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What it’s like working as a PR Apprentice

My name is Molly and I recently joined Virgin Care as a PR Executive whilst also studying a Level 4 PR and Communications Assistant apprenticeship with the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA). Last year, I completed my A Levels in History, Politics and Drama and Theatre Studies. After finishing sixth form, I knew that I wanted to write, but it was clear to me that university wasn’t the right path for me, (to be honest the idea of three more years of studying and exam-sitting was completely unappealing). So, I starting browsing job sites and uploading my CV everywhere, but nothing seemed to fit what I was looking for. I wanted something challenging, something that I haven’t done before and something that would push me out of my comfort zone. It was then that I started looking for apprenticeships, I would have the opportunity to learn on the job but also study for a widely recognised qualification, equivalent to a foundation degree, at the same time.

After sifting through the thousands of apprenticeships available on, I stumbled across an advert for a PR Executive at Virgin Care, with the opportunity to spend 20 per cent of the working week studying towards the Public Relations Assistant Apprenticeship Standard through the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA). I was immediately attracted to this position, it would allow me to work full time hours, start earning and consequently saving for my future. In addition, I would also be able to continue studying part-time over an 18 month period for an excellent qualification that I want to pursue a career in.

Moreover, I was extremely interested in writing about healthcare, I read up a lot about Virgin Care prior to applying and learnt about all of the great and innovative work they do for the benefit of their service users. I applied for the job and I was successful, now I am so lucky to be able to say that I love my job, the work and the people that I’m surrounded by every day. Virgin Care is a really interesting company with an incredible mission to work in partnership with the NHS and local authorities helping to run and transform services, bringing about improvement where needed and ensure they are ready for increased future demands.

Eighty percent of my week consists of working on Virgin Care projects, some of my tasks include writing case studies, social media posts, blogs, press releases and articles. My writing is focused around showcasing all of the amazing work that our organisation does, so when I see a positive piece on social media or in the press that celebrates Virgin Care, I feel so proud to work here. I’m also surrounded by some fantastic individuals that have worked in both the healthcare and PR industries for a number of years so the support that I have in undertaking this new journey is exceptional.

The other 20 per cent of my week is dedicated to my qualification and after 18 months I will receive a Level 4 Diploma in Public Relations (hopefully!) I am assessed over the months in a variety of ways, from projects to knowledge tests, reviews, personal statements and presentations. There are also supporting webinars for each unit, so I have loads of resources to guide me.

Overall, I would say the company’s passion for delivering high quality care to make a significant difference to the lives of others means I know I’m doing a job that matters.

I feel very confident that I have found the right path for me, I have great support networks, both at Virgin Care and at the PRCA, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity. Every day I look forward to going to work, to writing, to creating, to doing something that I really enjoy, something that I know is important. This apprenticeship has already taught me so much in such a short space of time, and I am really looking forward to continuing my journey and pursing the career that I have always wanted.