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My experience as an Apprentice

I am doing a Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship with EDLounge, working for EDClass. I started my apprenticeship on the 2nd November 2020 and have been doing it for around 16 months now.

On average it takes between 12-18 months to complete an apprenticeship so I am now coming towards the end, preparing to submit my EPA (end point assessment) which will be the final part of my apprenticeship.

About me

After I finished my GCSEs, I stayed on at school to do my A levels, unsure what my next steps would be once I’d finished them 2 years later. Throughout my A levels, I had always been encouraged to consider university, which in the end, I ended up applying to and got accepted. At this time the UK had just come out of its first big lockdown and COVID was still a huge issue.

As my time at sixth form had been cut short due to the pandemic, I didn’t really explore any other options and decided to accept my place at university. After attending for 2 months I quickly realised that I didn’t enjoy my course and university as a whole wasn’t for me. I started to panic that I didn’t know what to do with my life or where my next steps were heading.

After speaking to a friend from school who had previously done an apprenticeship with EDLounge, and highly recommended it to me, I managed to get an interview with EDClass (EDLounge’s sister company who they work with to take on apprentices). I told them I was passionate about social media, marketing and getting brands out there, similar to what I had been doing at university, However, I felt like an apprenticeship would allow me to learn a lot more on the job. I was successful in my interview and was offered a job to do a Digital Marketing apprenticeship and I couldn’t be happier with where I am now and it’s exactly what I wanted to do.

Why I decided to do a Digital Marketing apprenticeship 

I had heard about apprenticeships before, however I never really felt like there was ever anything available suited to me so never really explored my options, until I came across a Digital Marketing apprenticeship and realised it would be perfect to me! I love social media and use it every day in my personal life, so why not bring what I love into my job? I am also really passionate about marketing products, especially via social media, as I feel like there are so many different opportunities it could lead me to.

I think there are so many huge benefits to an apprenticeship, the main one for me being that you earn as you learn. I have always struggled to manage my A levels with a part time job as well as finding the time to spend with family and friends. With an apprenticeship you work a full-time job with only 20% of the work being off job so you have plenty of time to enjoy your personal life too.

One thing that put me off with university was the debt. Even though I was reassured this would be paid back gradually, there is no certainty of finding a job after studying, especially during these times, even with a degree. Not only did an apprenticeship allow me to start earning straight away, it also allows me to achieve my qualifications on the job in an office environment and gain real life experience that I can take with me into my future career as well as having a qualification that I can fall back on if I ever needed to. I am a hands-on person and was never any good with exams in school so felt like an apprenticeship would be more beneficial rather than university.

My Daily Tasks

As a Digital Marketer my daily tasks don’t vary too much. First thing when I get to work I will check the education news to see what is currently going on in the media that I can respond to and use to market our product. If something has been published that EDClass can relate to I will then do a social media post referring back to the article explaining how our platform can help keeping what we post relatable, helpful and informative. I will check the news around 3-4 times a day to make sure I am regularly updated.

Once I have checked the news I will schedule all the social media posts to go out throughout the day. These posts could be generic posts about different aspects of the EDClass platform or link to national holidays to make posts more fun and engaging. An example of this could be on National Pie day I did a social media post giving away a free Pie Chart lesson as well as link all our other Math’s lessons which will lead people to purchase our products.

I also try to incorporate polls and questions so people can engage with our channels. Once all the posts are scheduled I take time to follow, like and interact with other relevant companies and sites, sharing information that could be helpful to our followers which, in turn, allows us to receive more likes, comments and retweets, even from verified accounts.

Once a week I do all the social media reports where I track and record our total followers, engagement, reach, impressions, clicks, likes, comments and shares. This way I am able to see if what I am posting is engaging our target audience and if not, I can then change what I am doing to try and improve. As well as this I have a weekly meeting with the whole of the marketing team (this takes place first thing on a Monday morning) where we discuss how the week before went and what our actions this week will be to improve. I also bring up and show my reports in these meetings where we can discuss different ideas and methods as a team to see if we can engage our audience from a different direction.

Once a month I will research national holidays and events that are going up in the next month so that I can schedule and plan posts ahead. I use different software to create content for the social media channels. Examples of this could be Viddyoze (which creates short animated videos with our logo for brand awareness), Illustrator to make engaging images as well as Adobe Premiere Pro where I can edit pre-made videos and make them shorter to drive customers to the website to purchase if they want to watch the whole lesson.

What I am enjoying about my apprenticeship and skills I have learnt

I am really enjoying my apprenticeship with EDClass and can see a huge amount of progress that I have made since starting. While working at EDClass I have made friends of all ages that I talk to in and out of work hours, which I never thought I would. I feel very comfortable within the business and don’t feel like I am treated differently even though I am an apprentice. My manager, Lee, always ensures that I am given work that can provide me with evidence I can use for my apprenticeship as well as learn new skills which helps to broaden opportunities for me in the future.

During my Digital Marketing apprenticeship, I have learnt how to so send email campaigns, how to use programs such as Illustrator and Adobe Premiere Pro to edit and create content for social media. I am also able to create Facebook and Google ads as well as track reports via Google analytics so I can see what is and isn’t working. I have done some work on creating landing pages and how to edit our website using coding, but my biggest knowledge is the behind the scenes to social media.

I use social media in my personal life and didn’t originally take into consideration everything that happens behind the scenes for a business, when trying to market a product. Now I know how important it is to check reports to see our reach, interactions and engagement to know what’s working and what’s not. However, the main thing I have learnt is that social media isn’t as easy as anticipated and it consist of lots of trial and error which is hard to understand at first as it can be really frustrating.

What skills would I like to develop?

I have also noticed a lot of self-growth and improvement within myself during my apprenticeship.

I feel a lot more confident and independent, especially from jumping from school to an office environment, I also feel better at making decisions as well as incorporating teamwork skills.

A skill I would like to improve on is confidence. Even though I feel a lot more confident in myself as a person, I need to be more confident about my work. An example of this could be on Mondays we have a Marketing meeting where I show and discuss my social media reports (as previously spoken about), I need to confidently portray my statistics to the rest of the group and give my thoughts, reasons and a solution to the rest of the group. I also want to keep on learning, gaining knowledge on different aspects of digital marketing while gaining evidence and improving/ developing more skills so I have everything ready for my end point assessment and future role.

My ambitions I have within the business

My ambition for the business is to grow the social media channels, therefore growing EDClass’ brand awareness. I want EDClass to be more familiar to customers and non-customers as well as hopefully turning followers into customers! In terms of myself, I hope to finish and pass my apprenticeship so I can move onto the next stage of my career. I would love to do another apprenticeship afterwards to upskill my role within the company and eventually be the manager of all the social media and digital marketing!