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I cannot believe that I am already in the sixth month of my apprenticeship, the time has gone so quickly! I recently went back and read over my last apprenticeship blog post (http://www.flipflopmarketing.co.uk/blog-digital-marketing-apprentice) which was written as I was nearing the end of my first month at FlipFlop Marketing. Although it doesn’t seem that long ago, so much has changed since then.
I spent my first days at the 3aaa Academy in November. Since then I attend the Academy about once a month to complete various units towards my Level 3 qualification. The qualification is broken down into units and so far I have completed units on the Legal, Ethical and Regulatory requirements of a business, the Principles of Social Media within Business and Website Creation.
I have already made a start on the biggest unit of my course which is Principles of Marketing and Evaluation and I am due to start Social Media Advertising and Promotion later this month. Besides the work that we complete at the Academy there are also workplace units that are set for completion at work.
A lot of what I learn in the Academy is transferable into the workplace. Recently Elaine Carr, the owner of FlipFlop Marketing, and I attended a client meeting in Bury St Edmunds. We were discussing the client’s website which has been created on WordPress. Elaine suggested installing a plugin called Yoast to assist with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I was able to contribute to the meeting with my knowledge on the Plugin - how to use it and the benefits. This knowledge was learnt from the Website Creation unit completed at the Academy when I had to create a simple CMS website on WordPress, add appropriate Plugins and then review the website performance a month later.
Discovering hidden talents
When I started my apprenticeship my interest in digital marketing came from a passion for blogging, using social media and content writing. However as my apprenticeship has progressed I have discovered a love for everything analytical! Every month it is my responsibility to prepare reports on email campaigns as well as the analytics for various platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for FlipFlop Marketing and our clients. Not only do I enjoy creating the reports I also enjoy reviewing them and identifying what has worked well and what can be improved.
Getting out and about
Aside from the work that gets done in the office one thing we have continued to do since I started is to attend networking events. Networking is something I have really grown to enjoy as every event tends to be different with different formats and different people attending. 4N Networking events tend to be more on the formal side whereas other events such as WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprises) have a more relaxed feel to them. We find networking a great opportunity to get out and build our contacts.
Elaine and I attend HMP Highpoint prison once a quarter to run a Marketing Workshop for the men on the Business Studies course who are looking to start up their own business once released from prison. We also attend the quarterly Employer Engagement events. This is an initiative designed to put prisoners in direct contact with businesses who may be able to help them with employment once they are realised from prison. At the last event we went to in January there was a talk from the Governor about the aims of the prison and the opportunities offered to prisoners. We then got to experience something completely new that they had never done at these events before which was a tour of two of the residential units conducted by some of the prisoners themselves.
FlipFlop Marketing recently won an Amends People Award for Community Partner of the Month for our positive contribution to the prison with our Marketing Workshops. We were both delighted to receive an award for something we love doing so much and to know that our work is appreciated by both the staff and prisoners at Highpoint.
From here it will be interesting to see what else is to come for the last six months of my apprenticeship. I am very thankful to everyone who has supported me so far and I am also excited to experience what is left of the apprenticeship. I’m just hoping it doesn’t go too quickly though, as I am enjoying it far too much! My advice to any young people out there who are looking for an alternative to university would be to look into an apprenticeship. In my experience I have learnt a lot already, it has been fun and I have met some wonderful people along the way.
National Apprenticeship Week - Yasmin's Journey So Far