The Apprentice Diaries: 18 Months On

Grace in content agency office

Part Six: Our apprentice, Grace, concludes her account of what it’s like learning on the job at MYC… Read parts one, two, three, four and five.

After 18 months of studying and on-the-job training, I’ve completed my Digital Marketing apprenticeship and officially become Making You Content’s in-house Designer! 

The past year and a half has not only allowed me to develop a range of skills (which I wouldn’t have if I took the traditional route and went to university), but it has also granted me the opportunity to gain confidence in myself and my work.

It’s hard to sum up the entire journey in a nutshell, but I’ve tried to do so here! If you’re thinking of applying for an apprenticeship – or bringing an apprentice into your organisation – have a read.

What my apprenticeship covered

I chose a Digital Marketing apprenticeship because it gave me the chance to learn about the principles of marketing, as well as specific best practices such as building personas, all of which were taught by the helpful team at Apprentify

I quickly realised that there are behavioural, geographical, psychological, and many other aspects you must consider when targeting customers. In fact, it was quite surprising how much time and research goes into marketing, and the strategies behind it. 

Once I had the basics covered, I moved on to developing skills such as copywriting, design and analytics. Apprentify also introduced me to coding. At first I didn’t think it was for me, but when it came to creating websites, I thoroughly enjoyed figuring out how to make a fully functioning page that also looks aesthetically pleasing. Coding is essentially problem-solving, but you need to be quite creative if you want a site that works and looks distinctive.

Getting used to agency life

Some people think that working for an agency is harder than working in-house. But I prefer the challenges that come with being in a place like MYC, particularly when it comes to developing your abilities and experience as an apprentice. 

The range of clients we have allowed me to become specialised in a range of sectors, and advance my social and communication skills by interacting with different people from all walks of life. 

Having a supportive and friendly team to help you further those skills is also essential – especially when you’re starting out. Thankfully, each member of our copywriting agency ticks those boxes and more, so I was able to make a lot of progress in a relatively short space of time. 

From Digital Marketer to Designer

After completing my marketing and coding exams, it didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to pursue the design route. I gradually moved away from writing and other areas of digital marketing to specialise with the help of Apprentify’s Path to Mastery.

I’m very fortunate to be a part of a company that allows me the freedom to flex my creative muscles. Experimenting with my work, and finding new approaches through video tutorials and online courses, really helped me get to grips with how to create intriguing and engaging designs. 

To put all of this learning into practice, I was tasked with pulling together a portfolio that showed my progress, as well as completing a final assessment to determine my grade. 

This final section of my apprenticeship wasn’t easy. With my portfolio to finish on top of a four-day exam and an interview, it’s safe to say I had enough work to keep me busy for a lifetime! But I got there in the end and it paid off when I was awarded a distinction for my efforts.

Highlights along the way

It’s hard to pinpoint the best bit of my apprenticeship as there were so many, but one that really sticks out is being nominated by Apprentify to become an Apprentice Ambassador. It was quite a surprise, but I was more than happy to represent them!

This involved attending a training day at Manchester Metropolitan University (where I completed my Foundation course in Art and Design), talking to other apprentices and finding out about their journeys, as well as sharing my own story. It was a great chance to brush up on my public speaking skills!

What’s next?

This time two years ago, I would never have imagined I’d be where I am today. I’ve gained a vast amount of knowledge and improved my creative skills by being surrounded by people who wanted to help me grow. 

With my new-found passion for visual design, which I gained through my apprenticeship, I decided to become more specialised in the digital side of things. So, soon after I finished my studies, I started studying again – this time enrolling for a BA in Design and Innovation at The Open University. I’m looking forward to the future at both Making You Content and uni!

Curious to find out more about Grace, or how our design services can give even more colour to our words? Drop us a message.

Words by Kelly

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