Skills I learnt from Headland’s apprenticeship scheme   

Deciding to apply for Headland’s apprenticeship scheme as a school leaver in October 2022 was not a decision I made lightly. I was apprehensive to enter the working world at age 18 and was originally tempted to follow the rest of my peers in attending university. However, looking back, hitting send on that application form was the best decision I have ever made. Embarking on this apprenticeship was a truly eye-opening experience that enriched my professional and personal life in countless ways. 


The power of storytelling  

Firstly, a key lesson I learnt is the immense power of storytelling. Whether it’s for a press release, a social media post, or a campaign, the ability to tell a story that resonates with the audience is what makes communication a crucial tool. Throughout my 18 months at Headland, I began to learn how to intertwine emotions and facts together to form narratives that engage and inspire.   

Research, research, and more… research   

The ability to research effectively is another skill I honed throughout my time at Headland. Utilising tools such as Signal AI, Factiva, and Brandwatch, I was able to conduct in-depth analysis of clients, competitors, and industries to help inform various campaigns and new business processes. A wide array of introductory sessions and tutorials on how to navigate such platforms were extremely helpful in getting me started.   

Adaptation and agility   

With news cycles and public opinions changing rapidly, I quickly learnt the importance of being adaptable and agile. Whether it was responding to real-time social media commentary or adjusting a campaign due to unforeseen events, being able to pivot quickly and efficiently was a skill I honed throughout my apprenticeship. One I had never previously exercised. With school and sixth form offering a consistent structure and timetable, it was extremely beneficial for me to experience a completely different environment and learn how to organise my workload as a result.  

Relationships, the foundation of good communication  

One of the most important skills I learnt was the ability to build and maintain positive relationships. Whether with colleagues, journalists, or clients, relationships are the foundation of successful communication. I learnt the importance of networking, maintaining a good rapport, and being authentic in interactions and these relationships often determine the success of a PR campaign. Internally, there were endless opportunities for me to develop my networking skills and build positive relationships with my colleagues. From events every last Thursday of the month, to magnificent seasonal summer and winter parties, I certainly have established inspiring connections with colleagues and made some amazing friends along the way!  

Although it may appear cliché, I never truly believed the phrase ‘no two days are the same’ before starting this role. Some days were spent at client social events, and others organising formal roundtables for MPs. I thoroughly enjoyed the flexibility Headland’s apprenticeship scheme offered, allowing me to dip my toes into all areas of public relations, including financial, corporate, digital, public affairs, and citizen and community. The vast exposure to all disciplines within the wider industry opened my eyes to the nuances between the areas, and it was amazing to gain such varied experience.  

Personally, a key highlight of Headland’s apprenticeship scheme was helping to run a campaign for our client Who Gives A Crap, the eco-friendly toilet paper brand looking to grow brand awareness. The campaign aimed to scrap the 20% tax that is currently charged on toilet roll in the Spring Budget earlier this year. The campaign required multiple moving parts, such as organising a petition, creating a live social content calendar, working with dedicated influencers, inspiring charities, and creating a media engagement plan. It was fascinating to be involved in such a large-scale and socially relevant campaign throughout the entire process and provided me with insight into campaign planning and evaluation, both of which are skills I had rarely utilised previously.  

The life-changing experience I had as part of Headland’s apprenticeship scheme was not a mere fluke, but rather due to the meticulous planning and support of those that made the opportunity possible. The constant guidance and advice were aplenty, and it was truly inspiring to learn from and work alongside some of the best in the PR and comms industry.  

To anyone considering applying for Headland’s apprenticeship scheme, I have one piece of advice…DO IT!  

To find out more about opportunities at Headland, visit our Careers page