So results season is this month, with A-Level students receiving their grades last week and GCSE's being released today…
We spoke to our Marketing Executive, Meg on her experience whilst at school:
“First of all, congratulations! Whether you’ve got the results you wanted or didn’t quite get what you were hoping for, you’ve done a lot better than me. The reason for that is because I dropped out of sixth form after my first year. I completed my AS-Levels (Year 12) then in the summer between Year 12 and Year 13, I decided a second year of Sixth-Form just wasn’t for me. I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do but I knew it wasn’t what I was doing at the time.
And I wouldn’t say it’s the typical dropout story you see in movies - I didn’t have some crazy scheme or a business I was running from my bedroom, just an advert I saw on Facebook for an apprenticeship in an industry I didn’t even realise was a thing.
I’ve spoken briefly before about my Apprenticeship journey, but I’m forever grateful for that Facebook advert. If I’d not seen that, who knows what path I would be on now! I feel like in school (for me at least anyway) Apprenticeships were talked down a lot, as a “backup plan” or "only good for hairdressers or bricklayers" – when in reality, the scope of what apprenticeships cover is growing and the qualifications and experience you gain from it is just as relevant (if not more in some cases) than a University degree.
It might feel like the courses/options you chose HAVE to be directly related to whatever job you’re looking to pursue. Did English Literature? Must go into journalism. Maths student? Go pursue that accountancy career. When actually, this isn’t the case.
The 4 options I chose to take at AS-Level were English Literature, Media Studies, Drama and Sociology. So, if we start with Drama, (my favourite subject during school) everything that I learnt in this subject has been super useful when it comes to a big aspect of my career; presenting. Drama built my confidence, made me comfortable talking in front of large groups of people, and taught me the importance of enunciation and being heard.
Next up is Media Studies which seems like a bit of an obvious and I may look a bit daft that I wouldn’t have put it with marketing, but that’s because when I was studying this course at the age of 17, I didn’t even realise marketing jobs existed if I’m honest. I had no idea that filmmaking, good design, photography, different media-types, all these sorts of things have come in really handy throughout my entire career.
Even English Literature, understanding the importance of the written word, the difference between formal and colloquial language and the effect on the reader, have all been instrumental when creating written copy for campaigns.
And Sociology? Well, that may be the one thing I can’t quite relate but hey, 3 out of 4 isn’t bad I’d say.
The reason I’m writing this isn’t to necessarily convince you to not go to University, backtrack on all your plans and go get a career in marketing, but to make students and school leavers realise there are jobs out there you’ve probably never considered or even heard of while in school, and that university isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of education.”
What to take away from this? You should not let exam results decide your path.