How I Started My Degree Apprenticeship
My name is Fabien, I am a second year Digital Marketing degree apprentice studying at The University of Chichester.
When I left Sixth Form, I knew little about digital marketing but could see the field was expanding fast. I familiarised myself with the changes in the industry through articles from Moz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal although a valuable insight only progressed me so far.
In March 2017, I landed an internship role at iSOS.com, a web solutions agency with offices in Lewes and Brighton. I was mentored by the previous head of marketing – which gave me a real insight into the sector. With his guidance I soon understood the workings of the company and I was promoted to Junior Digital Marketing Assistant.
As the company grew, I took the initiative to create a strategy and routine that would allow me to study further yet expand my skill set via the workload I had taken on. I developed my knowledge base while gaining practical experience, which allowed me to take on new role as a Digital Marketing Specialist.
In 2019, I took a further promotion to Digital Marketing Manager for iSOS.com & the sister company bitdigital.io. I’m a firm believer in dialogue so an honest and open discussion with my company was my first port of call. With their full support, I began a four-year Degree Apprenticeship in BSc Digital Marketing at the University of Chichester. This allows me to gain valuable work experience while applying knowledge acquired through the degree course, which is the perfect solution for me.
What does a typical day look like for you at university and work?
My day starts the night before by planning everything I need to do and how I’m going to achieve it. Work starts at 8.30 am with a company morning meeting to discuss what had been achieved the day before and what everyone is going to achieve on that day. I work on the various digital marketing campaigns I manage up until 4 pm. From 4-7pm, I research, revise or work on any University assignments. I will ensure to have 3 short breaks throughout the day, without it my productivity drops significantly.
I attend university once a week, on a Tuesday. We have two modules per semester and two seminars each Tuesday. The first seminar is 9am -12pm and the second is 1pm- 4pm, we have lunch in between.
How do you use the knowledge learnt from your degree into your apprenticeship?
New knowledge is applied when possible directly to the campaigns I run. I also apply theories learnt to optimise my leadership style, schedule, time management, stress management and motivation. It’s not always possible to apply everything I have learnt at University as the work I do may not always require that skillset but I am certain it will help in my future career.
What would be your best advice to anyone thinking of doing a degree apprenticeship?
Plan your day the night before and manage your time effectively – you will stay on top of the workload. Use stress positively, control it to maintain work intensity. Write your goals down, stay motivated.
Fabien Thresher, BSc (Hons) Digital Marketing Degree Apprentice