HR - learning & organisational development

Many Congratulations to Amy Jackson on achieving your Apprenticeship Distinction

5 October 2020

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Amy started a Level 3 Apprenticeship Digital Marketer Standard in 2018 and successfully completed it with a Distinction In September 2020.

  1. What made you start this Apprenticeship, when did you start and how long did it take you?

I had spent a few years managing social media platforms voluntarily for a local business, as well as building two personal blogs in my personal time. I was already actively looking to work for the University of Kent, when I discovered an advertisement for my current role which included the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.

Through structured learning and hands-on experience in my job role, I was excited to be able to fill in any gaps in my self-taught knowledge and work towards gaining a recognised qualification.

I started my employment for my role on 31st May 2018, but began my apprenticeship with Arch Apprentices in January 2019, successfully completing the apprenticeship in August 2020.

Which Apprenticeship are you undertaking and which training provider is supporting you, why did you choose this standard and provider?

I completed a Level 3 apprenticeship in Digital Marketing with Arch Apprentices as the provider. This qualification was assessed by The British Computer Society (BCS): The Chartered Institute of IT and I am also now listed on the Public Register for Professional IT Technicians (RITTech). This was particularly important to me as I wanted to ensure that I was meeting industry standards and gaining a recognised qualification that would enable me to gain quality learning for my career. This course also included an exam in the Principles of Coding through BCS, learning more about HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Understanding coding and how to fix issues has been highly valuable and has further provided me with the confidence that I am a fully competent Digital Marketer.

What was your Apprenticeship journey like?

While there have been numerous challenges during the journey that have been outside of our control, the overall outcome has been worth it. I have always viewed my apprenticeship as an investment into my own professional development and career path, and while it has been a challenge to juggle the course and a full-time job, this has proven my ability to manage my time and to continue to be self-motivated.

For my apprenticeship, the learning was all self-driven online with a variety of resources including the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing and completing the Google Analytics Courses for both Beginner and Advanced Level, which includes further certification I can carry forward. Personally, I prefer this style of learning as I can work to my own pace. The platforms offered included video content, written transcript and plenty of resources to further my knowledge, which I found was a great way for me to work towards my preferred learning style.

I also completed four large projects to evidence my applied learning at the University of Kent. While this took several months to go through, it was a great way to showcase my understanding of a wide range of areas in Digital Marketing, as well as for me to personally reflect on how far I had come.

What was the End Point Assessment like – what was your outcome?

For my End Point Assessment, I completed a Synoptic Project over four days. There were three key areas in Digital Marketing to pick for the exam, and as I had already submitted four projects focused on Social Media Management, Social Media Advertising, Email Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I chose to focus on Data Analytics. I felt this would help to challenge me as I adopted the role of a Digital Analyst for the exam, as well as provide further evidence for the assessor that I am able to analyse, gather, review and present recommendations based on data.

The project was a fantastic way to gain insight into how a Digital Analyst would analyse the existing marketing activities for a client, assess the performance of those activities and review the client's marketing assets. I was also then able to conduct my own market research and against the industry standard for the sector, I was given, and then present my findings and subsequent recommendations that an agency could deliver in a real business scenario, in line with the client's values and business goals.

Following the completion of the Synoptic Project, I had an online interview with an assessor to go through the work I had submitted and ensure that I had met all of the competencies set in the criteria. This was then judged according to how I had met these competencies – including whether these were above the set expectations.

How do you feel?  What are you doing next?

I am delighted to have achieved Distinction for my Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship – which is the highest grade! My love for Digital Marketing and enthusiasm to continue to stay on top of trends, digital tools and ways to connect with users across communities continues, and I am always finding new courses and certifications outside of work to continue building my knowledge and professional development.

Next, I plan to focus my career in both Digital Marketing and Social Media platforms, to continue to provide value and customer-focused content for audiences. I want to continue to make a difference, and help bring communities together online, especially during a time of social distancing and restrictions for people face-to-face.

What is your advice to others? And if there anything else you would like to add or say about your Apprenticeship experience.

My advice to others who are currently completing an apprenticeship is to find ways to make it easier for yourself to build on your knowledge and learning. Digital Marketing is a broad area that covers social media, email marketing, paid advertising, content creation and building relationships with individuals, communities, internally and with larger professional organisations. While this can feel overwhelming at times, finding small but efficient ways to stay on top of information can be hugely beneficial and still support your learning. For me, subscribing to podcasts, email updates and joining virtual conferences has been fantastic to remain up to date on industry best practice and standards.

For anyone who may be considering an apprenticeship, I would recommend you look into the qualifications and professional registers that you can be on once you complete the course. For me, my apprenticeship in Digital Marketing was an extension of my degree and continued investment into my education. I made the decision to commit to this course in my late twenties, knowing that there is never a wrong time to invest in your own learning.

If you're passionate about the subject area you're looking to study in, gaining a qualification through an apprenticeship can be a great way to enhance your skills and give you a competitive edge. Knowing that I could apply my learning in my current role while I was learning it, was really encouraging and a great way to feedback into the university.

I'd like to thank Loretta Izod and Katherine Moss for all of their support throughout this apprenticeship and for the opportunity I have had to gain a fantastic qualification.

 

If you would like more information about the range of fully funded Apprenticeships,

please contact your Employee Apprenticeship Manager Loretta Izod via MS Teams or email to arrange a meeting.

Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ

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Last Updated: 26/02/2018