We caught up with Chloe, one of WhiteHat’s Digital Marketing apprentices working alongside the WhiteHat marketing team. We wanted to find out more about Chloe’s experience; read on to find out how her apprenticeship changed her life.
1. Tell us about yourself
I’m Chloe and I’ve been WhiteHat’s Digital Marketing Apprentice for 7 months. Before securing an apprenticeship, I spent my time working 8 hours a week in a retail store whilst completing my A-Levels. I finished sixth form with 3 A-Levels and an unconditional placement at university but had my heart set on doing an apprenticeship. My inspiration was twofold: from my dad who completed an apprenticeship when he left school and from the women in my family working and commuting into London. I wanted to do the same.
2. What prompted you to seek out an apprenticeship?
I never fully understood the university hype. Yes I visited universities and applied, securing all four choices, but my heart wasn’t fully in it. I have always been very work and career-driven, yet still loved to learn! So, when I came across apprenticeships, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I had been studying A-Level Marketing, having dropped History after realising the subject didn’t align with my career ambitions, so after 2 years of studying, and an A*, I had a clear vision of where I wanted to take my career.
3. Where were you when you had that lightning-strike moment that made you realise you didn't have to follow the traditional path?
I’d always known that there was an alternative to university, but I just had to find the right path for me. Because of my father, I knew apprenticeships existed - and so, my research started. My family were extremely supportive, they just wanted me to be happy.
4. Walk us through your experience with WhiteHat
I first came across WhiteHat as a training provider when I applied for a Digital Marketing role at Google; the clients WhiteHat work with was definitely the biggest pull factor for me choosing WhiteHat as my training provider! Having studied marketing at A-Level, I knew that I wanted to go into a career where I could create my own content, measuring and understanding the impact it had on a target audience. After submitting my application, I received a call from WhiteHat where they asked me why I was interested in a Digital Marketing apprenticeship, discussing my intent, before inviting me into the WhiteHat offices for a Kick-Off Day. Fast forward 6 months and, whilst I had been unsuccessful with my Google application, I had landed my dream job at WhiteHat.
5. How has your apprenticeship changed your life?
Saying my apprenticeship has changed my life is extremely apt. Even in the past 7 months, I believe that my confidence in a professional environment has grown a lot, along with learning how to communicate, work and learn from people who are more senior than me. I really enjoy working for an organisation that strives to make it easier for others to make the change I made. None of my colleagues ever treated me like ‘the apprentice’; I’ve been treated with the same level of respect and expectation as every other member of staff. Plus, I’ve had access to a number of fantastic events, including a Livity Event at City Hall and the Apprentice Nation 6lack event.
6. What do most people get wrong about apprenticeships?
That it’s an easier route. Having a 9-5 job and studying towards a qualification is high pressured - you have to meet the expectations of both your team and coach - but I would not change it for the world! I believe that there is a perception that apprenticeships are ‘not as good’ as university degrees and that is something I want to change. An apprenticeship provides you with over 2 years of work experience within industry, teaches you the softer skills you need in life and you receive a well-earned qualification at the end.
7. Where do you want to see the UK get to with apprenticeships?
Whilst I’ve been incredibly fortunate to never be made to feel like ‘the apprentice’, I realise this is not the case for everyone in my situation. I’ve heard so many horror stories of apprentices who are only given the boring, easy tasks and don’t have any real ownership; this is something that needs to change. And it will - I think perceptions are already changing when it comes to apprenticeships, but there’s still a long way to go before they are seen on a par to university. I love the fact that I’m on an apprenticeship, working for a company that is trying to recognise those of us who actively choose to follow a different path. A company that is striving to get more young women into tech roles. I’ve been able to grow in a way I wouldn’t have done at university and I want to see other young people choosing a route that is not university, having the confidence to stand up and acknowledge that university isn’t necessarily the right option for them, instead of simply doing what is expected of them. There are different routes into organisations, and people need to choose the one that’s right for them.
8. Anything further to add?
One piece of advice I would give an aspiring Digital Marketing apprentice is familiarise yourself with the technical language (because trust me..there is enough to keep you learning) and don’t be afraid of change. The digital industry is developing so rapidly that marketing, as we know it, is constantly changing - keeps you on your toes!
Disclaimer: whilst WhiteHat’s marketing team worked with Chloe to upload and publish this blog, the views and opinions expressed are entirely her own! If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org