Aden Rawlings

Aden is a Commercial Executive with NielsenIQ. He is working towards a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Chartered Business Management and Practice.

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I have never really been suited to traditional education; I always felt as though I was lagging behind in my studies and the school system in the UK doesn’t really support those who don’t want to go to university or those who aren’t drawn to it. I always found that, during work experience, I loved the dynamic and exciting atmosphere around the office, as well as meeting so many new people during the days or weeks that I was in the business. Being able to apply myself to an actual job and fulfil my role day to day is a lot more appealing to me than reading from a textbook – you learn so much more actually doing it, which is why studying for a degree and also applying it to my day to day role provides the perfect balance for me.

How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

I didn’t really find the careers advice at school very helpful at all, so I just started looking into what Apprenticeships were about online, where I found the website https://www.ratemyapprenticeship.co.uk/degree-apprenticeships which had the NielsenIQ scheme in the Business section; being one of the rare ones at the time with a degree in Business Management.

What does your job involve?

I’m in sales, so I’m responsible for selling certain products externally, as well promoting the internal reputation of the services I have to sell. I essentially talk to lots of people, both in and outside of the business, which is core to my role.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The number of people that I get to talk to. I’m growing my network and learning all the time and I also like how I’m able to continually make a difference in a business like NielsenIQ. I can be good at my job, but I can also focus on areas that I am interested in, for example supporting the mental health and wellbeing of my colleagues; something which is very rewarding.

What have you gained from your Apprenticeship – skills, experience etc.?

The number of invaluable skills that I have gained through the NielsenIQ Apprenticeship is huge. I’ve learnt how to meet people in a professional environment, how to develop my career in a global company and countless skills about my actual job, from pulling data to selling it and completing the contracts etc. I’ve also learnt about business non-specific to NielsenIQ, and how it is conducted; something that until you get to see and experience it first-hand, can be quite a confusing concept.

What do you plan to do next?

I am not sure in all honesty. I’ll see how I’m feeling after I’ve graduated at NielsenIQ. If I am offered a role then I will no doubt stay at the company until I feel as though I want to do something else; I have lots of different ideas which are really varied, from joining the Army to working in Sales elsewhere, or looking at different industries. I have plenty of time for now so try not to stress about it too much at the moment, nor am I worried about lack of opportunity because of how good the scheme has been.

How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?

Whatever I decide to do, my Apprenticeship will have, without doubt, made it possible. Learning how to work in a business, and in a team, as well as combining business experience and theory from my degree, will make it a lot easier to move into a new business or industry; as well as meeting new people. If I am offered a role at NielsenIQ, then the three previous years of experience at the business will help me win a new role too, so either way the Apprenticeship will be fundamental to me getting any future job.

What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?

In my opinion, there is no better route to take than an Apprenticeship. Despite the obvious benefits like a salary, no debt to pay off after completing your degree and three years of work experience with a respected business, there are also numerous others. An Apprenticeship presents endless opportunities to meet new and influential people, who can impact your career in many ways, as well as instilling a new confidence that you won’t have felt before. Being able to walk into a room of new faces and leave with connections, as well as delivering a message to the room about why apprentices are so special, is a really important aspect of the scheme.

What’s your top tip?

Be as open as you can to any opportunity put your way. Start and continue to meet new people, whether that’s through school, or friends and family, or work experience etc. it’s really important to be comfortable around people so that you can represent yourself in a relaxed way. Meeting people shouldn’t be seen as daunting and once you learn how to do it comfortably you will open so many doors for the future.

How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

I’m really excited. I can’t recommend an Apprenticeship scheme enough, and I think that to be able to help those who may not be sure what to do next: whether that be going to university or taking an Apprenticeship, to what degree or sector to do an Apprenticeship in - being able to have a positive impact on somebody’s future is a very exciting and appealing prospect.