Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I’d been working in graphic design for a few years, and I found there were fewer design jobs out there, in part because of programmes like Canva. I’ve always enjoyed doing photography and videography, and I felt like I had a wider set of skills to offer beyond graphic design,
So I started looking for jobs, and I started noticing all these digital marketing roles, which led me to look into marketing more. I also had experience running Facebook Ads for another company, and I found the whole process quite fun. So that was what led me into looking at digital marketing. I was lucky to find a role through althaus with Pilgrim Foods, and they set me up with the apprenticeship.
What was the onboarding process like?
I thought it was pretty easy, to be honest. I spoke to Kate [Digital Talent Lead] at althaus and we had a good conversation and she was really friendly. I didn’t think it would happen so quickly, but I sent over a video bio and within a week I had a job offer! So it happened very fast.
How did you find the apprenticeship overall?
It was really good for me. I’m fortunate with where I work too as they were very supportive, so I was given plenty of time to do coursework or research. So, there’s a certain amount of responsibility on the employer, but everything’s very straightforward with the way Bud and the different systems althaus use work.
The oalthausn-demand content is really good too. All the information’s there that you need to pass the course, so I found it all pretty straightforward.
How did you find the training delivered and what support did you get?
It was good. We had weekly lessons on Zoom which were quite informal, and it was a good atmosphere. Everyone got on and it was easy to ask questions if you weren’t sure about things. You cover a certain amount for the apprenticeship, but if I did want a little more depth about a certain subject, I could ask my Digital Skills Coach Waqas and he would go that bit further to explain it.
You take what you put into the course, and if you want to learn about a very specific part of digital marketing in more detail, then you just have to ask.
How did you find managing the workload between apprenticeship work and work projects?
It helps that the portfolio work ties in with your actual work projects. Again, it depends on the employer, but for me, I was given loads of opportunities to do different campaigns and all the stuff I needed for the portfolio.
I set aside an hour or so every couple of days to write that up, and my work were really supportive in helping me manage my time for coursework.
What did you find most challenging within the apprenticeship?
I found the Google Analytics exam especially challenging. A lot of the questions are quite open-ended, and you have to memorise the correct terms. The synoptic project was quite intimidating too, but I think I just built it up a lot in my head.
But you get to see other examples of past exams, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t stress about it too much, because it’s in everyone’s best interests that you pass, so the right support is in place.
What advice would you give to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
Do it! If you want to build a career for yourself whilst earning money, it’s a no-brainer. And the qualification you get will be valued by companies, so I think it’s the best thing to do, especially for people who aren’t necessarily sold on their career path.
Digital marketing’s good for that because it’s so broad. Doing an apprenticeship, you get an entire year to try all these different things and figure out which aspects of digital marketing you like. You’ve got content creation, paid advertising, analytics, SEO. They’re all potential career paths and you get to try all of them and learn unique skills as well. I finished the apprenticeship and was immediately promoted to an executive here because of the skills I’d acquired from my apprenticeship.
Do you think attitudes to apprenticeships are changing?
I think employers generally have a good perception of them nowadays. And for apprentices, I think there’s a bit of a stigma around apprenticeships, but I always felt content telling people I was an apprentice. I knew the skills I was gaining, and it’s paid off.
Now I’m an executive, so I’d say if people look down on you because you’re an apprentice, those people aren’t worth worrying about. You’ll thank yourself in a year that you did an apprenticeship. As long as you’re doing the right thing for yourself, that’s all that matters.