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Diary of a Digital Marketing Degree Apprentice: The First Months

career and student advice Jun 09, 2022
Keira, marketing and community engagement assistant at Girls in Marketing

Meet Keira Penney, our Marketing and Community Engagement Assistant undertaking a digital marketing degree apprenticeship at the University of Central Lancashire. We’ve taken a snapshot of her new position as a digital marketing degree apprentice and what her role at Girls in Marketing entails. 


What is Your Role at Girls in Marketing?

The thing that I love about my role is that I do a bit of everything. From social media and community engagement to creating new email marketing campaigns, my role is so varied and I love it.

We are a small (but mighty!) team at Girls in Marketing which means we work very closely and a team member is always available to give a second opinion. This particularly helps me considering I am fairly new to the industry. The amount that I have learnt within the first couple of months has been crazy, and a huge part of that is down to the team. I am so excited to continue learning and grow with Girls in Marketing.


What Does a Typical Day to Day in Your Role Look Like?

As cliché as it sounds, no day in my role is the same (is any day in marketing ever the same?) I attend University one day every week and then I tend to give myself a focus for every day, e.g. Email Marketing, Social Media, Podcast, etc. Organising my days in this way saves me SO much time from switching from task to task and allows me to focus better. I also work from home a couple of days a week so I tend to plan to complete tasks that require deep focus on my work from home days.


What is Your Experience in Marketing?

When I joined the Girls in Marketing team back in April, I had little (and I mean little) experience in marketing. At that point, I was just finishing my first year of a marketing degree at the University of Huddersfield and I volunteered as a social media assistant for a small charity which helped grow my knowledge in marketing. If you are looking for experience in the industry, I would definitely recommend reaching out to small businesses or charities to gain some experience. When I initially met Olivia, I spoke about my voluntary role, my passion for marketing and showed that I was up-to-date on trends in the marketing industry.

After a couple of conversations with Olivia, I began freelancing for Girls in Marketing working within the Members Society. I loved interacting with our members, meeting so many talented marketers and soaking up so much knowledge for the team within my first couple of months of freelancing. Then, in July 2021, Olivia offered me a summer internship after I had completed my first year at University. Throughout my internship, I was fairly vocal about how I did not feel I was getting the most out of my degree and felt that the content was slightly outdated. A few months later, Olivia proposed the possibility of completing a digital marketing degree apprenticeship with Girls in Marketing and, of course, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn't, right?


Did you Attend College? What did you Study?

Yes, I attended Sixth Form College and I loved it. I met so many amazing people and had incredible teachers. I had such a great support system throughout my time in sixth form which definitely made my time more enjoyable. I studied Business, Psychology and Health and Social Care at A-Level which is where I fell in love with Marketing. I loved studying business and psychology and, to me, marketing felt like the perfect balance of the two. I also completed an EPQ which studied the comparison of rising social media usage and rising mental health cases in the UK.


The Coronavirus pandemic unfortunately meant my time at college had a premature finish. Therefore, I did not get the chance to sit for my A-Levels. Thankfully, my revision for my mock exams did not go to waste (honestly, my revision timetable was intense) and I secured a place at University. 


When Did You Realise You Wanted to Work in Marketing?

When I was younger I wanted a different career almost every day, it became a family joke, “I wonder what Keira wants to be today?” From wanting to be a police officer to a nail technician, I truly had no idea what I wanted to do. It wasn't until recently that I realised it was completely normal to have no idea what you want to do, even in your 20s, and don’t panic if you haven’t got it figured out yet (realistically, no one does!)


I realised my true passion for marketing during my time at sixth form college. Prior to attending sixth form, I knew I was interested in business and psychology but I was unsure if I wanted to pursue a career in these topics. I had an amazing psychology teacher who taught me about the minds of the consumer and a lot of my passion came as a result of being taught by her. 


When did you Hear About Girls in Marketing?

I discovered Girls in Marketing on LinkedIn after a couple of weeks on the platform. I was instantly attracted to the brand and loved everything that Girls in Marketing stood for. When the Members Society launched in February 2021, I immediately signed up as a founding member and the rest is history! If you haven't already joined The Members Society, come and join in the fun here.


What Advice Would you Give to Students Wanting to get Their Foot in the Door of the Marketing Industry?

There are so many things I’ve learned since I set my sights on the marketing industry. One of the main things I would say is, and bear with me on this, don’t think about things too much. This may seem like strange advice to give but I genuinely believe if you think about things too much it can limit your success. For example, before working for Girls in Marketing I used to spend hours wondering if I should apply for a job I'd seen online or not. Just do it! It's the same for LinkedIn, instead of spending hours debating what to post, just go for it! 


I would also say that, although the marketing industry is highly competitive, there are so many opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. From free marketing courses to voluntary marketing roles, try to seek opportunities to expand your skills as this will prove to employers that you are proactive and make you more employable. Ignore the competition and focus on yourself.


To stay up to date with Keira’s journey through her degree apprenticeship, connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Instagram @keirainmarketing. To keep up with the latest team updates, follow our team on Instagram @behindgirlsinmarketing.