It’s now been (very nearly) six months since I joined Conscious as a fresh-faced Digital Marketing Apprentice and, to mark the occasion I thought I’d reflect on my experiences so far.
There is occasionally a stigma attached to the title of being an ‘apprentice’. It’s unfortunately true that some companies have been found guilty of employing apprentices for minor financial gain, simply filling a void that exists within their workforce, rather than offering valuable training and experience to individuals who are looking to get a foothold in a competitive industry.
That’s certainly not been the case at Conscious. In fact, I would go as far to say as it has been the complete opposite.
Right from the off, I’ve been given the reassurance that I am in exactly the right environment to develop my skills, while simultaneously playing an active role in our Marketing Services department to deliver effective SEO and social media projects for our clients.
It was also nice to hear that our MD was an ‘apprentice’ at Rolls Royce ‘back in the day’ so he’s ‘been there and done it’.
What Exactly Do I Do for Conscious?
Good question. In short, a lot.
Writing and proofing copy, loading content on client’s websites and supporting our social media manager Laura Morris with, you guessed it, social media, are just some of things you can find me delving into on a day-to-day basis.
Since starting, my job role has developed significantly, and I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to dedicate more of my time to the area of the job I enjoy the most – writing content.
I recently graduated from the University of Reading with an English Language degree, so I’m more than used to writing on a regular basis. However, learning how to write with a specific purpose is a whole different ball game. That’s especially true when you’re tasked with writing about a complex area of law you can only attest to having a vague idea about beforehand!
Fortunately, Ed and Alice, our copywriter extraordinaires, have been a fantastic help, constantly giving me advice and pointers so that I can raise the standard of my writing to the highest possible level. I quickly learned how to craft content, which is not only accessible and informative, but also meets the needs of each respective client. That was only possible due to the support I have been lucky enough to have received on a daily basis.
What Else Does the Apprenticeship Involve?
The Digital Marketing Apprenticeship involves a lot of extra tasks that fall outside of the parameters of the job itself. Over the course of a year, through my training company I have been tasked with building a substantial portfolio of work, charting my personal development at Conscious, while also providing evidence of my proficiency with relevant marketing theories and skills.
I’ve already managed to get some of the tricky bits out of the way, including a coding exam (a copious amount of revision was required for that one) but there’s still plenty to do when it comes to building my portfolio. Thankfully, everyone has been understanding of the fact that I have these commitments and they are more than happy to work with me to create a schedule which strikes a perfect balance between the two.
As I’ve found out from some of the other people who are on my digital marketing course, that’s not always the case for other companies, so it goes without saying that the support I’m receiving at Conscious is hugely appreciated! It’s even true that certain tasks and support cases will be assigned to me with the view that it can then be used as evidence for my apprenticeship, thus supporting the completion of my course.
I’ve already completed all of my apprenticeship training modules, so now all that is left to do is to continue my professional development at Conscious. There are still plenty of skills for me to refine (I’m looking at you, coding), so the next six months will be a chance for me to step out of my comfort zone.
Fitting in at Conscious
Fitting in at Conscious has been a doddle. Starting as an apprentice, I was apprehensive about feeling a little out of place, but team lunches, an admittedly hazy Christmas party and a recent five-a-side football tournament are just some examples of the ways Conscious have helped make me feel like a valued member of the team.
What’s been most striking to me is that there is a clearly defined culture at Conscious. Our Managing Director of Stuff & Things, David Gilroy is always keen to remind us of why we do what we do i.e. “to help law firms make more money from their website”. But to achieve that goal, everyone in the company needs to be pulling in the same direction, or to use one of David’s metaphors,
“Everyone needs to be on the same bus”
Community is integral to this. It’s clear that, while Conscious’ overarching goal is to support law firms with digital marketing practices, there is much more to the company than just that. Conscious has a welcoming working environment with a group of like-minded individuals who are all a pleasure to work with – even when you have all just trawled into work on a wet and gloomy Monday morning.
Most importantly, the six past six months have made it clear that I’m not just ‘the apprentice’. I instead feel like a valued member of a well-oiled team, and that is probably the best part of the job.
Here’s to another successful six months!