From GCSE Media to Senior Marketing Executive…

Hi All, my name is Leah Hardy and I am a Senior Marketing Executive at Just IT. As National Apprenticeship Week is approaching I wanted to share my story on how you can progress from an Apprenticeship and my top tips when completing one…

I remember leaving college and thinking about what I should do next, it was so daunting and I really had no idea! I was always encouraged by my family to do something I enjoyed and I was very invested in Media whilst I was at school… this lesson covered creating your own horror poster, music video and learning how to market products in different ways.

I then went on to study BTEC Media Print at college and dived deeper into photography, learnt different camera angles and looked into how different forms of media worked. I also studied English language and enjoyed writing so when my college course finished I decided to look into Digital Marketing.

‘What should I do if University isn’t for me?’

I visited multiple Universities and wasn’t 100% on any of them, I also enjoyed living at home so didn’t want to move far… so I decided to look into Apprenticeships in London where I could build up my experience from individuals in the industry and gain support along the way.. and I’m so glad I did!

I started working for an educational charity and built up my experience in Marketing – I was able to get involved with contributing to brand guidelines, delivering live projects to students and creating social media campaigns. I stayed within this role for 3.5 years and then progressed into a Marketing Executive role at Just IT.

So many people ask what being a Marketing Executive actually means? Within my role I got involved in social media marketing, marketing analytics, SEO and improved my design skills in Adobe Creative Suite. I got involved in the creation of Marketing campaigns across different social channels and via email and then I progressed into a Senior Marketing Executive role where more stakeholder management and ownership of projects came into effect.

If you are thinking about getting involved in an Apprenticeship here are my 5 top tips I would recommend…

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – You are in the learning process and are there to learn from others, no question is a silly question.
  2. Document everything – You will gain so much exposure in your Apprenticeship curriculum as well as within the workplace, take screenshots and make notes of projects you work on to remember the skills/tools used and this will also help you when going for future roles within your career.
  3. Shadow your peers – ask to get involved in lots of projects/meetings, even if you are just there to shadow it is always good to hear from others in the industry and understand how meetings are set up and executed.
  4. Always share your ideas – Just because you are just starting off in your career doesn’t mean your ideas are wrong or invalid, sometimes they may not always be used but it is important to feel heard and put yourself forward as often businesses will learn from the modules in your Apprenticeship and implement new ideas.
  5. Build up your connections – Get to know people on your Apprenticeship course and work with each other… it will allow you to build friendships and enjoy your time whilst learning new skills. It is also good to utilise websites such as LinkedIn to connect with people you’d like to hear more from who are in the industry, this also opens up more chances to hear about future job opportunities too!

Or… maybe you aren’t ready to commit to an Apprenticeship but would like to explore kick-start a career in Marketing through a short course? There are many short courses available including Just IT’s Level 3 Digital & Social Media Marketing programme which covers 5 weeks of learning and career support whilst receiving an industry-recognised Level 3 accreditation.

If you are thinking about doing an Apprenticeship or start a career in Marketing, start exploring your options today… Just IT offers a range of programmes from IT and Software to Marketing and Data. Please also feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn to start building those connections!