This article has been guest written by Shonola Box, Direct Marketing Assistant at LV=
Now that our apprenticeship journey has ended we took some time to reflect on our past year and wanted to share with you some of our thoughts from the very beginning to the present.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship and why LV=?
After being at Southampton Solent University for two years I knew that it wasn’t the route I wanted to take at that time yet I was still interested in the digital side of my course and wanted to go into full-time work. I knew that an apprenticeship is a great way to get on job experience and also get your foot in the door at big companies, it is a way to earn qualifications without having to go down a strictly education route.
The reason I chose LV= was because I knew that they are a company that looks after their employees, help people grow and develop within the company and being a company that wanted to go into digital more I felt would be the perfect fit for me.
What have you learnt over the past year?
Since I’ve been at LV= on this apprenticeship scheme I have learnt skills such as reporting, extracting data from dashboards, learning acronyms such as CPC, APE, CPL and using the LV= systems (worksmart, Oracle Finance and CAD).
One of the biggest learning curves for me was the affiliate channel, as I had been asked to carry out the Due Diligence for it and yet was still new to the channel it proved to be hard at the beginning yet I wasn’t afraid to ask questions to get the job done and in the end got the channel to a good place with the Due Diligence checks.
The other main things I learnt which are key to my job role was how to complete the reporting for the PPC channel and discuss the outcomes in our weekly trading meetings. I’ve learnt how to create campaigns for the Display and Paid Social channel from start to finish, briefing in my creative designs to the UX team to getting them live and reporting on their progress. Lastly, I’ve learnt how to deal with an agency (we’ve had two since I’ve started) and how to use them to our advantage.
How have you found the whole experience?
The whole experience has been a roller-coaster of learning and experiences, I have been involved with so many projects which have proven to be challenging but having so many things to do has given me a wide variety of knowledge not only from my teams channels but how LV= works and this has helped me progress within the team.
At first having college in the middle of the week for a day was difficult to manage my workload and almost disconnect from work when I was at college and vice versa but after a few weeks it got a bit easier and I was able to focus on the academic side fully enough to complete the college course two months ahead of time which gave me more time to work on my work responsibilities.
LV= has helped me every step of the way on my apprenticeship, especially the people on the Direct Marketing team who have supported my every choice and encouraged my ideas, this has been the reason I wanted to stay at LV=.
What would you say to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship as an alternative to further or higher education?
I would fully encourage it – not only does it get you into the workplace (which could be a big company that is hard to get into normally) it gives you real life on the job experience which will be valued highly when applying for jobs in the future.
It also prepares you for working life early on and can give you skills and knowledge that you wouldn’t normally get from just a purely academic route. It will also give you an educational route alongside the work life, gaining a diploma/certificate for your course which again will help when applying for jobs.
With an apprenticeship it eases you into work life which could be scary to some coming straight from school but with the support of the company you will flourish and grow and be able to gain such valuable experiences.
Now that you have your permanent roles, how do you see yourself progressing in the future?
I think that my journey has only just begun; I now have more responsibilities within my team (managing the Affiliate, Display and Paid Social channels) which will increase my knowledge of digital marketing and help me work my way up the ladder in the Direct Marketing team. I think that with the continued support of my team will help me create more innovative campaigns and hopefully help LV= dive deeper into the digital world.