“I’ve been with Newcastle Building Society since my placement year in 2018. They’ve been extremely supportive of my education and career development since I joined. So, when I graduated in 2020, rather than leave me in my role, my head of department sat down with me to talk about what I can do to further develop my career. For me, this meant starting the Digital Community Manager apprenticeship ran by the University of Sunderland, as it not only suited the skills I wanted to cultivate but also the development of my role.
“My Digital Community Manager sessions run every Friday and they are a day-long Teams call. They remind me of university seminars – albeit a remote version – as it is a mixture of group discussions, group activities, and independent tasks. I like that it doesn’t feel like I’m just getting talked at and that I can actively participate in the learning.
“I’m enjoying the programme – one of my personal highlights is the new friends that I’ve made from it. My cohort is very small, so we’re all close. It’s nice being able to message the group whenever I’m working and arrange study sessions.
“As a visual learner, the programme also helps me bring to life and apply what I’ve been learning. Already I’ve managed to apply some of what I’ve learnt to my current role, and as I begin the second module, I know that I’ll be able to apply more over the coming weeks.
“I’d definitely recommend the programme to anyone wanting to do digital community management. It’s the only programme I’ve seen that is backed by a variety of employers, but also one of few programmes I’ve found when searching for ‘digital community management.’ You also learn a wide variety of topics, such as communication, and there is an opportunity to apply your learning in a safe, practice environment during the work-based learning module.
"If I could give advice for anyone thinking of starting a degree apprenticeship, I would say begin thinking from early on how you can apply what you’re learning in your current role. It makes everything so much more interesting and exciting. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions to help your understanding."
Published 3 June 2021