Q&A with Jen Purbrook

Q&A with Jen Purbrook

We've been lucky enough to get to know you over the last eight months, can you tell our readers of the blog a bit about yourself?
Hi I'm Jen, I'm 18 years old and I do an apprenticeship at Kevin Mayhew. I've been through high school and then I did one year of 6th form and then left and came here. I have an older brother who is really annoying. I also have 2 cats who are very fat and demanding.

Jen PurbrookYou've been working at Kevin Mayhew since September tell us a bit about your role here?
I help out everywhere really. I answer the phones, place orders on our system, print and make CDs, manage the returns.

What has been your favourite moment at Kevin Mayhew? My fav moment was when I got to go to the Music and Drama Education Expo in London in February. It was such an amazing opportunity for me and it was exciting to travel to London for 2 days. I learnt a lot about the selling side of things there and it has helped improve my confidence on the phones and in the shop when selling products and it also helped me with my customer service skills and talking to people.

Do you think apprenticeships are helpful to young people who are looking to get into work and why?
I think apprenticeships are great, to be honest. It has really helped me to understand the working environment and it has been a great booster to see what work is really like. I wouldn't have expected it to be how it is and I think that doing an apprenticeship really helps you to get into the workplace. It would have been a huge shock to me if I finished 2 years of 6th form, then to uni and then into a full-time job. Getting in the experience of a 9-5 job at this age has been amazing.

Jen 2You've dazzled us with your huge knowledge of music, tell us a bit about that and what you love about music?
I have been playing music ever since I can remember to be honest. I started with the piano and then went to cornet. I can now play those 2 and trumpet, french horn, drums, ukulele and any percussion instrument. I remember my first piano teacher used to give me a chocolate bar at the end of every lesson! I now play in 2 bands the Ipswich Hospital Band and I play in the Suffolk County Music Service in the orchestra and wind band there. I have been on tour to Spain with the Suffolk County Wind Band and that was an incredible experience, one that I will never forget. What I love about music is that there are only 12 notes but you can create anything with them. When artists bring out music, or when a composer writes a masterpiece, they are all using the same notes but yet they all sound so different. I love that 'Auld Lang Syne' has the same chord progression as songs by The Rolling Stones, Jessie J and The Script. But I think the thing I love the most about music is that it brings everyone together.

Jen 3What do you do when you're not in the office? Are there any hobbies or sports that you do? When I'm not in the office I spend my time playing music, playing football, with St John Ambulance or just generally relaxing.

Do you have any talents or special skills?
Annoying people Music Football

We all love to get away, where's your favourite place to go on holiday?
When I was younger, as a family we used to go skiing every year and I think that has to be my favourite holiday, going skiing for a week.

We love a good musical at Kevin Mayhew, what's your favourite?
My favourite musical? Either Grease, Hairspray, West Side Story or Miss Saigon.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Life is like a camera...
Focus on what's important,
Capture the good times,
Develop from the negatives,
And if things don't work out,
Take another shot!

What piece of advice would you give to other young people who are looking at doing an apprenticeship?
If you don't want to do 6th form or college, just go for it. It has been an amazing opportunity for me and I think they don't get the right amount of respect. It has helped me grow so much as a person and you should definitely do it and get the experience.