What attracted you to the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship?
I wasn’t certain about what I wanted to do next after college or what was available to me at 19. I’d previously been doing summer jobs and freelancing but ideally, I wanted to do something which progressed and developed my career further – without having to go straight to university. I found that the majority of work I was looking for wanted a qualification in marketing or for me to have finished uni with plenty of other work experience which I just couldn’t have at my age. I’d originally thought that apprenticeships were just available for 16-18yr olds so was surprised when I found out there was an opportunity for me to still learn and develop my skills past that, without having to pay for expensive additional courses.
What were you up to before you started this apprenticeship?
Before starting this apprenticeship, I was working as a freelance graphic designer & illustrator for small businesses, mainly start-ups, creating a variety of work from business stationery to product packaging. I also worked part-time in a local alternative hairdressing salon as an assistant there.
What were the first few months of your apprenticeship been like?
My first couple of months were really enjoyable. I’d always had this idea of marketing, but it’s not like that at all. This apprenticeship has really opened my eyes as marketing is extremely interesting and strategic. There’s far more that goes on behind the ads and sales that requires in-depth research and analysis. I’ve found the course so far to be engaging and after completing the first module in Digital Marketing, I am already able to apply the skills I’ve learnt to my job at DPN. I can see how they’ll benefit me in my career, not only in future jobs but in my freelance work too. This course alongside all of the additional training I’ve been given at DPN such as WordPress, MailChimp, Photoshop and Social Media, has given me a really solid foundation for progressing in my career – whatever direction I decide to take it.
Has there been any skills you never expected to learn during the apprenticeship?
The importance of marketing. As said before, you can apply it to everything. I can’t think of a job role which doesn’t need it. Especially with recent events, digital marketing and being able to share your business online has been crucial to the survival of so many businesses.
Without social platforms, websites, mailing lists, google etc. A lot of businesses would have had to close. Now is the best time, more than ever, to learn digital marketing. Whether it’s for your own business, for your current employer, for a change of career, finishing college or just to try something new. I’d highly recommend it.
Having an apprenticeship under your belt shows real hands-on work experience. You’re not just learning from a book, you have guided trial and error and have to deal with real scenarios, some of those unexpected but it overall helps you become a better digital marketer.
How has completing your apprenticeship affected your confidence?
My confidence before doing an apprenticeship was dismal. I’ve always been very shy. For example, doing group projects, I’d rather be the one making the PowerPoint presentation and clicking to change the slide. Not the one up presenting.
The apprenticeship has been really helpful with that. You have lots of support and questions are always welcome. With approval and guidance from your manager, you’re able to suggest new ideas and try things out. My personal experience with an apprenticeship is a very step-by-step approach and not dropping you in at the deep end. Your responsibilities slowly increase over time and if you suddenly find something too difficult or you don’t understand, you have time to improve.
Another confidence boosting area was the fortnightly lessons with the tutor which included other apprentices. You can bounce ideas off each other and share your knowledge. As each apprentice is at a different stage, there is always more to learn. Whether that is a piece of advice from someone ahead of you, or a reminder about a strategy from someone who’s just tried it.
Do you think digital marketing skills and completing an apprenticeship will help you in future job roles?
Definitely. I originally took digital marketing with one goal in mind. However, after being at Digital Peninsula Network for the last 19 months, I’ve realised that the jobs that require marketing are essentially endless. Every single business needs marketing. Whether it’s a supermarket wanting to show why you should shop with them compared to others, a dentistry wanting to get the word out about new treatments, or a restaurant switching to offer take out due to the current situation. I know that in whatever job I do in the future, being able to understand and do digital marketing successfully will benefit me and would likely help me get promotions being able to do several skills.
What are you planning to do with your apprenticeship?
I’m not sure exactly where I’m wanting to take my apprenticeship yet. Ideally, I’d like to carry on with DPN after or go into the Graphic Design & Illustration industry. One day, I would like to work full time as a freelance artist, but that’s a long way away and I want to try my hand at as much as possible early on to expand my current knowledge and build up my confidence and skills. I now know how useful digital marketing and social media skills are and how they’ll aid me as a useful addition to my CV regardless of what route I decide to take.