Which path is suitable for me? Carrying on with University or an Apprenticeship?

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Ratchet Hoe
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Hello guys,
I am very torn right now and need some answers. I am currently in my 1st year and will (or would) be going into the 2nd year of Design for Performance (BA Costume and Set Design) in London, but I also found an apprenticeship scheme where the guy is able to help me out and I no longer have to do the application process for it (which is good). It is a range of apprenticeships in Content Production and that side of things (in a creative industry). The main thing now is to decide which path I can take, so hearing the benefits and cons for either would be ideal.
What is your take? What are the pros, cons, and with your experience, is there anything that would help?
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Ratchet Hoe
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Trinculo
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I dunno matey. The issue is that you're asking people who know nothing about the specifics of what you're being offered to advise you on big decisions.

This isn't like asking "Should I go to x university to read course y, or go to z university? Where people can give you general advice about how they rate a particlar institution or the strength of a particular degree or course. In those cases, people will have experiences or opinions that might really help you.

In your case, you're asking whether you should ditch your degree course in a fairly niche area or showbiz, in favour of an apprenticeship in a completely different creative field. You're changing all the variables - the institution, the type of qualification, the subject matter and crucially the amount of information available about the provider. I don't think anyone else can give you reasonable advice about an apprenticeship provider they no nothing about- and frankly, I think TSR isn't known for the quality of its opinions on such issues.

Think of it like this - it might be analogous to asking "Should I leave my degree in mechanical engineering to go and do an apprenticeship in carpentry with this guy in my home town who makes cupboards?" There is no sense in which like is being compared to like other than both are vaguely concerned with making things.

The only advice I can give is to examine and ask yourself why you have been tempted to take this up in the first place.
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Lshort17
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Look into the company you are torn on and see if theres a future job prospect for you after. Its whether you want to gamble and take the risk. I mean its still exp. could you do a gap year at uni?

Also worth asking your lecturers to see what they think, just make sure you get a second opinion with someone who knows the subject and industry
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Trinculo)
I dunno matey. The issue is that you're asking people who know nothing about the specifics of what you're being offered to advise you on big decisions.

This isn't like asking "Should I go to x university to read course y, or go to z university? Where people can give you general advice about how they rate a particlar institution or the strength of a particular degree or course. In those cases, people will have experiences or opinions that might really help you.

In your case, you're asking whether you should ditch your degree course in a fairly niche area or showbiz, in favour of an apprenticeship in a completely different creative field. You're changing all the variables - the institution, the type of qualification, the subject matter and crucially the amount of information available about the provider. I don't think anyone else can give you reasonable advice about an apprenticeship provider they no nothing about- and frankly, I think TSR isn't known for the quality of its opinions on such issues.

Think of it like this - it might be analogous to asking "Should I leave my degree in mechanical engineering to go and do an apprenticeship in carpentry with this guy in my home town who makes cupboards?" There is no sense in which like is being compared to like other than both are vaguely concerned with making things.

The only advice I can give is to examine and ask yourself why you have been tempted to take this up in the first place.
Thank you so much for literally describing what my conflict is! It was so hard to describe that I couldn't put it in the exact words. The thing is I know why I was tempted. I like what I am apart of in my course (the set and costume aspect), but the issue I am having is seeing my future prospects and the lack of organisation in the institute that that I am in.The last term was definitely a straw for that.

We never had anything to do for 3/4 weeks and during the start of the project, you could tell we were thrown onto a 2nd year project. They even tried to make design students act! Not only that but I can advice people that a good way to see your future is what the people a little beyond you are at.

I was working with the 2nd years (in acting) and a lot of them have said that they felt like they haven't learnt anything. I have noticed how the 2nd year design students haven't even got an internship. I know one task for us during the start was to find internships we were interested in. It seems like we are being sold pipedreams
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Look into the company you are torn on and see if theres a future job prospect for you after. Its whether you want to gamble and take the risk. I mean its still exp. could you do a gap year at uni?

Also worth asking your lecturers to see what they think, just make sure you get a second opinion with someone who knows the subject and industry
It definitely is such a big decision. It doesn't look like my university does gap years for what I am doing. I may ask my lecturer if they're available that I am considering it and what their advice might be. I did post it in more depth from the response above
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Lshort17
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(Original post by Ratchet ***)
It definitely is such a big decision. It doesn't look like my university does gap years for what I am doing. I may ask my lecturer if they're available that I am considering it and what their advice might be. I did post it in more depth from the response above
Sounds like a right predicament from your answer above. Would it have been like that without Covid? Without knowing, i cant really say but if it were me i think if i was truly having a bad time with the unis way of working id probably find a different option. And if the guy is willing to help you and get you into the industry thats all well and good.

As for the others not having any internships, would it be them not wanting to or not being bothered or is there not a lot at the moment?

My motto for this year was to say yes to anything that was put in front of me so if its in grasp id say take it but defo get your tutors opinion

Good luck on whichever you decide and only you can really say
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Sounds like a right predicament from your answer above. Would it have been like that without Covid? Without knowing, i cant really say but if it were me i think if i was truly having a bad time with the unis way of working id probably find a different option. And if the guy is willing to help you and get you into the industry thats all well and good.

As for the others not having any internships, would it be them not wanting to or not being bothered or is there not a lot at the moment?

My motto for this year was to say yes to anything that was put in front of me so if its in grasp id say take it but defo get your tutors opinion

Good luck on whichever you decide and only you can really say
Definitely, something that I have been thinking about! I tried to get an idea of what it was before covid, and they usually had workshops but it has been mentioned that it was still unorganised at that time, it is just that with covid-19 that it has shown the true issues and faults with the education/higher education's system. With the student's internships, I do strongly believe it is because of covid but I also saw a review and the school seems to have an issue with the placement office never being active and students always having to seek out for it.

I emailed my tutor this morning about it, but they haven't responded and in all honesty, I feel like they will not respond over the summer. I am just cautious because I do love the costume/wardrobe part and set but it is such a big change. Another thing is that I am at a level 4 (usually the first 2 years of university), but the apprenticeship starts at level 3 and it seems more centred around editing too
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Lshort17
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(Original post by Ratchet ***)
Definitely, something that I have been thinking about! I tried to get an idea of what it was before covid, and they usually had workshops but it has been mentioned that it was still unorganised at that time, it is just that with covid-19 that it has shown the true issues and faults with the education/higher education's system. With the student's internships, I do strongly believe it is because of covid but I also saw a review and the school seems to have an issue with the placement office never being active and students always having to seek out for it.

I emailed my tutor this morning about it, but they haven't responded and in all honesty, I feel like they will not respond over the summer. I am just cautious because I do love the costume/wardrobe part and set but it is such a big change. Another thing is that I am at a level 4 (usually the first 2 years of university), but the apprenticeship starts at level 3 and it seems more centred around editing too
Yes i think a lot of institutes are having issues with covid, its been a massive change but i mean they have had over a year to fix their issues and iron out any hiccups so its a shame really and If they were having problems before its not looking positive :/

Id give it a few days for your tutor as i know some of mine are now starting to go on annual leave. If not is there a careers team or anything to that liking there?

Yeh thats true, it would be a step down but would that step down be worth it in the long run?
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Yes i think a lot of institutes are having issues with covid, its been a massive change but i mean they have had over a year to fix their issues and iron out any hiccups so its a shame really and If they were having problems before its not looking positive :/

Id give it a few days for your tutor as i know some of mine are now starting to go on annual leave. If not is there a careers team or anything to that liking there?

Yeh thats true, it would be a step down but would that step down be worth it in the long run?
I know, I feel as if I have gave so many chances to them. They have had ot only a year but the student holidays.off to be able to sort it out, such as when we had 3-5 weeks of nothing and confusion, they had a month prior to that to prepare for it. I am quite pessimistic about what the system is doing to young people right now, because if I am being honest it isn't preparing them! I don't know if the institute has a careers officer but I know that I contacted the student advice service but if anything I will find out and contact them too!

A step down definitely feels very risky. It is about how long it would take to get there
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Lshort17
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Yes its not good, have you got a complaints office? Maybe worth putting it to them. I know mine keep asking for feedback so thats how they are managing to improve

No its definitely not preparing them :/

Yes true, worth weighing up the risk really

Good luck with it anyway, you seem like you have a few ideas so im sure youll make the right call
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Yes its not good, have you got a complaints office? Maybe worth putting it to them. I know mine keep asking for feedback so thats how they are managing to improve

No its definitely not preparing them :/

Yes true, worth weighing up the risk really

Good luck with it anyway, you seem like you have a few ideas so im sure youll make the right call
Hi! Sorry for the late response. I remember most of us on our course did address it and I emailed the principal about it who forwarded it onto someone else and at the end of the term, we did a zoom call addressing these problems and that they would be getting sorted. It's just that I don't know if they will which is what is freaking me out 🌝

And honestly it has been hard finding an apprenticeship that does level 4-7
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Lshort17
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(Original post by Ratchet ***)
Hi! Sorry for the late response. I remember most of us on our course did address it and I emailed the principal about it who forwarded it onto someone else and at the end of the term, we did a zoom call addressing these problems and that they would be getting sorted. It's just that I don't know if they will which is what is freaking me out 🌝

And honestly it has been hard finding an apprenticeship that does level 4-7
Ah that makes it worse if they havent improved on it from discussions unless it was towards the end of semester which it was, then its more of a gamble to see if they stick to their words. Think you are definitely in a difficult situation. I suppose if you dont find anything then then its better to take their word.

Yeh they seem quite rare and catered to younger people just starting so they can get their foot in the door. Im guessing it has a lot to do with location too as some places are better with opportunities than others.
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Ratchet Hoe
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(Original post by Lshort17)
Ah that makes it worse if they havent improved on it from discussions unless it was towards the end of semester which it was, then its more of a gamble to see if they stick to their words. Think you are definitely in a difficult situation. I suppose if you dont find anything then then its better to take their word.

Yeh they seem quite rare and catered to younger people just starting so they can get their foot in the door. Im guessing it has a lot to do with location too as some places are better with opportunities than others.
I have emailed some places and got details but haven't gotten a secure apprenticeship at the moment, but I did contact the national apprenticeship service and national careers service by phone about my situation which was very helpful. I found out about traineeships too which would be good to do on top of my university. One of them said that people usually take a gap year to find an apprenticeship too but that I am pretty much making good choices. The best plan of attack is booking my uni accomodation which I just need to sign the tenancy agreement now and go for their word (which was at the end of the term which is spooky!) and look for some traineeships too!
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Lshort17
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(Original post by Ratchet ***)
I have emailed some places and got details but haven't gotten a secure apprenticeship at the moment, but I did contact the national apprenticeship service and national careers service by phone about my situation which was very helpful. I found out about traineeships too which would be good to do on top of my university. One of them said that people usually take a gap year to find an apprenticeship too but that I am pretty much making good choices. The best plan of attack is booking my uni accomodation which I just need to sign the tenancy agreement now and go for their word (which was at the end of the term which is spooky!) and look for some traineeships too!

Sounds like a good plan of action! The National Career service are pretty good! Glad they helped sort the situation out but showing you some options. Lets hope their word is true and i wish you the best! Fingers crossed this year will be a better one
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