Coming to the end of my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, it feels slightly surreal. At some points it felt like this time would never come, at others, it felt far too soon.
I started my apprenticeship in August 2020, mid pandemic. Having finished my A-levels the previous year I was ready to take the next step. For me, that was starting my career. I always knew that University wouldn’t be the right path for me and when I was introduced to the idea of apprenticeships, my interest peaked! After looking around for a while, I realised that my interests lay in the marketing industry. Being accepted for the Digital Marketing role with EMA Training became the first step of a fantastic journey.
I soon jumped into the role with two feet, starting my first big project within the first month. The responsibility and trust I was given allowed me to grow very quickly within my role. I had the task of restarting EMA’s Instagram and creating consistency throughout their other social media platforms. In the first three months of my apprenticeship, this was my main focus. I worked with my manager, EMA’s COO, James Stafford, looking to him for guidance when posting new material. During this time, I was able to develop my understanding of EMA as a brand, what the company stands for, who EMA’s audience is and how what I produce can impact all of the above.
My knowledge of the apprenticeship industry and specifically what EMA offered grew as time went on. I was soon given full responsibility to independently run EMA’s Instagram, Facebook ,and LinkedIn, as I no longer needed to have the work I was producing signed off before posting. I was professionally progressing at a great pace; this level of responsibility meant I was often communicating with staff at all levels of the business and also communicating with external clients of EMA, such as Purpose Media. Following this, I quickly improved my time management running all of EMA’s digital platforms, as I was responsible for ensuring posts went out consistently and in a timely manner.
I was set the task to research different scheduling tools to aid my time management with social media and I subsequently created a presentation to put forward my recommendations. I outlined how I came to these conclusions and ensured that I included how much it would cost EMA and why it would be the best solution. Following this, I started using Hootsuite, a scheduling tool, to schedule EMA’s social media posts for LinkedIn and Facebook. This allowed me to be more proactive and plan content in advance, resulting in my day-to-day tasks being less rushed.
Shortly after joining EMA, my apprenticeship was soon impacted by COVID, along with the rest of the country. I found this quite challenging, as for months I was working and learning from home. In terms of working, it can be difficult to market a company when you’re not able to take pictures and go into the office. Much of my job role is capturing the personality of the business and the impact we have for both staff and apprentices; doing this from home seemed quite difficult and I worried that I would really struggle. However, the EMA team were great with getting involved with any team activities I suggested, for example during a lockdown we did a team step challenge. Every 100,000 steps the team did, EMA donated money to red nose day, Children In Need. It was encouraging for me regarding how much the team got involved; overall the whole team took 1,401,437 steps! This opened up a door to more social events and team activities, and both of these really picked up especially once we were able to get back into the office. Since, we have had a pizza day, mini golf tournaments, awards ceremonies and more!
In regard to my learning, I much prefer learning in a physical classroom environment, as I found online learning quite hard to engage with. EMA did really well to aid learners in getting through this time period, adjusting teaching methods to suit the learners, and making changes to ensure learners could stay engaged. My Trainer, Louisa, has been truly amazing in supporting me throughout my apprenticeship. I struggle with exam stress and get quite anxious leading up to and during exams and I was particularly nervous for my coding exam. Louisa had only started working with EMA not long prior to this exam and I was sure I wouldn’t pass. However, Louisa put her full confidence in myself and the rest of the class, ensuring we were prepared through revision sessions, Kahoot quizzes and more; and sure enough, I passed! Since then, Louisa has continued to be my rock through my apprenticeship, offering every piece of advice and making sure I’m reaching my potential.
With EMA being a small business, I have been the marketing department throughout my apprenticeship. I have taken on the role of content creator, social media manager, blog writer and editor, graphic designer and much more. Whilst this has been overwhelming at times, it’s been a fantastic experience which has lead me to now knowing which elements of marketing I really enjoy and which ones I wouldn’t necessarily jump to be a part of. For example, I have had the opportunity to be involved in web design and making edits to the website. Whilst it was great to have a go at this, in comparison to other elements of marketing such as photography and videography, it’s not something I’m incredibly keen to carry on.
Having now finished my apprenticeship, it’s great to lookback at what I see as my highlights. I really enjoy working in a team; one of my highlights is when EMA did a collaboration with Bam Boom Cloud and I worked with their Digital Marketing Apprentice, Liberty. We wanted to showcase the two company’s collaboration, highlighting why Bam Boom Cloud want to hire apprentices and why EMA felt like Bam Boom Cloud are a great company for apprentices to work for. Liberty and I had an initial meeting to lay out the plan and any initial ideas. Following, Liberty came to the EMA Hub and we got started! Working together, we wrote a blog explaining the two company’s relationship, edited this after receiving feedback from both of our managers, we created content to promote this blog through graphic design including taking photos and creating the actual graphics ourselves. This gave me insight to what working in a Marketing team could be like, encouraging me to continue in the marketing industry.
Another highlight has been working with EMA’s Digital Content Intern, Daisy. Since Daisy joined, we have produced some great video content for EMA, and in doing so I have been able to launch EMA’s YouTube channel. Through filming, I have realised how much I enjoy directing; fulfilling a role which helps people get through their nerves and feel confident within themselves has been really gratifying. Understandably, even the most confident people get giggly in front of the camera and need some reassurance.
Moving forward, having completed my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, I have accepted a full-time role with EMA as Marketing Assistant and look forward to staying with EMA as we grow and expand in the new year. I have hopes to go onto the Marketing Executive Level 4 apprenticeship in a few months’ time, and I look forward to progressing my skill level further during this next apprenticeship.
Moving into the New Year, I have set myself both personal and professional goals that will ensure growth within the marketing industry. I’m hoping to continue with social media management, content creation and graphic design. I hope to develop my creative skills further, learning to use the full Adobe Suite and also spending more time with Daisy so I will be able to do the photography and videography when she completes her internship. I am also looking forward to watching EMA grow; when I first started there were around 15 members of staff, there are now over 30. The marketing department will be growing, with a Head of Marketing starting in the new year! This will bring changes to my role and how I have been marketing EMA for the past 15 months, and I look forward to developing my existing skills whilst learning new ones under her mentorship.
I’m excited for what’s to come.