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Au’Guest’ Blog Post – The Three Apprentices

Written by Sam Windsor, Brad Pinhorn and Tom Howard, apprentices at Brightwave as part of the Wired Sussex guest blog month

The world of work can be a scary prospect for college and school leavers, and deciding what to do in life can be a tricky decision to make for many 17- to 18-year-olds. This blog gives three accounts from three apprentices working at e-learning expert Brightwave and studying with Dv8 Sussex.

Sam Windsor - Graphic Designer

Coming straight from A-Levels and deciding what to do after college can be a really intimidating thing for a young adult. Knowing what career path to follow at 18 doesn't come easily to many and is something that I definitely wasn't quite sure about. I did go to university for a year studying Psychology but absolutely hated it, so I decided to come back to Brighton during the summer after my first year in 2012, and discovered the Dv8 apprenticeship (through Brightwave, while I was working as a contractor) in Creative and Digital Media.

Since becoming an apprentice and gaining my Graphic Design job at Brightwave, my skills and expertise in Creative and Digital Media technologies have skyrocketed. A year on and I have learnt an incredible amount, and I can easily say I have learnt more in a year on this apprenticeship scheme than I did studying for my degree at university.

Working at Brightwave has been incredible for me. I have learnt so much in such a short amount of time. Each day offers something completely different, from illustration to design to managing budgets. I started as a Graphic Designer but now I feel as though I am so much more. I look forward to coming to work each day to work with a team I love, and doing a job that I enjoy.

Brad Pinhorn - Graphic Designer

When leaving college after my A-Levels I was unsure whether to look for jobs or apply to university. I eventually decided to go the job route - the reason for this being that I wanted to earn on the job and, like many others, not get myself into a heavy debt with something that's not guaranteed to be successful. After applying for numerous Graphic Design jobs and being unsuccessful - due to my lack of experience, I feel - I looked into apprenticeships. Dv8 was one of the companies offering an apprenticeship scheme, and thankfully they were offering it in the area I wanted to go into.

The defining factor for me, looking into the apprenticeship schemes, was that it went hand-in-hand with a full-time job in Graphic Design, which has always been an area of interest for me, and I was eager to improve on and develop the skills that I had learnt at college. The scheme Dv8 were offering was the perfect opportunity for me to get into the Graphic Design sector as well as advancing my skills with a full-time job.

Every day work offers something creative and interesting for me to do and I'm advancing my skillset all the time. From creating content graphics for the e-learning we produce here at Brightwave, to photography and video assignments, this apprenticeship is allowing me to explore all the areas I have always had an interest in - but not only that, it's my full-time, paid job. After my year-long apprenticeship is up I hope to stay here at Brightwave and advance my skills and myself within the company, eventually becoming a Senior Designer, or even Creative Director.

Tom Howard - Content Integrator (

I left college in 2012 after completing my A-Levels and I knew that I didn't want to go to university, as I wanted to gain some hands-on experience and get stuck into the working world. I wanted to work in the creative and digital media industry, so I began to research apprenticeships. I came across the apprenticeship scheme with Dv8 and decided to apply.

Dv8 gave me guidance and interview tips before I went in for my interview at Brightwave, which helped give me confidence in answering my interview questions.

I am really enjoying the apprenticeship - it's been going really well and I've been able to learn so many skills for my new role. Even from the first week, I had already been involved in building a client project from start to finish. It was a really great feeling to get it completed within the deadline and it gave me an overview of how projects run.

Brightwave made me feel really welcome from day one and I feel more like a full-time employee than an apprentice. I really like the apprenticeship scheme as I'm learning new skills and knowledge that benefit me and the company, whilst I'm also working on client projects.

I hope that by the end of the apprenticeship I will have gained a valuable year of work experience and connections within the creative and digital media industry that will help me progress and even stay on at Brightwave.

Want to find out more about the apprenticeship model?

As part of the 2013 Creative, Digital & IT Open Studios week Brightwave and DV8 Sussex are teaming up to show how apprenticeships can help uncover the next generation of digital and creative superstars in Brighton. You can even meet Sam, Brad and Tom!

For more information, please visit the event page on the Brighton Digital Festival's website.

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