Ben Sullivan – Apprentice
Read on as our very own Ben Sullivan, looked back over the last four years and how his apprenticeship at MacroArt has not only led to a new career, but a new Ben!
“Looking back four years, I could never have imagined I’d be where I am today.
I studied a three-year course in Media Design at a local college, with a part time job at McDonalds on the side of my studies. I had no real idea of what I wanted to do once I finished my studies at college, and even less of an idea of whether I would be able to do it.
In addition, my time in college, studying towards a good qualification in my chosen course, had made me realise that I was more interested in finding a career in a new type of industry without the need to further study the course at university.
I was not the most confident or outgoing of people, and the prospect of leaving college with qualifications and having to find a university course that suited me was daunting to say the least. In truth, the thought of two or three more years of formal, structured learning did not appeal to me!
What I really wanted was a place where I could learn on the job, develop the necessary skills, and study a new type of course to help me develop a good future career.
So, when I came across the opportunity on a national job-site to pursue an apprenticeship at MacroArt entitled ‘Level 3 Print Technician’, it provided me with the chance to find a true calling, within an exciting and friendly atmosphere, so I jumped at the chance!
It was local, which was a bonus, but the thing that struck me, even from my initial interview and subsequent trial day, was the inclusive, embracing, and supportive nature of the team at MacroArt; they wanted to find true talent as much as I wanted to find a great employer.
As you can imagine, I was so happy to pass both my interview and trial day to become part of the MacroArt team. However, initially I found it tough, and never having been involved in the world of commercial printing before, it took me a little while to become familiar with the technology and operations.
It seems that they saw the same potential in me that I saw in MacroArt, and so I began my full apprenticeship in March of 2021.
Throughout the process, I was offered great mentoring support from Lee Garnett, Neil Burton, and Clayton Boyden, whilst moving between different production departments, and learning a variety of new skills every day.
They all took the time and trouble to provide clear, practical, and easy-to-understand explanations for even the most complex of processes. They made sure I was at ease, taking the time to explain everything to someone with no previous print experience, and made sure we moved through my learning at a comfortable pace. I will be forever grateful to Lee and the team for their patience, understanding and support. They really are beginning to feel like family!
As I approach the end of my apprenticeship, I’ve come to realise just how much it has given me. Of course, I’ve learned new technical skills in an industry that has now become my career and my passion.
But, with the continued help and encouragement of the whole team at MacroArt, I have learned so much about myself.
With their support, I have become more at ease in working with colleagues, and more self-reliant and confident in myself. I found it easier to take responsibility for tasks and my people skills are improving by the day! I’m even considering taking part in the Early Careers Ambassadors programme (ECA), mentoring and sharing my experiences with young people considering the same apprentice path as I did.
Every day, I feel less anxious about the future, as my career here at MacroArt develops. Socially, I’ve found it easier to make new friends both at work and personally. Even my family and mates say they have seen these changes in me!
It isn’t often that you can talk about a genuine life-changing experience. But in respect of my apprenticeship with MacroArt I can, with confidence, say that it has completely changed my life.
I’ve found a new career, new friends, and a new confidence in both myself and my future. The best choice I ever made was to become part of the MacroArt family.”