Mirren's Story

  1. What was your personal journey to deciding to complete an Apprenticeship?

I studied A levels in Business, Politics and PE and had every intention of becoming a sports physio, only doing Business because it fitted into the timetable. But I loved the Business course, and particularly Marketing. So, when it came to thinking about what next after school, realising that I preferred working and would prefer a future with no debt and money in the bank, I started looking at Apprenticeships. My brother had done an Apprenticeship so my family were very supportive, and we knew that I could progress on to completing a degree through Apprenticeship too, which is still my goal.

  1. How did you find out about the DM apprenticeship with Digital Native?

I found the job with Carmichael through the Gov.uk website, which is the best filter system for Apprenticeships. The business had also advertised the job through other routes, but I didn’t know to look at those websites. I had searched Apprenticeships which was my primary goal as I wanted training and qualifications.

  1. How easy was it to combine work commitments with study?

Really easy – the three days a month in College were very helpful and it was great to spend time with other Apprentices. The online courses that formed part of the learning were great as I was able to do these at home and make the most of my time in college to talk through any problems I was having with my coach and the other Apprentices. Carmichael were very supportive too and let me have time in work to complete my studying, either an hour each day or a day at the end of the week – which ever worked best for our working week.  

  1. What were the most useful parts of the course for you?

The extra courses were great – having a coach and Apprenticeship company who knew which the best ones were to study to help with both the Apprenticeship and with wider development in Marketing and Digital was crucial. The Coding exam was the surprising stand out for me – I would never have had the confidence to approach this on my own, but I had to do it as part of the course. I found it much easier than I had thought I would, and an added bonus was that I then became the only person in my team who could code which has been a great USP for me.  

  1. Did you learn anything new?

Masses! When I finished my A level in Business I knew a small amount about Marketing, but now I know so much about that and more. I would never have thought that the coding, analytics, customer journey and strategy were part of Marketing, and it’s been great to learn, understand and apply them.

  1. Did you introduce anything new to improve the business? (i.e. analytics)

I’ve been able to add value to my job and to Carmichael because of all that I learnt through my college time and the extra parts of the Apprenticeship beyond work. I’ve been able to change the company approach to web design, and introduce client communications and web analytics so that we now have reporting systems, web page statistics, and job ad trackers which inform the whole of the business. These have helped make Carmichael more productive and time efficient.

  1. With Digital Native you get an industry experienced coach to guide and help you through the course. Was this helpful and how often could you use your coach?

This was so helpful – Anna was able to bring her real- life experience to the academic teaching which made learning quick and easy as she could give examples of how we could implement what we learnt. I was also able to talk to her about situations at work, and together we could find solutions by applying the academic learning to the real examples I had to solve. Any questions I had were answered quickly and easily and made learning relevant, which is crucial for me.

  1. Do you plan to make Digital Marketing your career and if so, what next for you?

My plan is still to study for a Marketing degree and I’m currently hoping to start the CIM degree Level 6 from Oxford Brookes University once I have completed 2 years of work. My next project with Carmichael will be to redesign and build a new website and look at a rebrand for the business, which is huge and very exciting. I got so much from the Apprenticeship and l love working for Carmichael – I’ve hit all the goals I started out with, and with no debt!