KC Communications are delighted to welcome Melissa Roberts to the team as our Digital Marketing Assistant. Melissa’s remit will be to support the team with a range of digital marketing activities including social media, blogging, email campaigns and more across a rapidly expanding client base.
Currently, a student at Kirklees College studying a BTEC in Business Studies, Melissa is joining us on a part-time basis until her studies finish. Upon which she will join us full time in June and commence a degree level digital marketing apprenticeship.
On announcing Melissa’s appointment, Managing Director, Katrina Cliffe said: “Melissa really stood out during the interview process, and it was a shock to discover she was only 18. She demonstrated everything you want to see from someone in an interview including confidence, personality, passion and demonstrated that she had done her research on both the business and the work we do for our clients. Added to which the tasks she was set as part of the interview process were excellently researched and presented.
I had been aware of degree level apprenticeships for a while and as an ex-apprentice myself it seemed only natural that we should guide her along this route. Already Melissa is demonstrating her commitment to the role and is delivering some great results. We’re confident she is going to be an excellent addition to the team, and we look forward to watching her skills develop”.
As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, we thought now would be the perfect time to introduce Melissa and find out a little bit more about her future ambitions.
Melissa, tell us what attracted you to the role.
I have been following KC Communications for a while, they are a very well-known company, and I had only heard good things about them. I would have a nosey at their social media pages from time to time, and they were a company I aspired to work for.
Obviously, when I saw a position had become vacant at the same time I was looking for a job, I was beyond excited. At this point I knew I wasn’t just looking for a job – I was looking for a career.
Everything about the role seemed to fit perfectly with what I was looking for, and I never imagined I would find somewhere that suited me as well as this!
Having spent time in a similar environment on a part-time basis alongside my studies, it reinforced to me that getting into the marketing profession sooner rather than later was more appealing than going to University for the next three years.
How did the interview process go?
I think the interview process went well (I suppose it must have done if I got the job). Overall though I was pleased with myself during the interview process. I spent a lot of time doing some background research on KC, e.g. clients they work with and the MD. This helped me because I was able to get a better understanding of the company, enabling me to answer questions better.
I also spent a long time drafting answers to what I thought I would be asked. By doing this, I felt confident in the interview, and it helped me use fewer fillers like ‘erm’ and ‘humm’, meaning my speech had more flow to it.
When I came out of the interview I felt pleased with myself as everything had gone as planned, I knew this was down to the amount of time I had spent preparing.
I was then given a series of tasks to complete as part of the second interview. I worked on hard on these for a solid week and must of proofread it over 50 times before I hit send.
After sending in my tasks I felt nervous because of how much I wanted to get the job, but I knew I had put my 100% best effort into the tasks – so if I didn’t get the job, then I needed more experience.
How did you feel when you were offered the role?
When I was told I got the job, I couldn’t stop smiling for a week. I must have rung everyone I know to tell them!
Not only that, but they presented to me the suggestion of undertaking a degree level apprenticeship which meant that not only could I get started in my dream career but I could gain a degree qualification too.
Before I spoke to KC Communications, I wasn’t even aware of the higher-level apprenticeship options out there and did at times feel a little torn between going to University or going straight into employment.
I now couldn’t be happier, I have got into my dream career with the only company I intended to. I am so excited for the future!
What is a degree level apprenticeship?
A degree level apprenticeship is just like an apprenticeship you would do at college, but instead, you attend a university and work towards a degree. It is a more practical way of studying as you work 95% of the time and then attend a university around two days every 4-6 weeks.
Some people have a misperception of apprenticeships in which they think they are ‘less’ of a qualification than if you studied the traditional route. However, I want to debunk that myth now. By completing a higher-level apprenticeship scheme, you will come out with the same degree as somebody who has gone down the traditional route and studied at university full time.
A higher-level apprenticeship scheme couldn’t be more perfect for me as it allows me to gain a solid qualification while earning and saving money, which is something that is important to me.
Do you think an apprenticeship has the same value as traditional studying?
Some people look at apprenticeships as a route you take when you’re not ‘clever’ enough to go to university, but I think taking an apprenticeship is the SMART route. Everyone has their own opinion, but I see university as three years of not progressing. An apprenticeship is like a fast track into the industry; you get to meet people and make valuable connections while getting hands-on, relevant experience.
Experience + Knowledge = Power!
What made you want to start a career in marketing?
Ever since I was young I always saw my future self in an advertising/marketing role. Even when I was little, I would watch a TV advertisement and think to myself how the brand was trying to portray themselves, and what message they were trying to put across.
Marketing is all about creativity and nurturing a company’s image, which I love. I am especially attracted to the digital element to marketing as I get to spend a lot of time being creative on social media – who wouldn’t love a job like that?
I see a secure career in digital marketing. Mediums such as social media and the online world are becoming more common in marketing, so I think there is only room for growth. I think the digital side may eventually take over the industry as technology evolves – who knows what’s to come.
I have always been more driven to work for a marketing agency rather than going client-side, simply because I love the fact I get to work with a range of different clients. Every project is different, and I get to work across different sectors which is amazing.
What are you most looking forward to within your career at KC Communications?
In general, I look forward to every day as the role involves all my interests. There are some really exciting new projects coming up which I know I will be a big part of.
But to be more specific, the role is also very PR related which is something I am looking forward to getting involved in. I don’t have much experience in PR or specifically writing press releases, but I can’t wait to learn more about it and work on some projects with the rest of the team.
What advice would you give to other young people like yourself, looking to get into a higher-level apprenticeship?
Gain some experience! Whether it’s paid or voluntary, just do it! I worked for a smaller marketing agency for over a year, and at times I found myself getting bored as the work wasn’t challenging enough.
However, I always kept in mind that you must start somewhere, and I knew that the experience would be a massive boost for me when the time was right. I definitely think it gave me the upper hand in the interviews because it showed determination and my passion for marketing as I had committed to a relevant job at the same time as my studies.
Are there any more benefits to doing a degree level Apprenticeship?
When I graduate, I will be 22 years old with no student debt and five years’ experience! I am currently saving up to buy a house. My goal is to have bought one by the time I am 22, which will be much easier to do having a reliable income each month.