Does pineapple belong on pizza?

I always thought being an apprentice meant being a bit of a general dogsbody. The one with no experience and hardly any say in the decisions that are made. Luckily, that couldn’t be further from the truth at innocent. After joining innocent in November last year, I realised that rather than looking at my age and inexperience as a bad thing, I’m seen as having a fresh set of eyes and different outlook. Unfortunately, being almost 21 and a digital marketing apprentice, this also means I get asked about Tik Tok. A lot.

Being an apprentice with innocent means being a valued member of the team, and for me, this is one of the best things about being an apprentice here. You bring a fresh viewpoint and ideas to the team and create valuable work that really does make a difference to the business. There are no hours of nonstop photocopying, filing until your fingers hurt or all-day tea rounds. Although that being said, we’re nice people and we still offer to make a cuppa every now and then.

As an apprentice, you also get exposure to more projects than you necessarily would from a normal job role. My role is technically called a people’s champion. That’s innocent speak for being on the communities team, looking after the people that buy the stuff we make. We do that by talking to them on various channels like email, social media and even post. Yes, people still write letters. The digital marketing aspect means I’m more involved in our digital campaigns too and innocent’s social media is also very different to most businesses. I thought I’d be talking about nutrition and fruit all day but when it came to my first time on Twitter, I ended up talking about why tigers make great house guests. And instead of updating people about new drinks on our webnews, I wrote about how to make pasta in a teapot.

In order to complete my qualification I must attend three separate weeks of external training courses. These training sessions, along with a portfolio of coursework I do, make up the digital marketing qualification. Some courses have an exam at the end, but they’re usually multiple choice which makes them feel more relaxed. I also have a skills coach from my training provider who helps with all the training and portfolio stuff along the way. In terms of coursework, everything I do day to day can be used as evidence, so there’s not much extra work to do at all. Win-win.

Another highlight is that an apprenticeship at innocent offers you the opportunity to progress your career after gaining a new qualification. It stood out to me that within my first few months at innocent, my manager and I were already discussing opportunities in the business for after my apprenticeship. Moving around and finding your strengths is highly encouraged here and there's lots of great people who have jumped around in the business and developed their skills and knowledge to help make the business the best that we can be. Our Anna started off a people’s champion too and over the years she found where her strengths were and worked as a copy writer and is now head of UK creative. Moving and shaking at its best.

Although, the thing that makes innocent such a brilliant place to work is the people. From the moment you walk into the office for your interview and are asked to sign in answering “Does pineapple belong on a pizza?”, you know you’re surrounded by pretty special people. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of one another and that reflects out into our culture. From the smiley faces of Liv and Laura welcoming you in the mornings to John rewriting ‘Let it Go’ and making our team perform it in front of the whole of the UK team. Thanks for that one, John. The innocent values aren’t just painted on the wall to look pretty but they are genuinely lived by at innocent. Nothing is ever too much trouble and there is always someone to help out, if you need it. You’re inspired by the people around you which brings out the best in everyone.

I have learnt how to cook a poached egg in the microwave but I am still working on the reason why there is a Pritt stick glued to the ceiling of the office. What I do know however is that this is only the start of my journey at innocent and can already see a variety of different opportunities to come. Hopefully, people will realise that being an apprentice at innocent is not just a job for a young person looking to get their foot on a career ladder but an opportunity for anyone wanting to gain a new qualification, as a valued team member in an inspiring company that has passion for doing good and making a difference.

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