So in October 2016 I began my Level 3 apprenticeship in Social Media and Digital Marketing at Hype Marketing UK. Now my course has come to a close I thought I’d write a blog to let you know why I chose an apprenticeship, what I’ve learnt and generally how my apprenticeship experience has been.
Let’s take it back to 2014 when I was choosing my A-Level subjects. Good GCSE grade in physics and maths – ‘great let’s do that’ – I’m interested in psychology – ‘another tick’ – and well what’s left… geography? With my A-Levels chosen I knew what question was coming next… “What are you going to study at university?” It’s a question I never knew the answer to. With a lot of my friends having focused career goals throughout school I always felt under pressure to have a career that I was passionate about and most importantly, a degree I wanted to do.
Fast forward 18 months and I had 3 university offers for a degree in psychology but I just really wasn’t passionate enough, so I began to look at alternative options. I’d heard bits about apprenticeships but it wasn’t an option I’d ever really explored. I went onto the GOV.UK website and began my research. Hundreds of results appeared with apprenticeships in engineering, business admin, recruitment and so on… There are so many choices!
The one that stood out to me was the Social Media and Digital Marketing. Having a little bit of previous experience working for my Dad on social media I knew I had some of the basic skills to get started and I knew I enjoyed it, so I rang Hype and soon enough I was meeting Emma for an interview and I got the job!
So more about the apprenticeship course itself.
My training provider is VQ Solutions, in Harrogate, who have visited me at regular intervals throughout the year to assess my progress. A huge positive to me about my course is that I don’t have to attend college. All my apprenticeship work has been online through a portfolio of tasks that I have completed; from questions, to blog uploads to online observations. (However, I know the whole process has changed so a new apprenticeship starter may have a different structure to me.)
My assessor, Andrew, from VQ Solutions, recommended to spend half a day per week on my portfolio work and although I’ve missed a couple of weeks here and there, that’s been a perfect amount to dedicate to the course and get the work completed to a high standard, whilst also being able to complete my work at Hype.
The content of the course has been on topic to my work but has also taught me a varied portfolio of aspects of digital marketing. Although sometimes a little outdated, I have learnt so much more about CMS, SEO and advertising than I would have without it, and I’ve discovered this is something that I enjoy. There have been seven units in my course but because you are also in a full-time job, at Hype I have built on these skills and learnt further aspects of marketing such as PR, email marketing and the ins and outs of blog writing. Most of the unit topics have fitted seamlessly into my work as they are key aspects of my role, but I’ve really enjoyed the extra topics I wouldn’t have otherwise learnt about.
Overall I have found my apprenticeship experience a great stepping stone into my digital marketing career which has provided me with ambition, a qualification that is increasingly more recognised by employers and an invaluable experience by working full time. If you’re looking to begin an apprenticeship yourself I’d recommend you to do your research first. Look at your current qualifications, see what level you are able to work at and then log onto the GOV.UK website to see what courses are available near you. It’s then important to research the job specification at your work to see if this is something that would interest you and if it is, apply!
I’m excited to continue my marketing career, but in the meantime, if you want to learn a little more about me please visit my Meet the Team page!