By Lauren Blair
Deciding what you want to do after high school is hard and I knew University wasn’t my destiny. Instead, I studied Media and Communications at Edinburgh College and ended-up finishing the course from my bedroom during the Covid-19 pandemic. I was desperate to get into the workplace, but I didn’t know what to expect.
My college course covered every aspect of the creative industries, and Digital Marketing was an area I was particularly passionate about. The future of digital excited me and I saw that people were becoming more dependant than ever on technology, especially during the pandemic. I knew I wanted to get into an office environment and learn practically so I started applying for apprenticeships.
I applied for a Modern Apprenticeship at Always Be Content and was invited to a first-round interview, which was very nerve-racking. It was with Mary Antoniewicz, who looks after the agency’s Organisational Development, and I just remember trying to answer all her questions in as much detail as possible without repeating myself. Modern Apprenticeships are like gold dust, so I made sure I prepped what I wanted to say and presented the best version of myself.
Thankfully I made it through to the second-round interview. It was with Pete Martin, the agency’s founder, and it was more like a conversation. He asked me why I wanted to do the apprenticeship, what I wanted to achieve, and what I did outside of work and education. I also asked Pete some questions, so he knew I was interested in finding out more about the company.
After the interview process, I was delighted to be offered the apprenticeship. I was really excited for my first day, although it was far from normal. When I started in Feb 2021 it was still the height of the pandemic, so everything was online. It was quite hard, as I couldn’t interact with people and get to know them as much as I would have liked. Everyone was very welcoming however and they were always a call or message away if I had any questions. I also had introduction calls with all the staff members which helped me get to know everyone and their roles within the company.
As part of my apprenticeship, I worked towards a Diploma in Digital Marketing. At the start, I picked 16 modules that were relevant to my needs and my work in the agency. They covered email marketing, web development, social media management, data analytics and much more. This was beneficial, and it allowed me to use what I was learning in the workplace to showcase my growing knowledge.
Working alongside some of the industry’s finest over the past year has been brilliant. One of the things I enjoy most about agency life is the sheer variety of different campaigns and projects. Every day is different, and I’ve gained skills across digital activation, web development and project management, which I wouldn’t have done if I was sitting in lectures. Web development in particular is something I really enjoy.
I have also enjoyed working on creative and project management for Marketing Society events and the Edinburgh Business Beats Cancer Annual Dinner. A particular highlight for me was the ‘Take on 21’ event for Edinburgh Business Beats Cancer. It saw us climb the 7 hills of Edinburgh, walking 21 km to raise money for Cancer Research. As well as taking part in the event itself, I helped to deliver social and promotional content to raise money. We managed to achieve 180% of our original target, raising £18,000.
A big responsibility I’ve been given is running the agency’s social media accounts. This involves keeping up to date with the latest trends to plan and create content for social and it’s also a fantastic platform to promote our work and achievements to our audience. I even had the chance to do some social networking in real life when I attended the Marketing Society St Andrew’s Day dinner. It was my first industry event and I really enjoyed it.
My apprenticeship with Always Be Content has been an amazing experience. In the future I hope to continue to grow within the marketing industry and be a great asset to the agency. I also want to keep working with different clients and take any opportunity that comes my way to expand my skillset and knowledge.
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