Being an apprentice at Regent’s Place
For National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we take a glance into what it's like being an apprentice at one of the busiest work & social hubs in London.
Meet Sean O'Connor, the Marketing and Events Apprentice at Regent's Place who grew up a stone's throw from campus.
What was your first step in becoming an apprentice?
Well, this is a bit of an odd story filled with coincidences. It started with popping into the local youth club, Samuel Lithgow Youth Center. After a short catch-up, I was told about the role at Regent's Place by the centre coordinator, where he closed with “Sean, go for this, it will change your life”.
Cue blind faith, let's do this, win or lose it can't hurt!
I dropped everything I had on and wrote an application for the role, submitting it the next morning. Skip to the initial interview at the Regent's Park Capital City College Training Centre and following a short assessment of my English and Maths and an informal interview, the college said they would like to send my application on to the employer.
I got invited to the next interview a few days later, so I asked a friend for advice. He had a lot of guidance on interview tips and techniques, including the preparation of questions for the interviewer about the role, but it was all undermined by what he closed with... “Do this Sean, it will change your life” - Coincidence?
Cue blind faith again, there's a reason for all of this!
I exited the train for my interview at sister site Paddington Central. Mind=Blown. Up to the 2nd floor and into a meeting room (SO NERVOUS!). I met the Head of Consumer Experience and my line manager and really just had a great chat about my past experience working in the event industry. I was just myself. Never did I think I'd walk out of that room with a job offer, something which was a literal dream to me.
My life really did change, but that is only the beginning of this story.
As an apprentice in marketing & events, what does a typical day look like?
The nature of marketing and events is that no two days are the same, however a typical week would involve:
- Looking after the market traders, StreetDots, or on the first Thursday of the month the Shepherds Market - my favourite part of every day
- All sorts of updates to this lovely website
- Administrative actions which serve a great purpose in communicating our needs to various agencies
- Compiling and sending the weekly occupier update. This goes to everybody that works here and some of our local friends in the neighbourhood!
The theme for National Apprenticeship Week is all about blazing a trail. What is the most trailblazing project you have worked on at Regent's Place?
All of them are trailblazers, from the first day right through to the latest InnerGood Place Mind & Body Event that we held in 17-19 Triton Street.
My top 3 would be, because I can't choose one:
- The Plastic Shake Up activation aimed at encouraging people to use less single-use plastic. We had over 200 people pledging to use less plastic, shipped one lucky couple off to an eco spa day and donated milk in recyclable glass bottles to the local community.
- InnerGood Place Mind & Body Event where we learned to make exotic overnight oats, had a rave at breakfast and signed up over 40 people to the new campus fitness sessions!
- Everything to do with the Regents Place Community Fund and making a visible difference to others in my local community.
How has being an apprentice at Regent's Place given you new skills?
I have gained an innumerable amount of skills through this apprenticeship.
- I've learned firstly that corporate events is an entirely different world to that of live music. It requires an entirely different skill set and understanding but is just as fun.
- I've discovered also that there are so many cogs to the wheel, being lucky enough to be around some of the greatest minds in the field and ask all manner of curiosities is something I'll never stop being grateful for.
- I've learned from the best not just about marketing, but about risk assessing and have worked to gain my IOSH Managing Safely qualification alongside my current Business Administration course.
What's the one bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of becoming an apprentice?
If you see an opportunity, take it. If you can, do. If you are the slightest bit curious, ask. Learning never stops, neither does growth.
I'd like to leave a note for anyone who does love coincidences - open your mind, if you see an opportunity and have a feeling, go for it. It won't hurt you and it will always change your life for the better - win or lose.
Lastly if you dream enough for something, it will find you. I often dreamed about doing a rave in 350 Euston Road, it wasn’t literal but the dream came true. For this, each day I wake grateful and every evening, I leave satisfied.