Meet Amy who is an Administration and Recruitment Assistant in the School of Physical Sciences, Amy was recruited in May 2018 as an Apprentice to undertake the Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship.
Loretta Izod, Employee Apprenticeship Manager at Kent, asked Amy to talk about the experience being an Apprentice and how it supports career and self development.
How did your career pathway bring you to the University of Kent, what is your position here and how long have you worked here?
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for the media. The impact of a film, image or advert can have a long-lasting effect on the viewer, challenge perceptions and influence opinions more than we realise.
This passion inspired me to further my knowledge and understanding at a degree level. It was important for me to learn the theoretical side of the media and progress my understanding of how culture can influence, and be influenced by the media, so that I could be best placed to show this through my practical work. Following a three year course that also included a practical module in script writing, directing, filming and editing, I graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BA in Film and American Studies in 2011.
My passion for the media continued to grow throughout my working life, and I enjoyed a position managing social media for a local company, blogging and creating newsletters. I wanted to build on this experience and learn the most up-to-date knowledge in an ever-changing, fast paced industry. Therefore, when I saw a role advertised for the University of Kent where I would be able to combine my knowledge from university, and my experience in marketing, with a Digital Marketer Level 3 Apprenticeship, I felt that this was the perfect role for my professional development. Undertaking an apprenticeship enables me to propel my understanding of the most up-to-date knowledge, as well as build on my skills in marketing online.
I first began working for the University of Kent on 31st May after successfully securing my role as an Administration and Recruitment Assistant for the School of Physical Sciences. Key responsibilities in my role include managing multiple social media platforms for the School, answering queries online, writing blog posts, designing and distributing monthly student and staff newsletters, assisting with organising and running events throughout the year, and designing digital and print adverts for recruitment.
How did you find out about this Apprenticeship?
I first discovered the apprenticeship through the job advertisement for my existing role on www.jobs.kent.ac.uk. I further had the opportunity to ask questions during my interview, which further confirmed my interest in undertaking an apprenticeship alongside my role.
Which Apprenticeship are you under taking and which training provider is supporting you?
I am currently enrolled in a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship with Arch Apprentices. When I began my apprenticeship at the beginning of my employment, I was initially enrolled with Aspire Achieve Advance (3aaa), however they unexpectedly ceased trading and so my apprenticeship provider was reassigned to Arch Apprentices.
The two providers have offered very different styles in teaching; 3aaa focused on classroom teaching, whereas Arch Apprentices provide remote learning. I personally find online learning much more suitable for me as this enables me to progress at my own pace.
Why have you decided to use an Apprenticeship to support your self and career development?
Even though I have a degree in Film and American Studies, I felt that a further qualification in digital marketing would streamline me into a career in the digital media that I want to pursue long-term. I see the apprenticeship as an extension of my learning and knowledge, and an investment into my professional development. Once I have successfully completed the apprenticeship, this qualification and also the registration I will be entitled to with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, will provide me with a step-up that I need.
Can you explain how your Apprenticeship works, eg what sort of training do you do? Who is your mentor?
Every day I am constantly building on my knowledge at work, and understanding the impact marketing can have on a business as well as on current and future clients. As my role includes day-to-day management of social media, blog posts, and communication online, I can start to apply my knowledge from my apprenticeship into my job immediately.
As part of my learning, I am currently working through modules with Google Digital Garage online, which I really enjoy. The learning includes videos and quizzes throughout to test my knowledge, which I find really supports my preferred visual learning style.
With Arch Apprentices, the module learning they provide will be through Dot Native online. I have been given a personalised Study Calendar that I can work towards which has been really helpful to have a structure. The flexibility that Arch have provided has also been fantastic, as I am personally keen to bring my completion date forward as much as I can in line with the original plan with 3aaa. This is more of a personal preference for my own goals in life and for my career, but I also feel will be a huge benefit for the School of Physical Sciences.
Further to the remote learning, there will be class learnings every couple of months with other apprentices at the University of Kent. This is fantastic for me as I can not only benefit from seeing my Learning Development Coach, Adijat Lawal from Arch, but also network with other employees at the university where we can share best practices and ideas in marketing.
As part of my portfolio, I am currently working on a Case Study which will be one of five that I can present at the end of my course. This is also a really useful method to evidence my learning not only for my End-Point Assessment but also to be able to provide useful, relevant information in our Marketing Strategy at the School of Physical Sciences.
I am also constantly learning and benefiting from the personal experience of my line manager Katherine Moss, who is the Recruitment and Marketing Officer for the School of Physical Sciences. Her expertise and drive for constant improvement has been a great source of knowledge for me. We both share the same passion to be the very best we can be as a team, which I feel has greatly contributed to my learning.
What aspects of an Apprenticeship first caught you attention?
The main pull for me with the Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship course was that I would be able to learn a range of topic areas including Social Media, Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, HTML and Google Analytics which is vital for working in digital marketing. These key areas stood out for me as I would gain knowledge in a number of areas that I feel are integral to know in a career marketing online.
How did you find the relevant information you needed to decide if an Apprenticeship was for you?
Included in the job role description that was advertised on www.jobs.kent.ac.uk, were some really useful documents that provided further information on the apprenticeship. What I found that cemented my decision the apprenticeship and the job role was right for me, was mainly the employability prospects and the career areas I could progress to in the future.
Amy’s final words……
Although I officially began my apprenticeship on 7th June 2018, there have been a number of challenges externally that at times has hindered my ability to progress as much as I wanted to. However, Loretta Izod has been fantastic in keeping me updated and supporting me through moving over to Arch Apprentices. I am very much looking forward to progressing quickly and being able to apply my learning to my day-to-day role.
If you would you like to know more about Apprenticeship and undertake one like Amy, please contact Loretta Izod, your Employee Apprenticeship Manager
Ext 16568 or email – L.J.Izod@kent.ac.uk or Click here to visit the Kent Apprenticeships web page
Follow the Learning & Organisational Development (L&OD)Team for our regular posts all things Apprenticeship and L&OD on our