Finding and training your future stars

Being an apprentice on furlough

Hi, my name is Morgan Wicks and I am a digital marketing apprentice for Starting Off, based in Northampton. I have been a learner for about 8 months now and I have had an incredibly positive experience while being on this course. I am not from this area, so I went in not knowing how things work and not knowing anyone in the group. However, the whole team at Starting Off, especially my trainer Laura Taylor, made transitioning as an apprentice very easy and I quickly settled in. I had never studied marketing or used the online tools that we are provided with until I started, but everything was explained to me clearly and I felt that I could ask Laura questions whenever was necessary, without hesitation. Since joining, I feel that I have progressed in my job role as well as in the training room as my knowledge has been expanded and I apply this to my day-to-day working life. I have learned so much new terminology and have been able to advise others in my work team confidently about marketing strategies they are not too confident about, such as SEO. I have had the opportunities to attend workshops to widen my knowledge and doing a social media post now feels like a breeze. I never knew so much thought and understanding went behind one post!

Being an apprentice on furlough has been hard mentally, as I can sometimes feel anxious about the near future or unmotivated to do learning in my home setting. But with support from my peers and trainer, and the weekly Zoom meetings, I have learnt to adapt and self-motivate (ninety percent of the time) … no one’s perfect! I think it is so important to have a great team behind you and to always support others during this difficult time. Personally, exercise and fresh air has helped me to feel more at peace and clear my head, and my dogs have never been walked so much! I have also learnt to try and find a place within your home that is dedicated just to working. This, for me has been the dining table, I find that when I have done with the work assigned for that day, I can just pack up my things and then relax either in my living room or bedroom. This separates your work and home-life without actually leaving the house!

All in all, being a digital marketing apprentice for Starting Off has taught me so much and I am still learning new things every day. None of us expected the pandemic to occur, however we are all dealing with it as a team and having weekly check-ins to see how everyone on the course is feeling. We all have hard days sometimes, and that is okay. What matters is that we have an education provider that acts as a support system to help us through these difficult times, and I am very excited to see everyone again!