National Apprenticeship Week – Natalie Parker

Apprenticeship role title and year started and completed:

I began my role as a Digital Marketing Apprentice in October 2019. As of the beginning of April 2021, I will be transitioning to a permanent Marketing Assistant role. 

What are/were your main responsibilities?

My responsibilities turned out to be surprisingly varied. Because our marketing team is so small, I have a lot of responsibility with regard to everything that goes on digitally. As expected, this includes managing social media, developing online content, and maintaining the faculty websites. I’ve also had the opportunity to take on some more unique jobs that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a Digital Marketing role, like filming and editing video content, interviewing for student ambassador positions, and moderating virtual open days. 

What do/did you enjoy about the apprenticeship?

Going into an apprenticeship, I expected a lot of shadowing, assignments, and menial tasks that anyone could do. Thankfully, this isn’t the case. I’m actually able to work completely autonomously, being encouraged to use and build on all my current skills, while also being given the freedom to branch out and learn new ones whenever it suits me. I do most of the work off my own bat which has been a very valuable learning experience so far, and has given me confidence in knowing I will be competent when I start my permanent role later this year. 

Would you recommend an apprenticeship and why?

I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anyone who is considering it. At first I had reservations about leaving a full-time job for an apprenticeship as it sounded less secure and like somewhat of a step backward. I was also concerned that, being a Uni of Sheffield graduate, I wouldn’t even qualify for the apprenticeship. Luckily the Uni did let me come crawling back and it was definitely the right decision on my part. It has pretty much guaranteed me a career in something I really enjoy and has given me plenty of growing room in the meantime to learn as much as I can. It has also acted as a very valuable stepping stone to a line of work that can otherwise be very competitive, especially for those struggling to get work experience.