Hardeep Kondal is Digital Marketing Executive at Aptem. He joined Aptem in March 2021 to start a level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Just IT, which he completed in August 2022. Here Hardeep shares his experience of apprenticeships – why he chose the apprenticeship route, sharing his experience and what he learnt during the journey, and the impact and outcomes of his apprenticeship.
Why did you choose to start an apprenticeship?
First steps in starting a career in any field are not easy. You don’t always know which direction to head in or what your final destination should be. In some respects, you’re stepping into the unknown. My primary reasoning behind choosing to start my career through apprenticeship was simple: Apprenticeships offered me the opportunity to get a real sense and feel for what it would be like to start a career in marketing. The notion of gaining on the job experience with an employer and working alongside experienced professionals in the industry was a huge value-add for me. I’d get a taste of what it’s actually like being a marketer instead of just learning theoretical concepts about it. This isn’t something that traditional education routes such as going to university could easily offer.
Of course, there were other reasons and benefits to choosing an apprenticeship that I considered, such as earning a wage whilst learning the trade, not having to worry about student loans, and having a high chance of being offered employment post-apprenticeship.
How was the apprenticeship experience? What do you feel you have gained from your apprenticeship? Did it meet your expectation?
I enjoyed my apprenticeship experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet new people, build professional relationships and it catapulted me into a career in marketing that otherwise would probably have taken a little while to get into. In the space of 12 months, I went from an apprentice with very little marketing experience, to a full-time Digital Marketing Executive at a high growth SaaS company. This progression and growth I feel is one of the many perks of completing an apprenticeship.
The nature of the programme I enrolled onto taught various aspects of marketing. From social media and email marketing, events and PR, to CRM systems and website SEO and PPC, I was able to build a basic fundamental understanding of each element and figure out the areas that I would like to pursue. This exposure to different elements of the field I believe is very important early on in a career and being able to explore this within my job role was a great way to build my goals and aspirations.
Through my apprenticeship, I built a foundation of theoretical knowledge, and I was quickly able put these concepts into practice at my workplace. You learn a concept during an apprenticeship session, you view how your workplace has implemented this concept and you understand how the concept can be used in different scenarios. A great way for me to reinforce my knowledge, skills and understanding of the field.
How did Aptem support you through your apprenticeship?
Aptem provided the platform for me to not only put my learning and knowledge to the test, but to build new skills entirely. They’ve given me appropriate projects that align with the concepts I was being taught. Just IT tutored me through managing projects, workloads, and stakeholders, and helped instil the confidence to take ownership of my work.
I have been frequently challenged in my role at Aptem, which has helped me to continue growing beyond my apprenticeship. They’ve also helped me to identify my strengths, weaknesses, and areas in which I can improve. All great benefits of starting an apprenticeship.
Completing this apprenticeship has opened the door to a bright future and career in marketing and I feel I’m now equipped with the fundamental tools to progress my marketing career at Aptem.
What advice would you give to anyone considering starting an apprenticeship?
There are so many types of apprenticeships available that cater for people at all levels and stages of their careers – whether you’re a school leaver or a senior leader, there are many great providers offering compelling programmes. Speak to people who have completed programmes that you’re interested in, and don’t hesitate to try something new. Apprenticeships are having an amazing impact on people’s lives.
Completing an apprenticeship has been one of the best things I have done since leaving college. It’s opened new avenues for me to explore, taught me various new skills, introduced me to some amazing people and has provided me with a framework to progress in my life and career. If you’re considering an apprenticeship, there’s been never better a time to do so. There’s everything to gain and little to lose.
Can you sum up being an Apprentice in three words?
Being an apprentice is exciting, challenging and rewarding.