Why did you select a Digital marketing Apprenticeship?
I had just finished my journalism course and discovered through work experience at the Portsmouth News that the social media side of things was much more appealing to me. I decided to change course and began to look into social media and digital marketing. One of the biggest issues I had was that I didn’t have any experience in digital marketing or any qualifications for that career path, so I decided to apply for digital marketing apprenticeships on the National Apprenticeship Service.
What made you choose the apprenticeship pathway?
There were many reasons, the first being that I was still testing the water on which career path I wanted to take. It would have made no sense for me to go university, guess a subject that I might like and spend thousands of pounds, only to change my mind or discover I was better at something completely different.
Another reason was that I’m dyslexic and really struggle in classroom environments. I can’t learn in a lecture theatre with lots of other students since I need help and support when it comes to answering questions and keeping me on track.
However, the main reason I chose an apprenticeship was because you could get a qualification without prior knowledge of the sector. Experience is key, I can learn, get myself a qualification in my chosen industry and apply my knowledge within a huge blue-chip company.
How have you been supported by TATA?
My Manager at Tata was phenomenal. I was anxious when I began my apprenticeship wondering if it would end up like work experience, where I’d be isolated at the far side of the room bored out my mind with nothing to do. This didn’t happen at all since within my first few weeks of joining, I was set a project by my manager. Tata had just changed its CMS to WordPress, which I already had some understanding of from when I was writing my own blogs, and my manager improved my skills by teaching me how to add customer testimonies to their website. At the beginning, I was only allowed to save drafts but once he had gone through it and agreed it was fine, the pages became my responsibility and I took on more responsibilities as my knowledge expanded.
My Mentor was outstanding by supporting and teaching me everything she knew about social media, even allowing me to single handedly run the new Tata Instagram channel. She taught me to use the social media management site Sprout Social and had me work with the agency, Text 100, with her. She set me tasks like writing copy for specific campaigns and after a while, I was able to have free reign with some creatives that I made on Photoshop. She was always helpful and offered to help me with all apprenticeship work. She was constantly trying to help and pushing me to do bigger and better things.
How was your experience with Just IT?
From the moment I met by business coach Ying, I was supported and guided throughout my apprenticeship by providing solutions to any problems I encountered. One example was Ying offering to check through my work and allowing me to revise at my workplace when I found travelling a struggle. The training was also detailed which demonstrates Just IT are teaching to build careers rather then just how to pass the exams.
What has contributed to your success in achieving Distinction?
The immense support and constant lines of communication between my business coach Ying and my work mentor. Without their support and guidance, I would never have been able to achieve a distinction in this pathway. Even if I work incredibly hard I am usually only a B-level student so to achieve a distinction really shows what I can do with the support and guidance from the right people.
Would you recommend apprenticeship to anyone?
Absolutely! I feel that apprenticeships don’t get the credit they deserve. Students (including myself) are usually pushed to go to university since some are shown that’s the only real option to get a good job.
One of the biggest and best benefits of apprenticeships, besides being paid a salary as opposed to spending thousands of pounds to be taught the same material at university, is that you can find so much out about yourself that you can’t learn in a classroom environment. For example, one of the most common questions you will be asked in job interviews is “What are your strengths and Weaknesses”. I always struggled answering this question but since finishing my apprenticeship, I can answer confidently by using specific examples from my workplace.
Many of my uni friends have doubted if their course is right for them but now it’s too late to opt out. Some have even asked me about what I’m doing in my apprenticeship and thinking about leaving university to join the Just IT apprenticeship scheme. No one seems to think of apprenticeships as a viable option until it is too late but its an path to reach what you want in your career, risk free.