Tell me about the moment when you knew your apprenticeship was done.
I was sitting at my desk and I got an email. I literally stood up and said "It's done!", and everyone started looking at me like I was a bit weird, but I didn't care - probably one of the most satisfying feelings, to be honest. I could say I'd managed to work here for a year and it shows that I was dedicated to learning as well, so yeah it felt good.
Worth it in the end?
Of course! I think more than anything it's a big step because a lot of my friends and family always seem to think I'm going to drop out, like I dropped out of school. I dropped out of quite a lot of things, so it's good to actually see something through to the end. I mean there were times when I wanted to throw my apprenticeship work in someone's face but I stuck at it, I got stuff done and I get my certificate today!
You were in a full-time job before this one so was it a risk to take an apprenticeship?
It was and it wasn't. In a way it was a risk in terms of what I was used to earning but at the same time it was a solid foot in the door to a career path.
And what was the highlight for you last year?
Finally seeing everything signed off on smart assessor! At one point there was a lot of back and forth where my work hadn't been marked yet or I'd submitted something and I thought it was completed, but there were a couple of things that needed changing so I thought I was further along than I was. But in the last month or so, everything just came together quickly and that was it and I had that feeling that I'd actually completed something and that everything was up to scratch. It was pretty good.
How has your role changed? Same team?
Yes. I'm in the same team that I was in when I started my apprenticeship so it's just me and my manager, Richard. We are the UK marketing team at the moment! There was no one here helping him before I came along, I've done a year's trial run and at the end of it he wanted to keep me, so I made a difference.
I've seen a couple of other faces around that I recognise.
Yeah, at Interxion, all three of us got offered a job. I know Josh is full time now, and Shahin is on a three-month contract with the possibility of extending full-time. All three of us have a lot of opportunities.
Does it feel quite different not having that apprenticeship work?
Yeah! It's very different, I mean when it comes to Monday evening, I get to go home.
Apart from when you have to collect your certificate!
Oh yeah of course haha! You had to get in that one more day.
Exactly! You are the UK marketing team now and so what are your goals going into this next year?
I'm hoping to move away from the junior assistant role and to get a proper marketing role, which is basically what I'm doing now but with a better title. But the company has been looking at marketing training courses for me to go on. Some of them are just short courses but there are two where I would get a Level 3 and a Level 4 qualification. I'm hoping I can stick around, get those under my belt and then after that, who knows? Either move up into a higher position here, or find a marketing position somewhere else.
A Level 4 is quite an advanced qualification.
It's a course with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, so it all seems very posh! A lot of this stuff is what I do anyway. A lot of it centres on email marketing and learning your target audience so I feel like I've got a bit of an advantage there as I'v e been in a marketing job already. I think one of the courses (a Level 3) is aimed at junior marketing people like myself or at people who are aiming to get into marketing so that will be good for me, like a refresher, and should give me a good basis to start the Level 4.
Looking back, if someone was about to start the Tech City Stars programme, what is the best advice you can give someone?
Just work hard, and don't moan about having to go to the evening sessions because they're not that bad. It seems like it on paper, you have to spend two hours in the evening but they're over in a flash and you actually get to learn some interesting stuff. Work hard and it will be a breeze.
Job Title: Junior Marketing Assistant
Start Date: September 2013
Quote: 'There were times when I wanted to throw my apprenticeship work in someone's face but I stuck at it, I got stuff done and I get my certificate today!'