Name: Nathan Patience
Job Title: Designer
Company: 4Creative, part of Channel 4
What's a typical day like for you?
There’s no such thing as a typical day for a designer at Channel 4 and that’s what makes it so interesting. Some days would be working on a branding project, whereas others would be developing creative ideas for an advertising campaign.
What has been the most memorable day of your apprenticeship so far?
The day I was invited to the “Channel 4 Talent 30th Birthday Party”. I was invited as my bosses saw me as a young, exciting talent at the start of their career. Jamie Oliver, Gok Wan, Jack Whitehall and other TV stars from Channel 4 also attended, but I was the only person from 4creative to be invited to the event.
Why did you decide to become an apprentice?
I wanted to start a career in design straight away and decided that an apprenticeship would be the best way to achieve that. I already had some really good qualifications relating to design from school and understood an apprenticeship would provide me with the further relevant skill set needed to progress in the design industry. It’s the perfect building block for starting a career in your chosen field of work.
What are the best things about being an apprentice?
Gaining valuable work experience alongside a nationally recognised qualification and, on top of that, getting paid for my efforts too.
What are the best things about working in the industry you work in?
There is so much depth to design. It doesn’t matter whether you are a junior or senior designer; there is always something new and exciting to learn about.
What's the most surprising thing you've learnt during your apprenticeship?
You are made to feel part of the team straight away. As my apprenticeship progressed, I earned more responsibility over the tasks set, making me more and more of an effective member of the team.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship?
There are so many benefits to an apprenticeship. It all depends on the particular field of work you want to go into. The apprenticeship route worked for me because it gave me chance to start a career in design, providing me with the qualifications needed to start and maintain a successful career in the industry.
What do you think are the biggest myths about apprenticeships?
People think an apprenticeship is for those who aren’t as academically gifted as uni students. This is completely inaccurate. I had the qualifications to go to university, but wanted the work experience that only an apprenticeship could provide and so chose that route instead.
What do you expect to be doing in 10 years time?
I hope to be working in a design role. The design industry is so large and each sector requires certain skills within it. Doing an apprenticeship means I can evaluate each area and then build the skills I need.
Why an apprenticeship rather than university?
An apprenticeship was the best option for me to start a career in design. It provided me with a respectable skill set, great experience and the opportunity to earn while I learn.
Through the achievements I gained from studying at college, I realised the hands on approach to learning worked best for me and I recognised an apprenticeship would give me that hands on experience in an industry I love to work in!
What advice would you give someone leaving school or college now?
I think the advice I can give to anyone leaving school/college is that if you have a passion, the only thing that’s in your way is yourself. For some people they succeed with their goals sooner than others. It took me a National Diploma at College and 2 years in retail to work out that I wanted to go into the design industry. Luckily for me an opportunity arose and I grabbed it with both hands.
Everyone is different, for some people university is better suited to where they want to go with their career and life in general. For me, an apprenticeship provided me with valuable knowledge and experience that has helped me to secure a freelance place at one of the biggest design agencies in the country. So I guess that shows that if you stay focused and work hard through your apprenticeship, they can really help you to achieve great things.
For more information on apprenticeships visit apprenticeships.org.uk