Interview with Zishan Haider, former apprentice at Contentive

Apprentice Eye recently caught up with Zishan Haider, Digital Marketing Executive at Contentive, who started out his career as an apprentice.

Through training provider Arch, Zishan worked for 12 months as a digital marketing apprentice at Contentive before securing a full-time position with the company.

Here, he reflects on his time as an Arch apprentice.

How did you hear about apprenticeships and what made you decide to do one?

My friend started an apprenticeship at 16 and went straight into work in an investment bank. When university fees went up I decided formal education wasn’t something I wanted to follow through – so looked for an alternative way into full time employment.

Many young people assume that as an apprentice they will be given mundane, insignificant tasks. What would you say to these people?

There are some businesses that do give apprentices boring and mundane tasks to do. My advice to anyone looking to do an apprenticeship is to do as much research into your company and the culture there as possible.

During your apprenticeship, did you find balancing work with study challenging?

I didn’t find balancing work or studying a problem at all. Everyone at Contentive was very supportive.

Were you assigned a mentor and if so, how did they help you through the apprenticeship?

I was assigned to my apprentice advisor Ana – who guided me step by step through the whole course and also took up any grievances I might have had over work or training.

You now work as a Digital Marketing Executive at Contentive. How do you think your apprenticeship prepared you for this role?

Before I joined Contentive as an apprentice I had no idea what marketing involved. The apprenticeship gave me all the necessary skills to kick start a career in an exciting and fast paced profession.

What advice would you give to young people unsure whether or not to go to university or do an apprenticeship?

To anyone unsure about whether or not they want to go university or do an apprenticeship – I would say go for the apprenticeship and defer your university placement for a year. If you don’t like the apprenticeship then at least you have secured a place at university, but hopefully it won’t come to that!