantastic communication skills, her past experience as a paralegal would suggest she already possess the qualities that are needed to complete this apprenticeship.

If you believe you have what it takes to complete one of these apprenticeships or are looking to kick-start a career within the leisure industry, check out our website for apprenticeship vacancies and to view the range of apprenticeships that we offer.

Lauren

Did you know these apprenticeships existed? As we head towards the end of National Apprenticeship Week, we are going to dive into the world of weird and wonderful apprenticeships that are available. After all, not all apprenticeships are in construction or hair and beauty.

When dreams come true

#7 on my list of weird and wonderful apprenticeships would fulfil even your wildest of childhood fantasies and would make you feel as if you had stepped into the world of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, a chocolatier apprenticeship. Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth or a self-confessed chocoholic.

Head in the clouds

Maybe your childhood dream was not to be surrounded with chocolate, maybe your head was in the clouds dreaming of becoming an astronaut. Although there is no apprenticeship specifically for that, #6 on our list is a space engineering apprenticeship. Designed to get you that one step closer to your dream of outer space, after all it is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Careful! Watch out for little green men.

From school to shoals

#5 is definitely one for the animal lovers out there; no this is not your typical animal care apprenticeship and will not involve looking after Nemo or Dory. I definitely don’t have the stomach for this one as you are required to spend most of your time in the water surrounded by fish.

LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!

#4 on my list of weird and wonderful apprenticeships is a wig making apprenticeship. If you have a creative flair then step away from the traditional hair and beauty apprenticeships and find yourself immersed into a world of theatre and drama as you find yourself back stage of all the best productions. Imagine yourself centre stage in the costume department, or behind the scenes of a TV set. Lights Camera Action!

The final 3!

My final 3 apprenticeships are without a doubt as weird and wonderful as they get. #3 is an Equine Dentist apprenticeship, for those who are reading this and opening another tab to find out what an Equine Dentist is then look no further. It is essentially a dentist for horses, not the most glamorous of apprenticeships. Can you image the fillings as the result of too many sugar cubes!

The last 2 on our countdown are definitely not for the faint hearted. #2 is a funeral director apprenticeship, perfect for those who are compassionate and caring. #1 on my list of weird and wonderful apprenticeships is a forensic photography apprenticeship. Personally one of my favourites, for those who enjoy photography but are also curious about the criminal system. Be prepared to spend your time taking photos of blood and dirt, definitely not for the squeamish!

Now whether or not you are looking to pursue a weird and wonderful apprenticeship or looking for a more traditional apprenticeship, there are a variety of ways you can find out about apprenticeships, check out my first blog post of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 to find out more on how to apply for your dream apprenticeship.

Lauren

Work with Lauren: The Week I learned about analytics

Welcome back to Work with Lauren. I am now into my 2nd month as an apprentice and as the New Year is underway my role has been varied as we turned our attention to ensuring that our campaign is recognisable across all of the centres. This has seen me undertake a series of smaller, more general tasks such as giving the café a brand new set of menus for the New Year and printing posters and displaying them around the centres – which is a huge task when you struggle to reach the top of the clip frames.

Nearing closer to the end of January I have been able to get more involved in social media posts. This includes being able to draft my own social media ideas, create content and write copy. Coming up with ideas for these posts has given me a more extensive look into what is performing around the centre as I have researched into the different classes that we offer and which ones need promoting.

I was also given the responsibility of creating my own social media post from start to finish for our new kids lunchboxes. This has seen me be able to independently go take the photos and edit them ready to be posted, and I was even given the task of writing the copy – which was the first time and probably my proudest moment since starting my apprenticeship. Once the content was ready I was then tasked with posting it to both Facebook and Instagram.

Preparing for National Apprenticeship Week

I have also undertaken the task of preparing 5 blog posts for National Apprenticeship Week. This has included researching examples of past blog posts and ideas on how to make my own blog posts more visual while creating ideas that are both fun and interactive. Furthermore, as I have begun to complete more of my apprenticeship work, I have had the chance to complete courses on the Google Analytics Academy, which has allowed me insight into how analytics are used and what information we can gather from analytics. This was a real eye opener for me because I had no idea to the extent of the information that could be collected and monitored, especially the little details such as what devices people are accessing on and even their screen resolution.

That’s all from me for this week, be sure to check back next week on Work with Lauren for further insight into the life of an apprentice at Impulse Leisure.

Lauren

Work with Lauren : The First Week

Welcome to work with Lauren, my diary as a digital marketing apprentice at Impulse leisure. I can now offer insight into what I have learnt my first week of life as an apprentice. First of all I would go back a week and tell myself to forget all I thought I knew about the fitness and leisure industry. It was clear by the end of my first day that I was completely clueless, despite having been a regular gym user and a tennis player for many years. The realisation hit me during one of my very first meetings when the words myzone and wellness key were mentioned. I have since learned that these are pieces of fitness technology to track exercise and progress.

Why I chose an apprenticeship

My choice to start an apprenticeship was decided when I was accepted into multiple universities to study English, but choosing not take the traditional and more accepted route I opted for an apprenticeship where I could be more creative. Previously my career ambition had been to become a journalised which had introduced me into the world of media. Although my desire to become a journalist has faded I still wanted to have a career where I could be more creative and use my writing skills. During my time at sixth form studying AS Media Studies I was introduced to using social media for the purpose of promoting my blog as part of my coursework. This experience had also triggered my interest in using social media for business purposes.

After just a week it is clear that I have learnt so much already – still struggling with names though. Even by the end of my first day I was already involved in meetings that allowed me insight into what when on behind the scenes of a leisure centre. The beginning of my first full week saw me attending a marketing meeting where in the space of 5 hours I had gained so much knowledge I felt as if my head was going to explode.

The knowledge I have gained in my first week was not limited to marketing as when my gym induction came around, as confident as I was previously about exercising; yet again this showed me just how wrong I had been going.

Getting a taste of digital marketing

My first real opportunity to get involved in digital marketing came on my first visit to the Gym Hub where I was able to sit in on a meeting an offer ideas. I was then allowed to help in a mini photo-shoot where I was able to both take and learn how to edit images. My news skills then came in handy at the end of my first full week where I was able to be ‘Impulse photographer’ for the morning and attend classes to take photos (Note to self – take off shoes while photographing a yoga class, the sound of shoes against a wooden floor is not relaxing)

That’s all from me for this week, check back next week on Work with Lauren for more insight into life as an apprentice at Impulse Leisure.

Lauren

Work with Lauren: The week I became a customer

Welcome back to Work with Lauren, my diary as an apprentice at Impulse Leisure. This week marked my first full month as an apprentice and although it had been rather uneventful in terms of attending events and meetings, I have come to the biggest realisation – there is someone behind every advert and every poster that we see. What we are getting to see is a result of their ideas and creativity, something that I had never really considered in the past.

Becoming a customer

My first task of the week was to record the results of our clean, safe & friendly surveys. These are taken out at each site so that we can see what our customers think of our centres. What I had originally perceived to be a monotonous task, in turn had offered me an extensive insight into our customer’s minds. This allowed me to be more direct with my future ideas as I now had an indication in to what the customers want.

Another task that I had been given was to complete a search of our website and highlight pages that I believe could be altered. This meant that I was able to generate ideas that could be used for new pages or to be included on existing ones. In order to complete this successfully, I had to get into the mind-set of a customer and look at the website with a fresh pair of eyes as if I had never seen it before – which is difficult when you spend a lot of your time looking for information on it.

Cooking up a storm

This week had seen me spend the majority of my time behind my desk. Once Friday had arrived I had the opportunity to become more creative as I was able to assist in taking photos for The Gym Hub’s Christmas advent calendar, with the creation of our Christmas tree protein pancakes. These were a lot harder to make then we had initially expected and looked very different to the picture we were attempting to replicate.

Even though my biggest challenge this week was looking at things from the perspective of a customer it was also the most rewarding as it allowed me to gain further knowledge into the mind-set of our customers. I learnt what our customers want from us which will allow me to develop my ideas accordingly in the future. I also got to learn how to complete a PPC brief for job vacancies, which is a skill I will be able to take forward to use in the future.

That’s all from me for this week, be sure to check back next week on Work with Lauren for further insight into what life is like as an apprentice at Impulse Leisure.

Lauren

Work with Lauren: Bringing a party to the gym

Welcome back to work with Lauren. This week saw me spend the majority of my time at The Gym Hub in Wickford. The Gym Hub is a separate brand owned by Impulse, where I learnt that they offer £20 a month memberships targeted at people who don’t usually go to the gym. My week began with my first opportunity to attend an event, their DJ Night.

I had never heard of a DJ Night, so the concept was unfamiliar to me but I had soon discovered that it included live DJ’ing, lots of flashing lights and plenty of selfie opportunities. On the night I was able to get involved by taking some of my own photos and videos of their snap sessions – they looked exhausting and I was so happy that I had forgotten my gym clothes. These photos were to be later posted across social media, along with the selfies that had been taken with the selfie frame

The start of Christmas

Following the DJ night, I didn’t return to the Gym Hub until the start of my 3rd full week. Monday morning saw us begin filming for the for The Gym Hub’s social media Christmas advent calendar. I had never met any of the team from The Gym Hub in Worthing before, so this was an opportunity to get to meet club manager Ruth. My role on the day was to assist with the filming of the videos, where the biggest thing I had learnt was how to edit several videos together in iMovie. I was most surprised by their willingness to partake in the videos – whether it is a workout clip, jumping through a gift wrapped door frame or eating a raw Brussel Sprout.

The staff’s enthusiasm to appear in our videos continued through to the Tuesday as we prepared to film our biggest video – a Christmas sing along to ‘Merry Christmas everyone’. This allowed me insight into The Gym Hub brand as their staff expressed their fun and relaxed image through their acting and dancing. My role throughout the filming was to control the music and ensure that between every video the staff had changed their props. By the end of the day it soon became clear that I’d never be able to listen to ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ the same ever again as a result of continuous repeats while creating and editing the video.

Now that I am at the end of my week at The Gym Hub, I have learnt so much this week about not only The Gym Hub as a brand but also how to market an event such as the DJ Night and how to edit videos in iMovie – a software I have never really used. The biggest thing I have learnt this week is how much The Gym Hub staff love to dance – especially Carl.

That’s all from me for this week, be sure to check back next week on work with Lauren for further insight into what life is like as an apprentice at Impulse Leisure.

Lauren

Work with Lauren: The week Santa came to visit

Welcome back to Work with Lauren, this week saw me begin my week with a day of filming for our website and our January Campaign.

The day of filming

We hired in professional videographers to produce the video; which offered me the chance to see how their minds worked, the shots that they were going to get and their ideas for the video.

Being able to go round with them as they filmed this meant I could learn how to create a high quality video and how to be more creative with my video ideas in the future. This will be an asset as I progress through my apprenticeship and beyond. Our day of filming had also allowed me to learn more about our classes as I got to experience a Pilates class, a Fighting Fit class and an aqua class from the side-lines. This built on my basic knowledge of what the classes entailed from the photos I had taken of the classes when I had first started.

Christmas is officially underway

On the Tuesday we had our Marketing Christmas celebration which involved a lot of food and a Christmas quiz, where I came to the realisation that I did not know all of the names of Santa’s reindeer. But, it did give me the opportunity to be properly introduced to Lauren, who is another member of our team who I had only met briefly at our Marketing Meeting shortly after I had started. This was in addition to our Christmas Party which had occurred the week before and was my first ever Christmas party where I could talk to members of staff from other departments.

It was on Wednesday that I was the busiest and got to learn the most this week as it was the day of our Christmas Market. As one of our largest events of the year, I got to spend the morning helping to prepare for our stall by printing out flyers and trying to blow up balloons (which I was awful at so just attached them to the sticks). Once we were all out of air it was my job to take them over to the Civic Hall. You would be surprised how many times on that short journey I was warned about floating away like the scene from UP.

Towards the end of the event I got to do some market research by asking customers how they had found out about our event. This gave me the opportunity to interact with the public, but also gave me insight what had been the most successful in terms of marketing the event. The results were very interesting to me in particular as a digital marketing apprentice as Social media was revealed as the most successful platform.

Preparing for New Year

As it was the last week before Christmas, the rest of my week was spent preparing for the New Year and the launch of our January campaign. This year the campaign was really important as we had rebranded everything in order to remain consistent and centred around the hashtag #JustRight. For me this included printing some of the posters to be displayed around our centres ready for the launch in January.

That’s all from me for this week, be sure to check back next week on Work with Lauren for further insight into what life is like as an apprentice at Impulse Leisure.

Lauren

Check out these videos of our current and past apprentices