It’s National Apprenticeship Week, so there’s never been a better time to run through my experiences to help others start their apprenticeship journey off on the right foot! I’m Ed, Digital Marketing Apprentice, and I’m roughly four months into my apprenticeship journey at Transform Digital. I felt I’m in the perfect position to hand over some insight on the benefits of apprenticeships and what I’ve learned so far.
Without Baltic’s support when applying, I don’t think I would have been prepared enough to land this apprenticeship. They talked me through all of my questions and concerns, and even talked me down from trying a fancy dress option for my second interview!
When I first spoke to Katie from Baltic, who mentored me through my application, I didn’t know who she was, what she did, or why she answered the phone instead of a Transform employee. Was she a job application coach I had unknowingly signed up for? Had I added another person into the process by mistake? All of these concerns were put to ease immediately with a kind and thorough introduction: Baltic would handle my apprenticeship from start to finish, provide tips and feedback throughout the application and interview, and, if I got the job, they would continue to support me in the workplace.
Ahead of my first day, I didn’t quite know what to expect. My knowledge of digital marketing was limited but what I did know filled me with excitement, so an eagerness to learn more developed fast — that hasn’t lessened. I saw an opportunity to develop my skills in a growing industry and I had to take it!
The industries and roles I’ve worked in previously feel like the polar opposite of digital marketing, and I expected the transition to create a lot more friction for me (and them!) than it did. This made me very nervous throughout my interview process, but I felt as though the Transform team looked for and found the best version of myself rather than the bag of nerves sat in front of them.
I felt extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity to develop my skills and work on my character, which, despite my experience not being perfectly aligned to what the team do, has been embraced with open arms.
All nerves were instantly settled by the warm welcome I received from this new team on my first day, and I landed in the right frame of mind for learning. The confidence boost this gave me has developed my social skills outside of work, too.
My welcome to the office was exceptional! My first day involved taking part in a yoga session, which, like almost everything I’ve taken part in since joining Transform, I’ve had no previous experience of doing in the past. I didn’t know what to expect, I certainly enjoyed the experience, but it’s safe to say that I’m no natural-born yogi. Unfortunately, my lack of knack was caught on camera, then included in a promotional video for the instructor — it was hard to watch!
I was provided with an Induction Pack. This, as well as a written introduction to the team, acted as a ‘cheat sheet’ for my first week. Important passwords and contact details were put in one place for easy access, alongside a password manager (on the computer itself) so that potentially time-consuming tasks were made a lot easier. The whole team took a good slice of time out of their day, too, to help me feel settled and walk me through important tools and software, which left me feeling more relaxed and even more intrigued. One of the first tasks I did was writing my ‘Meet the Team’ blog which was a useful way for me to put my character on show and let the team see a slightly different side of me. (Read more Transform Digital blogs here… )
I think it’s important to note that, despite there being lots to cram in and my limited experience and knowledge, nothing felt rushed. I was given ample time to get comfortable with each task before being asked to do anything more challenging.
The thing that caught my eye about this role was the sheer number of learning opportunities I’d be presented with. This would be the case even if I was working solely for Transform Digital, as there’s an expert in each department to learn from — however, with another two companies of expertise in the Transform Group (Communications and ESG) to learn from, there was so much to delve into.
It’s one thing to gain a qualification from this apprenticeship, but gaining on-the-job, stuck-in work experience and a depth of expertise around me, too, was more important to me. I feel very fortunate to have found what I was looking for.
In my attempt to keep this blog post less than a million words, I can’t list everything I’ve learned so far. I started with the basics, broadly (and patiently) built my way up, and I can’t think of another period in my life that would come close to the number of things I’ve picked up during this apprenticeship. I’ve learned more during lunchtimes over the last 3 months than I’ve learned in the previous 3 years.
Three of the challenges that I’ve found most enjoyable are:
1. Recording my ‘National Apprenticeship Week’ video for YouTube.
2. Drone flying and, following on from that, obtaining my Drone Piloting License.
3. An introduction to coding websites using HTML and Brackets.
Comparing myself now to 6 months ago, I can honestly say that, despite there being a long way to go, I already feel more challenged, productive, organised, engaged, responsible, confident, emotionally aware, and generally mentally fit. I’ve eaten incredible food, watched one-of-a-kind acts, and visited some lovely locations that I would never have done on my own accord. I look forward to learning more, developing myself and pushing myself towards a future with more opportunities and insight, growing alongside the quickly advancing technological landscape.
NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK
So, all in all, I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone looking to widen their skillset. I’ve been lucky enough to be placed in an environment where I’m surrounded by experts who offer near-instant assistance across every stage of my journey, allowing me to resolve any problems I come across and develop my skills a lot faster than if I was stuck at home or in the classroom. I’ve also got assistance from Baltic who offer a whole host of wellbeing resources such as a free Headspace subscription as well as access to helplines on a wide range of different topics. Baltic have also given us some fun challenges and competitions to enter, such as the National Apprenticeship Week competition, which has ensured that I’m not getting too overwhelmed by the work, breaking it up with more light-hearted tasks as well as giving me ample time to reflect on the apprenticeship and review what’s gone well.
If anyone has any other questions or apprehensions about starting an apprenticeship, feel free to get in touch with us. I’d love to help!
Learn about how you can get started on your Apprenticeships journey here.