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Apprentice Q&A – Marketing

8th March 2019

As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we are interviewing our current and past apprentices, to find out what it’s like to complete an apprenticeship, and work at Bradbury Group.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to our former marketing apprentice, Katie Harrison, to provide an insight into completing an apprenticeship, and life at Bradbury Group as the Marketing Executive.

Katie Harrison, 24, Marketing Executive

What apprenticeship did you complete and why?

After completing A-levels in maths and science subjects, and spending one academic year at university studying business, I felt as though I was not on the right career path for me. I left university and, as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but always enjoyed being creative, I enrolled in a Level 4 Art & Design course at North Lindsey College. During my time there, I got to develop my skills in all areas of art and design, and learned that I most enjoyed photography and graphic design. Through looking into university courses, I realised marketing sounded ideal for me, as it can be so varied, and combines creativity with writing and business. Whilst completing this course, I discovered that Bradbury Group were looking for a student from NLC to join them as a marketing apprentice. I instantly applied as I knew this would be a better route to a marketing career for me than going to university, and I was successful. Through my apprenticeship, I achieved a Level 3 Certificate in Digital Marketing, and an NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Marketing.

What are your main responsibilities in your job role?

My job is very varied, which I love. I’d say my main responsibility as a marketer is to promote the company both internally and externally, ultimately, to increase productivity and sales. This is achieved by carrying out day-to-day tasks and longer-term projects outlined in the marketing strategy, which is aligned with the company’s vision of becoming a world-class manufacturer of steel doors. These include designing literature and graphics, managing our social media, creating email campaigns, planning and running events, editing and updating the website, writing content for articles, and liaising with our agencies and partners. The tasks I complete are essentially vehicles for the messages that we are trying to communicate to our audience, whether that’s our employees or our customers.

How has doing an apprenticeship helped you in your job?

Doing an apprenticeship has helped me to gain the essential skills required to work in a marketing role, and provided a strong foundation for me to build my marketing career upon. Through my apprenticeship, I had to demonstrate capability through a variety of tasks and projects, as part of the course framework. Some of the things I did during my apprenticeship included leading projects, delivering presentations, creating marketing plans, designing literature and graphics, and managing social media. This helped me to gain experience in several aspects of marketing, and develop a diverse range of skills which has helped me in my job. To help me complete my apprenticeship, North Lindsey College provided me with a tutor, Karen Locking, who has many years of experience in marketing, and has her own social media consultancy business. Having regular one-on-one sessions with Karen helped me to gain some of her knowledge, and learn the principles of marketing, which was invaluable. Before completing my apprenticeship, I struggled with anxiety, but I believe that my time as an apprentice has substantially improved my confidence, helping in my work and personal life.

What do you hope to accomplish career-wise in the next five years?

Over the next five years, I want to continue to develop my skills and knowledge in marketing, so that I can become more confident in coming up with and expressing ideas, and implementing them to improve business and increase sales. In my role, I most enjoy the graphic design element, and hope that in five years time I will be a strong designer. Within the next five years, I aim to progress into a leadership role, and would love to have an apprentice or an assistant within my department which I can mentor.

Why would you recommend an apprenticeship to someone considering one?

Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn. I believe they provide a strong foundation to build a career upon, providing you with the resources and opportunity to gain the fundamental skills required. Through an apprenticeship, you gain real-life work experience, as well as several qualifications, which will be invaluable when securing a permanent position, and in career progression.

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