One of the great things about Digital Marketing is the multiple variants of entry into industry; For three core members of our social team, their foot in the door came from an apprenticeship!
Gingernut Training is the apprenticeship provider that upskilled our social executive Caitlin, before starting with Furthermore Marketing. Despite the different providers of the three apprenticeships, one thing that they all had in common was the lack of insight from actual apprentices who had completed the course… So we organised a short insight session for those currently on a course with Gingernut Training!
Questions from the apprentices, answered by all distinction level qualified past apprentices, now working at Furthermore Marketing:
Q: How did you manage work-life balance during the apprenticeship?
A: Managing time for coursework needs to be split between the workplace and at home in your free time. If your employer isn’t allowing any time for your course in your working week, we recommend you speak to your progress assessor and ask for them to speak to your manager about making time. Only thing to bear in mind is that in the early stages we found it was all work with little to no coursework while settling into the workplace.
Q: How did you find the transition from being an apprentice, and having that support, to then being in a full time non apprentice role?
A: Stay in touch with your tutors after completing your course, they’re there to assist with your CV or any advice needed for finding a job! Separately, we cleared up that it’s an absolute myth that when you transition to be a qualified member of staff that you lose all support from your manager/team. You should continually be given the support needed by your superiors to do tasks you haven’t done before and when there are difficult tasks you should be able to lean on your team for advice/direction.
Q: How long after your apprenticeship did it take you to find a new role with a different employer? What advice would you give to apprentices who complete their apprenticeship and would like to apply for new roles?
A: It took Caitlin around 4 months to find a new marketing job after finishing the apprenticeship during the C-19 pandemic, however Caitlin found retail and leisure work for the interim while searching. Advice we’d give is make your CV super relevant to the role you’re applying for, including all experience from your apprenticeship, skills you’ve learnt and any accomplishments.
Q: Do you think it’s a good idea to go to uni after this apprenticeship?
A: University is great for student life, independent living and learning ‘how to be an adult’. However we feel industry experience is more valuable for entry into marketing. A degree isn’t really essential in our industry however it can give you helpful research and written skills. We also all agreed that in interviews we found employers didn’t ask about the course or what level we achieved, they wanted to see portfolios instead.
This is however just our opinion, you’ve got to do what is right for you!
Key advice for people on the course (based on the L3 Digital Marketer) from us:
- Don’t stress about your portfolio at the start, you have to allow time to actually settle into your role, learn the ropes and start delivering for clients to be able to write about your projects and cover the competences.
- Don’t leave your off the job training to the last minute + we can recommend podcasts/webinars by Social Chain, the Social Circle, SocialB & The Marketing Meetup.
- Start creating a network on LinkedIn, start with the people on your course!
- Have regular meetings with your progress assessor, ask their advice on what should be expected from your employer to make sure you’re getting all the support expected.
- When selecting your synoptic project, select the task you have demonstrated the least of your knowledge on.
- To prepare for your end point assessment make sure you have read up on all your portfolios and made a few notes, the assessor will ask direct questions about your projects. Also make sure to have notes ready on areas where you have been given responsibilities that exceed the standard apprentice role.
Last food for thought – your abilities are not restricted to your apprentice title! If you spot areas that need improving in internal systems, pull together your suggested solution and present this to your manager.