Hannah Walsh, Operations and Communications apprentice, reflects on the process of finding herself at the Tavistock Institute.
When I applied for the role as the Operations and Communications apprentice in September 2015 I remember being quite nervous about writing my covering letter as unlike other work I had done, which was mainly part time, this was not a formality. I suppose you could say that doing something alien to me was just the beginning of my time at the Tavistock Institute. Looking back at the first three months of being a member of the team I can reflect that the time I’ve spent learning new skills and adjusting to a new environment has been both daunting and exciting too.
I returned from a ‘gap year’ in August where I was volunteering as a nursery teacher in Malawi. Before I departed for my highly anticipated journey, I was at a loss of what to do with my life. Living abroad and away from everything I was used to, was a chance to grow and explore as many opportunities as I could to hold and take with me when I came back home. However, the problem I faced was that whilst venturing around and living the gap year lifestyle, was that I had explored almost too much and found that there are many different and exciting paths I could take. I therefore arrived back in East London not with inspiration but with a headache and a tan, in other words I did not ‘find myself’. Whilst looking for job opportunities that I hoped would take me onto some kind of career path I grew tired of finding internships for graduates. Eventually I came across an opening at the TIHR where one of the requirements said ‘A-Levels would be an advantage’, and knowing I had some of those I submitted my application and was invited for an interview.
‘Finding myself’ working at the Tavistock Institute I am increasingly learning a wide variety of new and diverse skills. As the Operations and Communications apprentice I will be studying a qualification in digital marketing. Which yes, is ‘a bit random’, as I say to my non immediate family when the dreaded question of ‘so what are you up to now?’ lingers in the air. However, I feel this is genuinely something that will be a life skill as well as increasing my employability. As the world becomes more digitally interactive by the day it is a skill I will be able to bring to any career path and when I do finally decide to head off to university, it might just help me decide what degree to do.
2016 is proving to be an exciting time for me; I am involved in a few projects, one being an archive project where I will play a dissemination role in our archive blog. I will also begin training for my qualification where I will meet learners like myself and study areas in data analytics and social media marketing alongside helping to make sure everything in the office happens smoothly. I suspect I will find it challenging but it will also give me a chance to grow into myself and discover what I want to do in the future.
(previous Operations and Communications Apprentice)