Robyn's Story - Learning To Code


Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

When I finished my A-levels I knew I wanted to get into Marketing. I didn’t want to go to university because I had responsibilities at home, plus the idea of not having much money and living with others didn’t appeal to me. I went straight into a marketing role but found that the training and guidance I had been promised didn’t materialise. I decided the best way to ensure I’d get the training I needed was to do an apprenticeship. My parents are hard workers and believed I could be successful regardless of the path I took.

How did you find the vacancy at Origin?

I originally applied for Mirren’s job on the gov.uk Find An Apprenticeship portal. When I was unsuccessful, I stayed in touch with Martin and he put me forward for the job at Origin.

How easy has it been to combine work and study?

Very easy. I’ve been lucky because my employer has been very supportive. I was also given a monetary incentive to pass my coding exam and finish my portfolio. The portfolio was the hardest and most time-consuming part. It’s much easier to write up the story soon after completing the task. This way the task is fresh in your mind and easy to write about. I never felt overly stressed or bogged down by any of it though, it’s definitely manageable across a whole year.

What has been the most useful part of the course?

I found the group discussions helpful. It’s good to hear about other people’s workplace experiences. I also found that taking advice from the coaches about work-related issues allowed me to make more rational, informed decisions about the way I dealt with situations.

Have you learned anything new?

Yes – coding! I really enjoyed learning about coding, and it helps me a lot day to day since not many people understand basic coding. It’s a great skill to have.

Have you introduced anything new to the business?

I’ve introduced an analytical platform called Hotjar. I’ve also introduced new ideas for email campaigns and social media posts.

How was your experience with your Digital Native coach?

It was so helpful to have Anna on hand and to know that she was just an email/call away. I found Anna’s advice invaluable and it helped me to deal with tricky situations at work that I otherwise may have been less rational about. Anna’s industry knowledge also allowed me to understand more about core marketing fundamentals and strategy – something that is sometimes missed.

What's next for you?

I have just enrolled in the Level 6 CIM Diploma. I think I want to broaden out into offline marketing too, as I love the creative side of Marketing & PR. Anna gave me the confidence to take this step to enquire about further courses. The support doesn’t just stop when the apprenticeship is coming to an end – ensuring that you’re set up for the next steps is important to Digital Native too.