Hi, my name is Tom, and I recently started a 15-month Apprenticeship with SEP2 in Digital Marketing. I previously studied Music Technology at the university of Huddersfield, graduating in 2019 with a second-class honours degree. After completing my degree, I wanted to find a job that wasn’t too serious and would let me have plenty of time for socialising with my friends. After a few jobs in hospitality that I didn’t enjoy much, I started working at the Lego store in Manchester which was only intended to be a short 6 months of my time, but with the help of global pandemic – 6 months became 2 and half years. I adored my time there (I built a LOT of Lego) and made some terrific friends, but I felt I wanted a different career which would allow me to be creative and learn new skills.
Originally, I wanted to work in the music industry but really wasn’t sure what avenue to take, compiled with the fact that it is increasingly difficult to get an entry level position in that industry, I was struggling and feeling lost. Realising I had to reassess my career path and broaden my job search, I started thinking what jobs I would first and foremost enjoy, but also be able to apply the existing skillset I had from education and hobbies. I came across a host of digital marketing jobs and they looked fun, creative and varied in the day-to-day responsibilities. Furthermore, as the digital world becomes ever more crucial for businesses, this particular type of job would be more and more in demand.
Why an Apprenticeship?
As I was looking to apply for jobs, it became apparent that although I had the belief I would be able to work well in these roles, I just didn’t have the experience or marketing degree necessary to get an interview. I came across some apprenticeships that looked interesting and didn’t require years of experience in that field to apply. However, I was slightly resistant to apply to begin with me being 23 at the time, I assumed companies would be looking for younger applicants more around the 17/18 mark. Moreover, having completed an honours degree, it did feel as if maybe I was taking a step back rather than forward.
As I researched more and saw real life examples of people who had undertaken an apprenticeship, I realised I was wrong, an apprenticeship was a chance to re-train in a field I was new to whilst still earning a living. The combination of learning through an external training company to achieve the qualification in addition to receiving on-the-job training was an incredible opportunity. I knew that an apprenticeship would be the perfect foundation for a prosperous career.
There is a wide range of businesses looking for Digital Marketing apprentices, so I began applying to the most appealing and exciting opportunities. As with any job search, it can be time-consuming, lots of jumping through hoops and ultimately disheartening if you don’t hear back from the job postings that interest you most. I got very close with two separate Digital Marketing positions at other companies but just missed out due to other applicants having more practical experience.
As the months went on, I very nearly stopped the job search altogether, but I saw the SEP2 job go up on indeed.com and decided to give it another shot. The main reason being that the roles and responsibilities for this position looked like exactly what I wanted – the opportunity to cover most aspects of digital marketing from content production to SEO. Another reason to apply was that SEP2 paid considerably more than other companies advertising for similar positions for which said to me that they valued apprentices, furthering my respect for this organisation.
During the interview I was very much made to feel at ease (which is rare for an interview in my experience), and the job was absolutely sold to me. I would be joining a small but hard-working marketing team and be exposed to all areas of the marketing strategy, rather than being pigeonholed in one section – this is exactly the kind of variety I wanted from a job.
Additionally, SEP2 is a company that is experiencing rapid growth in a sector that is only going to grow as technology becomes ever more present and important in society. Therefore, getting into a cybersecurity business now can only be a good thing in my opinion. It might sound cheesy, but I came away from the interview with a feeling that this was the job I had been waiting for and that all the months or writing CVs and cover letters were worth it.
The training provider I will be studying with, LDN, are a professional, passionate company that was originally set up to help young people get a foot in the door in a variety of businesses after the 2008 financial crash. The modules I will be completing such as ‘Google Analytics’ and ‘Principles of Coding’ will be invaluable to me as I will become a more well-rounded marketer and will be able to start implementing that knowledge in my role at SEP2. 90% of LDN apprentices end up in full time work upon completion – this gives me great faith in my future prospects.
What do I hope to achieve?
As the world of digital marketing is a new one to me, I don’t know exactly what avenue I would like to pursue later in my career. That’s the exciting part about this apprenticeship, I will cover so many areas such as SEO, marketing reports and social media, it will allow me to find what I enjoy and excel in. I am especially excited to learn how a variety of content is made for a business that is interesting and ‘on-brand’. Something I’m really excited by is the challenge of creating engaging, informative content for the SEP2 website and social channels.
Why should businesses take on apprentices?
An apprentice can offer so much a company. Not only are they getting someone who is eager to learn; but someone who they can teach to carry out the job in exactly the way they want. In the perspective of an employer, you can get out of an apprentice what you put in. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of this as Since 2010, approximately 5,040,400 people have started apprenticeships in the UK. The full facts and figures are here.
My first impression of SEP2 is that I’ve made a great choice. This is an environment where I will not only be able to learn, but actually contribute ideas and help the growth of a company that has shown faith in me. I love the team I am in, and I don’t feel at all nervous to ask questions which is key for a work environment. All of this has really shown me that this is an organisation that genuinely believes in their core value of being ‘Tech Driven, People powered’. Looking forward I am really excited to learn as much as I possibly can whilst becoming an integral member of the SEP2 team.
If the opportunity of working with SEP2 is something that excites you too, head over to the Join our Team page to find out more.