It all began after I received my exam results last August. I admit I hadn’t really tried my best the year before in school, so I wasn’t expecting much, but I did a lot better than I thought I would. I didn’t have much interest in school, so after gaining the qualifications I needed, I decided I was going to leave to start a new chapter of my life.

I browsed the jobs on offer at first of all. Although I’d studied plumbing at college, I knew it wasn’t for me – and that manual work wasn’t really what I was looking for. However, an advertisement for a digital media apprentice caught my eye. The description said the job involved setting up ads, working on social media accounts and so on. Being a digital-savvy member of ‘Generation Z’, I lost no time in applying.

The job was advertised through an agency called QA Apprenticeships, which first contacted me a couple of days after I’d applied. My initial telephone interview was with Mark, who really calmed my nerves. It went well, so a follow-up was scheduled for three days later to explore in more detail whether I was potentially a good fit for the job.

During the second telephone interview, I felt a lot more relaxed, having overcome the nerves from the first conversation, although I still didn’t think I had a chance of getting the job. That meant I could just be myself and didn’t feel under pressure to put on a show or be someone I wasn’t. Mark seemed to like me and was happy to put me forward for the job. The next step was my first-ever ‘proper’ interview, at the Spirit Media offices in Edinburgh.

On my way to the office, I felt very nervous. I was so determined to be on time that I left the house two hours before the interview was even scheduled to begin! When Euan met me and offered me a cup of tea, however, I immediately felt calmer. I soon realised I could see myself working here. In the boardroom, I was greeted by Graham, Philip and Kerim.

As the meeting got underway, I felt nervous again, and all the scenarios and reasons why I wouldn’t get the job kept racing through my head. The interviewers went through the standard questions and asked a few more personal ones, too, to gauge my individual suitability for the role and the company. We discussed my CV and how I had done at school. I left that day feeling quietly confident. Although deep down I suspected that my lack of experience might seriously hinder my chances, I felt I had made the best impression I could.

I received a phone call later that night from Mark telling me I had got the job, and I felt overjoyed. I just couldn’t believe it! The next day, Graham phoned to congratulate me and asked if I could start the following Tuesday. I had no hesitation in accepting, and, the very next day, I walked into my registration teacher’s class at school and asked for my leaver’s form. I approached all my teachers that day to get it signed, and the last one to do so was my guidance teacher, Mr Stewart. He wished me well and then that was that. I had done it: I had left school. Now there was no turning back, and I knew I’d made the right decision for me.