The annual National Apprentice Week 2020 is taking place from 3rd February till the 7th. The week aims to celebrate all apprenticeships and here at Return, we have 5 amazing apprentices. We decided to give you an inside scoop on what their experience has been so far.
What interested you about Return’s apprenticeship scheme?
Saffron: When I left University, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do as I studied quite a niche subject. So when I saw Return’s apprenticeship programme, I thought it would be the perfect way to do something that was somewhat related to my degree, but still allowed me to learn and develop new skills.
Nisha: The apprenticeship allows you to learn how to manage your time whilst you contribute to the wider business and client activity. The great thing about Return is that everyone is willing to teach you and take the time to really train you. The mentality of ‘building the apprentices from the ground up’ really allows you to pick the best skills up that can mould you into the ideal digital marketer.
Kate: The apprenticeship is the perfect way to develop the skills and knowledge you need to get you kick started in your career. Return seemed like a perfect opportunity, everyone takes the time out for any training needs and help you to build the relevant knowledge needed to progress and grow.
Aliyah: I’ve always liked the prospect of being able to learn on the job, gaining practical and relevant experience. A typical route through University wasn’t for me so I always knew I wanted to do an apprenticeship as soon as I left college. Return has enabled me to learn real hands-on training, in various areas of digital marketing, and the ability to make meaningful contributions to the business.
Emma: The apprenticeship scheme offers the best of both worlds in regards to academia and employment. Being able to study valuable skills within a working environment means you can put the skills you have learnt to practise immediately. For me, this was beneficial, after studying at university and realising I wanted a change. I came across this apprenticeship and thought it would be the best option and wished there were more apprenticeships when I left college.
What’s a typical day like for you in your role?
Saffron: As a Content and Outreach Assistant, my day is constantly busy. Whether I’m writing blog posts for clients, sending outreach emails, brainstorming potential campaign ideas or conducting keyword research. It’s certain that I won’t ever be bored.
Nisha: With my role as an Assistant Client Partner, it’s hard to predict what’s next on the agenda. From meeting a client face-to-face, chasing any unexpected queries or creating a quarterly strategy review for our clients, no part of this role is predictable! Being in this part of the team allows me to dip in and out of PPC, Technical SEO, CRO and Paid Social, and that really helps in giving me the foundational knowledge in lots of areas that digital marketing involves.
Kate: As a Paid Social Assistant, my schedule changes every day and I’ve always got something different on my to-do list. Most days I will be working on clients’ accounts, building ads or analysing data from their account and checking the performance of current live ads. I could also be assisting with writing weekly or monthly reports that are required for a client.
Aliyah: There is no such thing as a typical day. My job role includes a variety of different aspects of marketing from social media and email marketing to event planning, video creation and blog posts. An aspect of planning for content creation however, is often always involved in my day-to-day responsibilities.
Emma: A normal day for me always starts with a brew. Then after that my day includes a variety of tasks which comes down to 3 groups; analysing data, optimizing websites, and technical SEO. Each of these has lots of different subtasks which make my day very varied which means it never gets boring.
How are you finding the apprenticeship and what has been your favourite parts so far?
Saffron: Everyday is completely different, and I’ve learned so much in my time here to the point where I’m entirely responsible for my own clients. Everyone in the office is super friendly, which means that you look forward to coming to work each day.
Nisha: When you reflect and think back on all the little tasks you’ve completed here and there, you actually come to realise how much you’ve learnt in such a short space of time. It’s really good, in that respect, that none of the work feels overwhelming or nerve-wracking because you’ve learnt bit-by-bit; when you take a step back you can really see how that feeds into the wider goals of your job, but also the ones you have for yourself.
Kate: Over the short time I’ve been here I’ve learnt so much, but not so much that I feel overloaded with information! My knowledge and skills are progressing constantly as I’m always learning something new. The office is always in good spirits and it’s nice to work in an environment where everyone knows each other and everyone’s so lovely!
Aliyah: The apprenticeship so far has taught me how much planning and research goes into marketing. My favourite aspect so far has been the eye-opening experience of being in a real work environment. There’s always a positive working atmosphere in the office and everyone in the team is super friendly.
Emma: So far my apprenticeship has been going well, being in such a great environment to complete this apprenticeship has helped me greatly to get to the point I’m at now. One of my favourite parts so far has got to be the vastness of the skills that I am learning. Every day I learn something new, some of which I have been able to use in my personal life as well.
What are you looking forward to in your apprenticeship?
Saffron: I think the thing that I’m most looking forward to is developing even more skills that will help me in my future career. I’m hoping to progress quickly through the Apprenticeship so that I can embark on a fulfilling career path.
Nisha: As I learn more and more each day, I’m really keen to get more stuck in and progress to have more responsibilities, which will happen when I’ve acquired the right knowledge to help me and the team keep our clients happy!
Kate: I’m excited to grow as I learn more and build up my skills to be able to progress into managing clients myself and become more involved deeper into the complex activities that are involved with managing the different clients.
Aliyah: The event planning and execution is definitely an exciting part of the job which I’m looking forward to. Also, the video content creation side and various other miscellaneous activities such as an office photoshoot that we have recently completed.
Emma: I am looking forward to learning more and more so then I can tick off the goals and start tasks that I have set myself in future. I am also looking forward to what the team I am in can do in future, utilizing the skills I’ve learnt.
What would be your advice to others looking into apprenticeships?
Saffron: Apprenticeships are completely different to how they were even a few years ago, they’re no longer just about manual skills. So if you’re considering it then you can be sure that there will always be one in a subject that interests you, which will not only develop your skill set but help you grow as a person too.
Nisha: For me, it was the next step in my life to find the right career path that suited me and having an open mentality to new opportunities will really help your future self. I also found listening to the experts really helped! Coming out of University was a confusing and scary time because essentially you can’t predict what’s next, but with the expert knowledge and skills the team have here, they saw me as an individual who had a particular skill-set that they could improve and develop over time. So staying open-minded and listening to the right people can really set you on the right path – it has in my experience so far!
Kate: After graduating from university it was a difficult time as the next big step in life was stepping into a career and getting on the right career path can prove a challenge. If you have the right mind-set and are willing to learn and build your expertise, definitely look into the right apprenticeship suited to you. It will allow you to get all the skills you need to develop in your desired career.
Aliyah: Do some research about the industry you want to go into and show interest in wanting to work in it in your CV and application forms. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, just bring a positive can-do attitude and try to showcase your skills as much as you can. There are so many amazing apprenticeships out there, you never know when one company will give you that chance!
Emma: If you have been reading these and think yes, then start looking into what subjects you like. Even if the specific career path you like doesn’t come up most apprentices are very varied and may include elements of that subject soo, keep looking and start applying. Once you’ve landed the apprenticeship you will wish you had started sooner!
If you’re looking to pursue a career in digital marketing, keep an eye on our careers page for job postings!