To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2021 (8 to 15 February), we have decided to share the stories of some of the team who started their journeys at UMi as apprentices. Kate Buckle joined UMi in January 2020 and completed an apprenticeship in digital marketing before becoming a Digital Campaign Executive in November. Here, she reveals how the mix of classroom learning and on-the-job experience gave her the skills and the confidence to develop her career.
Kate Buckle shares her apprenticeship journey with UMi
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship at UMi?
I decided to do an apprenticeship at UMi to explore a new industry, further my digital marketing knowledge and gain work experience in a B2B business.
UMi was a company that came across as very professional, passionate about its employees and worked in new and creative ways. This innovative flare is what really appealed to me.
I have a passion for graphic design and I wanted to put my creativity to use while gaining professional skills to take the next steps in my career.
The apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity to get creative, gain work experience and improve my digital marketing skills in an established business.
What did the apprenticeship involve?
The apprenticeship was a mix of workplace training at UMi and classroom learning. It began with three weeks in the classroom with training on digital marketing-related topics such as paid ads and social media. I then started my workplace portfolio, where I would record further training and all the experience I was getting at UMi, for example working on live UMi campaigns. I liked that mix of external and internal training. It gave me a good grounding in digital marketing, and it also allowed me to make lots of new friends.
What skills do you think the apprenticeship taught you and how did it help you to get to know UMi as a company?
The apprenticeship taught me the foundations of digital marketing, from social media to paid ads, website coding and much more. But I also believe it taught me how to become more professional when working in a business environment, whether through communicating with colleagues and external partners or managing my workload and deadlines. It also grew my confidence when working in a team. I am now very open about expressing my ideas and being creative.
How has your career progressed and how has the apprenticeship helped you?
Since completing my apprenticeship, I have become a Digital Campaign Executive at UMi. I have taken on a lot more responsibility to look after social media, build campaigns, and support the wider team on different contracts.
My apprenticeship helped me to build my confidence quickly and I now feel that I have my own style and impact within the business. If it weren’t for the external learning, I don't think I would be as confident in my work. The skills and knowledge I have developed within the classroom have prepared me to take my career to the next level.
What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are beneficial to anyone looking to gain skills and get a feel of the working world. You can achieve both of these, while also earning a salary.
They are also perfect for more practical learners who prefer a more hands-on approach. When you’re in the workplace, you are consistently learning and picking up new things. I loved my apprenticeship at UMi. Even though it was hard work, it was defiantly worth it for the experience, fun, and the opportunity to grow my knowledge and gain the qualifications.