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Lucy Cresswell - Level 6 Digital Marketer

Lucy Cresswell, 25, who works for MasterMover Ltd is one of our Level 6 Digital Marketer apprentices. Lucy wanted to take her professional development further and obtain a degree, but felt limited by her options as a full-time employee. The apprenticeship route was the perfect solution for her as a “flexible way to obtain my degree whilst leaning on my practical work experience”. Read more to find out the valuable skills Lucy has developed on her apprenticeship, her experiences balancing her tim

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

"In all honesty, an apprenticeship wasn’t something I’d considered previously or actively sought out. I was looking to upskill and obtain my degree but the options available in full-time employment are limited. I was dubious to commit to a 6 year part-time undergraduate degree or other options available like The Open University but wanted to do something longer than a professional diploma. I then found the Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship (DMDA) course which provided a flexible way to obtain my degree whilst leaning on my practical work experience and providing the opportunity to further my experience through the apprenticeship element."

What stands out about NBS and NTU?

"I think NBS has a good level of prestige, and this is shown in the variety of staff skillsets. In executive education, solely theoretical or academic experience isn’t enough, but NBS have an array of lecturers with differing practical/academic experience in both B2C and B2B which is extremely valuable."

How do you believe this apprenticeship will affect both your current job role and future career?

"The course has and continues to (hopefully) allow me to position myself as an expert in the future of marketing. Digital continues to be the driving force of marketing and throughout the course I’ve been able to transfer some of the best practice typically associated with B2C and assess how this could be tailored to high-value B2B industries. Having the balance between higher education and practical work experience allows me to apply the latest academic theory with a more critical lens to my own organisations marketing strategy to yield the best results."

How would you rate the teaching and support staff on this apprenticeship?

"The teaching and support staff have been fantastic, not only in supporting my academic development but also in advising on career aspirations and further development."

I would 100% recommend a degree apprenticeship – it enables you to develop a successful career alongside obtaining your degree. That means you’ll have the qualifications employers want and the practical experience that is so highly valued as well.

What do you think of the facilities available at NBS?

"Excellent – the NOW portal and online library provide a good level of interactivity and resources that are easy to access. In addition, the wide variety of industry/trade publication subscriptions through NBS enable me to access an array of different views and approaches to apply in my own work."

How have you balanced studying alongside your professional role? How have you found the support from your employer?

"Studying a degree apprenticeship is challenging. Working full-time is challenging. Personal development and education alongside full-time employment is never going to be for everyone, but if you find the right balance and have an end goal in sight, it’s quite easy to identify the steps needed to achieve it. I have worked to prioritise time in the evenings after work (7-11pm) that is set aside specifically for my studies, which leaves the weekends free. There has to be a level of flexibility in this for days when you have other plans or don’t feel in the mood, but having this time set aside makes it very easy to manage your workload – provided you’re disciplined and stick to it."

What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship?

"Having the opportunity to study alongside some fantastic professionals who are all genuinely invested in each other’s success. The accessibility of the degree apprenticeship means that it attracts professionals from a variety of backgrounds, industries and specialisms which provokes interesting discussions and networking."

What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?

"Aside from the obvious competencies and further academic knowledge into best practice in digital marketing, one of the most valuable skills I’ve gained is developing my ability to justify. Justify decisions, justify approaches, strategies, tactics – everything. Often in practice, it’s easy to lean on professional assumptions as to why we should implement something but the course has really nurtured my ability to assess the WHY and then work to build a case for it. This provides a very valuable skillset in marketing, especially in B2B industries where certain medias/approaches may not be suitable or widely used."

What advice would you give to someone considering a higher/degree apprenticeship?

"I would 100% recommend a degree apprenticeship – it enables you to develop a successful career alongside obtaining your degree. That means you’ll have the qualifications employers want and the practical experience that is so highly valued as well.

My advice to students considering a degree apprenticeship is to be honest and be brutal. In terms of being honest – a degree apprenticeship is an investment. Be honest as to whether you are dedicated to investing your time and commitment into it. If you are, the rewards and satisfaction are fantastic, but you’ll only get out of it what you put in. As for being brutal, by this – be strict with your boundaries, not only for dedicating time to study but also time for your own interests outside of academia and your career."

To learn more about our apprenticeship courses, please contact apprenticeships@ntu.ac.uk.

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