Case study - Alison Thomas: Seaside Creative Ltd

Alison Thomas completed her Level 3 Digital Marketing Diploma (apprenticeship) at the MET, whilst working at digital marketing and PR agency, Seaside Creative Ltd. She shares her journey here:

"Whilst completing my A Levels I realised that I didn’t want to go to university and would much rather get into the world of work whilst also achieving a qualification. I really enjoyed spending a week in Brighton with a marketing agency (Pegasus) and decided that I’d really like to get started on a career in marketing.

An apprenticeship was the best way to gain a qualification whilst also gaining invaluable work experience.

I attended classes every Tuesday at the Broadwater Campus with Niall Gavin, who walked me through the units of the diploma. Niall also visited me at work, and these 1:1 meetings allowed me to ask any questions I had about the work I was currently completing. As the units of the course were signed off, I could see that I was always making progress.

The apprenticeship framework went hand in hand with the job role I was fulfilling at Seaside Creative. The work I was completing for them was, more often than not, required for the apprenticeship, too. Having the flexibility of choosing which course units to complete also enabled me to fit my college work around the work I was doing at Seaside Creative. They have been very supportive throughout the entire process of my apprenticeship and ensured that I was always doing work that was relevant to my qualification, whilst throwing a few challenges in, too.

The Level 3 Digital Marketing Diploma was a great stepping stone to a Level 4 qualification (with the Chartered Institute of Marketing), and many of the skills I have learnt through the MET will be used to complete that one too.

Due to the huge variety of skills I learned whilst completing my diploma, I have been able to take on lots of different work at Seaside Creative, for different clients, with confidence. The skills I have gained can be used in different job roles in the future.

The whole experience was definitely rewarding! Completing the apprenticeship has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, as I have gained so much experience whilst also gaining a qualification.

The highlights so far have got to be being shortlisted for Young Achiever at the Adur and Worthing Business Awards, and being runner up in the MET's Apprentice of the Year Awards.

I have also attended lots of different events during my time as an apprentice, from business exhibitions (both as an exhibitor and a guest), to networking events and meetings, all of which have improved my confidence a lot."

Alison intends to continue in her role at Seaside Creative whilst studying for her Level 4 qualification with the CIM. We asked her if she had any advice for others considering an apprenticeship after completing school. She said:

"I would tell them that if they’re looking to kickstart a career in their chosen industry then an apprenticeship is a great option. The work experience you gain is second to none and will set you apart from other candidates as and when you apply for another job elsewhere. However, it is important to know that it takes a lot of work and dedication, and deciding to enrol in one shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly.

If you’re someone who learns best by 'doing' then an apprenticeship is probably for you - as long as you’re willing to apply yourself and put in the hard work. 

It's also important to find an employer (like Seaside Creative), who will be supportive of your apprenticeship and flexible enough to allow you complete your course units alongside your work."

You can find out more about apprenticeships at the MET here

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