In August 2019, we welcomed our second apprentice and the first ever to join the PR and Marketing department. 2 years on, Bea Everatt has completed her Level 3 in Digital Marketing with Distinction, has been promoted internally and has subsequently become a fully-fledged member of the WSA team.
In our latest blog, Bea looks back on her time as the PR & Marketing Apprentice and reveals what lies ahead for her WSA career…
Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
Despite some appealing offers from Universities after completing my A-Levels, I decided that I was more attracted to the idea of working and earning than I was to studying away from home and completing a degree. This sparked the idea of an apprenticeship. Being an apprentice meant that I could work full time, learn and earn, gain professional experience and knowledge of the industry and finish with a qualification. My main priority never changed as I wanted to continue with my studies whilst being dedicated to developing my professional career, but I was persistent to do this in a way that suited me and my goals.
So, I began trawling the internet and looking into industries that would build a great platform for my career (whilst keeping in mind my skillset) and after extensive research, I found the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship position within the PR department at WSA and applied straight away.
During my research trying to find the ideal job opportunity, I came across WSA and I was initially attracted to the ethos and personality of the business that came through the screen. After a quick google search, I was sold by the team of smiley faces and furry paws that greeted me. That’s right…we’re often treated to seeing our fluffy friends bouncing around the office with us too!
My first interview also solidified my choice to apply for this apprenticeship as everyone gave me a warm welcome and I felt confident that within the PR team and wider organisation, the professionalism and wisdom that radiated from the office would benefit and support my development and boost my career.
How did you balance college/work?
Initially, I attended college one day per week, learning about the basics of digital marketing, and working in the office for the remaining four days, completing my day-to-day tasks and implementing everything I had learnt from college into my job. After completing all the knowledge modules, I utilised my “college time” to focus on my course work and portfolio, which was compiled of detailed accounts and evidence of when I had applied theory into my tasks at work.
In addition to the coursework, I also studied for two exams as part of my apprenticeship, which included the principles of coding and principles of marketing. I was lucky enough to receive support from members of the team such as WSA, Senior Front-End Developer, who supported my revision on a 1-1 level and allowed me to shadow her to ensure there were no gaps in my coding understanding prior to my exam.
Throughout my 2 years as the PR apprentice, I have received extensive guidance and support from my colleagues not only for my college-based work but also for my own professional development in terms of client-based tasks. I have since flourished in confidence and my own skills have subsequently progressed which has secured me the promotion to PR & Marketing Executive.
What have you loved most about being an Apprentice at WSA?
From day one on the job, I was submerged into agency life and I got stuck into being an apprentice and learning about every aspect of the industry. As a multi-service agency, I was exposed to each department and got the opportunities to develop my understanding of the wider marketing sector. I’ve worked alongside an incredibly supportive team that consists of Sue Colby, Senior PR & Marketing Account Manager, and Joe Cuffaro, Head of PR & Marketing, who between them have over 50 years of experience in the PR industry under their belt.
Everyone at WSA has taken the time to guide me through the entire process of my apprenticeship and I have become a more knowledgeable, more experienced and much more confident individual. From the offset, I got to cut my teeth in the world of PR and Marketing and throw myself into projects and challenges to learn the ropes like the PR pros who sit beside me. Now, I’m an established member of the team, settled into agency life and fulfilling the WSA ethos every day. For that reason, the people at WSA are what I have loved the most during my time as their PR apprentice.
What qualifications did you gain from your Apprentice?
I achieved a Distinction in Level 3 Digital Marketing which also included the following certificates and online courses:
· Level 3 Principles of Marketing (BCS)
· Level 3 Principles of Coding (BCS)
· Google Analytics: Beginner and Advanced
What are your goals in the future?
Following on from my apprenticeship, I will continue with my development and studies to ensure I am always progressing my professional skillset and career. I will work closely with my team to gain further vital experience to improve my knowledge and abilities to fulfil my new role as PR & Marketing Account Executive.
A word from our Head of PR & Marketing on their experience of having an Apprentice in the team…
It has given us all great pride to see Bea develop her PR skills and we are excited to see how she continues to grow in her new role at WSA. Our department had not acquired an apprentice previously, so this was a new experience for us as well as for her. To say it is a venture we would recommend to others would be an understatement. Gaining a hungry and talented individual who wants to absorb information and do the best that is possible is something most businesses would benefit from and we are very pleased that we chose to embark on this journey. There are many reverse learning benefits to having an apprentice and I have certainly grown as a manager through my direct engagement with Bea. We are grateful to Milton Keynes College for their role in ensuring we gained such a fantastic apprentice who has now become an integral member of staff. – Joe Cuffaro, Head of PR & Marketing
Want to know more about WSA apprenticeships? We’re delighted to have featured in a video for MK College, staring our very own Bea Everatt and Molly McCarthy, who have both now completed their apprenticeships.
Check out the video here!