In National Apprenticeship week, we see lots of stories about people learning their trade in different industries. However, the world of digital marketing doesn’t often feature in among the electricians, supermarket managers and accountants we see in the press.
So here is my story of how I became Democracy’s first degree apprentice – and how it’s going so far.
A degree apprenticeship wasn’t something I was aware of during my time in college, however, after some research into the content of this course and how it would be combined with on the job learning, I was sure it was for me.
Manchester Metropolitan University offers the course and the prospect of learning there and working for an agency in the city at the same time felt like an exciting combination.
I had some experience working in social media, having written articles and managed the social media pages of a company called TheChelseaSocial while I was at college in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This was the world I wanted to build my career in.
Having applied for and got a full-time job in digital marketing at Democracy, I was able to apply directly to the Degree level apprenticeship at MMU, rather than having to take the Level Three course for a year before.
Balancing university and work time is something I’ve had to adapt to very quickly. It is reassuring that I am given a day each week solely to work on my university projects. There is also a schedule for when apprentices are required to attend the university itself. This usually ends up being four days every six weeks. The aim of these days is to learn the course content for that specific module, and then every Wednesday, we attend an online session with our lecturer to finish off the contents of the module and to help with the coursework.
The course content so far has been incredibly interesting to learn and really beneficial when I swap hats and am no longer a student, but a member of staff at Democracy. Applying the course content to the day to day reality of client work in an agency is exactly what makes my degree apprenticeship the perfect mix.
Due to the nature of my role (a mix of uni and office work), I work closely with my line managers to figure out an appropriate working plan, with the aim of incorporating the things I am learning at MMU into my normal working days.
An example of this came when we started the introduction to the digital comms module of the degree apprenticeship course. A lot of the course content was based around email marketing. To aid with this, I have been working closely with my colleagues at the agency to email out to influencers for a client campaign and therefore incorporating the two.
In my short time here at Democracy, I have gained valuable experience in so many different areas of digital marketing including copywriting, social listening, handling comms and media sell-ins.
This has not only allowed me to work across multiple areas of the agency, but has also given me such a boost with my university work as I can apply the learning I have done on the course directly in my day-to-day work. Bring on the next three years!