What was it that attracted you to the Appleby Academy programme?
I remember seeing a poster for the competition in my sixth form centre and I’m quite business-focused, so I was immediately drawn to the prospect of getting to apply my knowledge competitively and to gain an opportunity to work for a global firm at such a young age. I’d not seen anything close to what the Appleby Academy offers, so I applied immediately! I also was impressed with the breadth of real-world business scenarios offered as part of the application process as they covered a variety of topics and I had a difficult time choosing which one I was going to select.
What did the 12 week application process entail?
Once I had chosen a business scenario, which for me was ‘Appleby Marketing Communications’, focusing specifically on social media, I carried out primary and secondary research in order to come up with ideas on how I would solve the scenario. During this time I was allocated an Appleby mentor; Phoebe Harwood, who was always on hand to provide information, advice and a much needed second opinion! After many emails and meetings with Phoebe, my ideas were beginning to materialise into a document that was ready to be submitted for assessment.
My proposal was then marked independently by members of the Appleby team. Thankfully my score earned me a place in the final in which we had to generate and deliver a presentation about our proposals and how we would implement them at Appleby, including a Q&A session that required me to think on my feet. Once all the presentations had concluded, the judges deliberated before I was announced as the winner.
What did you learn throughout this process?
I learnt so much. My initial proposal taught me how to efficiently formulate and express my ideas to others and speaking in front of a panel was a new experience for me. All of the research I’ve carried out has improved my business acumen and I have grasped how to transfer my school textbook knowledge into a real-life scenario. These are just a few of the skills the Appleby Academy gave me, but there are many more.
How did you find the Appleby Academy summer placement?
On my first day I was nervous about coming into such a reputable company, however, I was put at ease straight away. Everyone was so welcoming; the culture is very professional, yet relaxed. I learnt a lot about how businesses function day-to-day – all the things that aren’t on the syllabus at school.
What kind of work were you doing?
Before I started, Lauren from HR asked me which departments I’d like to spend time with, this included everything from law to business services. My personal interests meant that the majority of my time was spent with Marketing and Communications. I worked with both the local and global teams on a multitude of exciting projects; I assisted with planning events, meeting suppliers and carrying out market research. I attended meetings with the Appleby Charitable Foundation, who help many local charities and causes throughout the year. A week of my time was also spent with HR, where I worked on Health and Wellbeing initiatives for colleagues both in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. This is just a small handful of the work I was doing, but I was never short of something to do and felt like a key part of the team.
Has taking part in the Appleby Academy been beneficial to you?
Absolutely, aside from the fact I have learnt so much, I was able to talk about my participation in the Academy on my university application (which was successful!). It has also bolstered my CV and provided me with an unrivalled standard of work experience at such a young age, which I’m hopeful will put me in good stead for the future.
Would you recommend this programme to other students?
Definitely, the Appleby Academy is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Even if you’re unsure – apply. The experience you gain even during the early stages is unparalleled by any other scheme offered at our age. No matter what you plan to do after sixth form, the programme will equip you with the experience and skills necessary to excel in, whatever your plan.
What’s next for you following your summer placement?
I’m staying on Island and plan to attend UCM as a higher education student to study Event Management and Marketing, whilst hopefully starting to carve a successful career on the Isle of Man!
To apply for the Appleby Academy, please click here.