Diary of a Modern Apprentice – Another month, another blog post!

It’s been a busy time here at NSDesign! Between courses and Working Digital – it’s all been a bit manic! I’ve now completed two courses at QA Apprenticeships – Java Fundamentals and SQL & Databases. I met some great people on the courses and also enjoyed the challenges that the work presented me. It almost felt like being back at school – as long ago as that seems! However, my 4 weeks at QA are now over, and I’m glad to be back at the office until mid December – when I’ll be heading off to QA again for my Java Advanced course. It’s scary to think that I’m more than half way through completing my courses!

Working Digital

10437343_603316176441232_4759961846203496086_n (1)Also Working Digital has just passed, and what an amazing experience it was! Although I missed Day 1 due to illness, I managed to get down to Kilmarnock for Days 2 and 3. It was amazing to see so many people at Working Digital – what a great turnout. From what I can gather, everybody took a lot from the conference, including myself! Who’d have thought that Toni from Sugar & Spice in Largs, could round up so much business by sending out a few tweets here and there? And some free ice cream toppings by “checking in” on Facebook? Genius!

Whilst I found all the speaker’s stories interesting – there is a few that stuck out. Firstly, Toni from Sugar and Spice – as mentioned above, also Martin Steele from Irn Bru – fanny! (you had to be there!!) Truly cheeky and utterly unique. Brian Baglow from ‘Gamification on the go’ was also mesmerising! Such a smart concept and the possibilities are endless! Finally, Grant Stott from Forth 1 Radio – what a guy! Amazing to see what social media can do for content! Whilst Grant’s PowerPoint skills were pretty average (and he knows it!), his presentation skills, knowledge on using Social Media for his radio shows, and generally connecting with his audience, were all absolutely spot on! Great job Grant!

A huge thank you to everyone who attended Working Digital – to our speakers, to East Ayrshire Council, our sponsors, to that amazing Voiceover man, and finally, to Gary and Colin – because Working Digital would not have been the way it was, without you both!  If you missed it, you can catch most of the Working Digital speaker presentations online.

New Start Scotland @ The SECC

We’re not quite finished with “touring” just yet. We’ll be at the New Start Scotland exhibition at the SECC next month – showcasing both NSDesign and Broadband Cloud Solutions – so why not pop along and say hello?  You might even grab some freebies and discounts! I’ll be there too! You’ll be able to spot me – I’ll be wearing my new NSDesign Polo (and yes Gary – that’s a dig that I don’t have one yet).

We’re also sponsoring the Social Media and Internet Marketing workshops (with Colin and Gary delivering a few of them too), so take advantage and come along to see these for free.  One other workshop I want to mention too – is another “Embrace the Space” social media masterclass happening in a few weeks – I was on this a while ago – it’s brilliant – so do yourself a favour and book up!

Keep On Runnin’

runningWe’ve also been busy lately with our running! If you didn’t already know, the NSDesign team are covering as many kilometres as we can by running! We’re doing this in a bid to raise funds for the wonderful Funding Neuro – a local charity, close to NSDesign’s heart, which looks into the development of cures for neurological disorders such as Parkinsons. Over the last few months, the guys have been in training and have been continuing with our running events! Last month, a few of us ran at the Largs Haylie House 10K – which was a great success.

We have also just completed The Great Scottish Run (Half Marathon) – which was myself and Matt’s (in the middle of this photo) first ever half marathon! It was great to take part in such a huge race and all the better to run for Funding Neuro! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a photograph together, sporting our Funding Neuro kit, but we did get one in the office the next day with our finishers tee’s and medals!

If you haven’t already, and would like to help us along the way, why not donate in support of our fundraising? You can donate via our Just Giving page.

Official Scottish Ambassador of Modern Apprenticeships

This month brought an amazing opportunity for me also! I’ve just accepted an offer to become an Official Scottish Ambassador of Modern Apprenticeships by Skills Development Scotland. You’re probably thinking “What does this mean?” – The short answer is… quite a few things!

mwowAs an ambassador I’ll hopefully be handling some more media requests – maybe a few more newspaper and radio interviews? I’ve yet to make my TV debut – so if anyone out there has connections with the television industry, feel free to contact me for any modern apprenticeship related interviews*.

*In all seriousness – any media enquiries can be sent to jonathan@nsdesign.net or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

I might even appear at a few career fairs (I was at the Skills Scotland even at the SECC the last couple of days), visit some schools, give talks on my experiences, organise workplace visits for other future apprentices and might even mentor other modern apprentices.  So lots of exciting opportunities to look forward to! Recently however, I feel like I’ve been in front of the camera regularly! Between shooting a short film for Skills Development Scotland (which should go live soon) and having some new staff photos taken – my jaw feels pretty sore from smiling so much!


So… all in all.. not much has really happened over the last month!!

All I can really say is that I’m very much looking forward to the next few months – with our SECC exhibition, possible opportunities arising from becoming an ambassador and much more!  AND we’re launching our own shiney new website!

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