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Focus on Josh | From Apprentice to Digital Marketing Guru

From Digital Marketing Apprentice to Full-time Marketing Guru, Josh shares his story of how he achieved a distinction and tells us about life beyond his apprenticeship. ⁠

Two years ago, you had finished your GCSEs. You needed to make a decision about what you were going to do next in life. Remind us what it is like to be 17 and what it feels like to have finished school, something you have had to do for years, and now you are faced with the freedom of choices and decisions...

Being 17 had its ups and downs. Like anyone, I couldn't wait to finish my GCSEs. However, being 17 is a time of huge change. The friends I had made at school were all going in different directions and each one of us was trying to make the right decision on what to do next. I was increasingly aware of the responsibilities around me and the need to develop myself further. I had started to take driving lessons and was eager to become independent.

When it came to 'what next', I had a few options weighing upon me; whether I was going to go to a 6th form, college, or start an apprenticeship.

Finishing school allowed me the freedom to develop myself further. By joining a gym and just trying different things, I ended up meeting more people from a variety of backgrounds. These activities helped me become more confident.


What were the options you were considering and why did you decide to do a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship?

To answer this question, it is important to understand the experiences that I had throughout my GCSEs. One of the subjects which I studied was architecture, however, it was a subject which I struggled with. Although I like detail, technical drawings proved to be an area I should avoid (for the good of all future buildings).

I studied GCSEs through the pandemic. No matter who you are, the pandemic was a challenging time, full of change and uncertainty. Being a 15-16 year old student, studying for your GCSEs, made a naturally high pressured time even more challenging, as I didn't have the usual comfort and interaction of being able to spend time with friends. Working hard but then not being able to easily meet with friends, made for a difficult time. However, it was whilst going through this time, that the whole world seemed to rely on the digital world more. Myself included. Suddenly every interaction seemed to be happening via Zoom or Teams.

At the age of 17, I had completed my GCSE's and there was the big question that myself and all my colleagues were faced with; what do I do next? I could continue with A levels and go down a purely academic route, or I could go with a hybrid option of an apprenticeship that offered both learnings, at the same time as earning money. Maybe because of my experience of GCSEs through a pandemic and the lack of social interaction at that time, I felt very confident and comfortable about going into the workplace, which socially, had a range of people from a variety of backgrounds and different ages.

As for the subject, Digital Marketing seemed to be the most sensible choice. If we look at the world today, the digital environment is rapidly growing and developing around us. Digital marketing is ever-changing and here to stay. I wanted to invest my time and energy into a subject that is both current and relevant to today's economic environment.

I had previously done a digital marketing trainee role for a few months; working as a social media manager which gave me some insight on how to target certain audiences, create content across social platforms, and devise creative campaigns. This helped me to gain the confidence and certainty that a digital marketing apprenticeship was the right way forward.

However, even though I was confident that it was the right way forward and signed up for an apprenticeship with Estio, it wasn't certain that I would get a work placement. There is still the fear of the unknown. It's at this moment where you need to believe that you can achieve placement and that everything will work out.

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You were invited to an Interview with Inside Out Contracts. What was your first impression of Inside Out Contracts?

First impression? I remember going onto their website and being impressed that they had worked with big companies and brands that I recognised, such as MacDonalds or Hilton Hotel. They seemed an established brand, which had been around for decades, which I felt was important when it came to learning. I wanted to be in a company that was successful and experienced in what they did. A small new start-up was something I wanted to avoid. However, a large multi-national traditional corporate company could have been too rigid. Inside Out, seemed to be the perfect balance of not too small and not too big.

When I arrived for the interview, I first met with Hannah and Lisa. Like anyone, I felt a little nervous before the interview but I could tell that there was a relaxed and friendly vibe which made me feel at ease. When I was introduced to the wider team, I met a diverse range of people who were really approachable and kind.

I also loved where the office was situated. The office environment has a great ambiance and the company culture seemed to be kind, friendly, and focused. I just felt a natural fit.

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Your apprenticeship took 16 months and you gained a Distinction. Well done! You were then offered a full-time position at Inside Out Contracts which you accepted. What is it about Inside Out Contracts that you like and why is the company culture a good fit for you and your skills set?

It's a company that supports both team and individual efforts and trusts its employees with meaningful assignments. I love the independence I have and the ability to work in a broad sector of Digital Marketing, such as email marketing campaigns, website management, and social media to name a few.

The team is supportive and all have the goals of working to hit the company's targets, which I thrive off of.

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You have now passed your 3-month probation period in your new full-time role. How does that feel?

It feels amazing to finally have finished my 3-month probation period in my new full-time role. I now have the benefit of working on the projects I enjoy without having the need for coursework, excessive studying, and exams. In addition, I have gained more trust, independence and a working ethos that allows me to utilise my skills each day.

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