My name is Zain Sattar, I am an apprentice at SharpFutures and my job title is Digital Marketing Executive. My job includes managing SharpFutures’ social media accounts across multiple platforms as well as updating MCRGreater, our creative digital events listing website. The main skills I use in my role are copywriting, photography, time management and confidence.
With SharpFutures I’ve provided social media support at a variety of events, for example Manchester Together with One Voice, school tours of The Sharp Project and coding events such as Manchester CoderDojo. I’ve also had the chance to speak to other students and share my experiences on tours and at the BBC.
When I was in college, our careers advisor told us about apprenticeships as alternatives to University, which led me to do a bit of research and find The Juice Academy. I wanted to do an apprenticeship because I didn’t think that University was for me, I wanted to do hands on projects in the workplace and I don’t like the idea of completing exams and coursework.
I attended a Juice Academy Bootcamp Day where I met with SharpFutures and had the chance to speak to them throughout the day, learn about the company and eventually became an employee. I love being part of a social enterprise that wants to see the success of young people.
Being an apprentice is a great experience for me because when I first came into the office I was very quiet and really nervous. I’ve had the chance to develop my confidence and soft skills by speaking to clients on a daily basis, which helps me with future careers. Also, winning Apprentice of the Year at the MPA Awards last November really made me believe in myself and my growth since working with SharpFutures.
I think if you want to do something in creative digital, my advice is to go through an apprenticeship – it’s a fast track to your career as opposed to going through university and then coming out without any experience. My apprenticeship has given an amazing insight into the creative digital sector which I don’t think I would have had otherwise.