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We Found our ‘Juicer’…


Take a look at how Amanda, our Head of Social Media and Jenny, our new Digital Marketing Apprentice got on at the Juice Academy bootcamp!

Coming to the end of my A-Levels meant the beginning of a career was scarily approaching, and whilst I was surrounded by university applicants and gap-year go-ers, I knew my future was destined to be different. Stuck in a rut, I spoke to my college career adviser where I explained my passion for digital technologies, graphic design and sociability; all skills I’d picked up through Media Studies and Product Design and he pointed me in the direction of the Juice Academy.

On the 18th July, I headed off to the Juice Academy on the hunt for our next Platform81 team member. Not really knowing what to expect from the day, it was definitely going to be very different from any recruitment process I’d ever taken part in before. After the 22 employers were briefed on how the day would flow we were lead down to meet the potential candidates, all 54 of them!

What is it you ask? The Juice Academy is the UK’s first ever industry-led digital apprenticeship programme for school and college leavers. Once I’d researched into the programme I knew it was for me. I wanted to go straight into full-time work in marketing and social media, but still achieve a recognised qualification which is exactly what Juice helps provide.

Bootcamp started with a 2-minute intro to every employers business. The ‘juicers’ were then set two tasks, an individual task and a group one which we would walk amongst and assess. Firstly, they were tasked to create a self-portrait using basic craft materials and had to stand up and pitch it in 30 seconds. The group task involved them taking part in creating a basic stop motion animation as a team about what Juice Academy meant to them.

The afternoon was when it was going to get tough. I was about to meet 54 candidates one-on-one, for 3 minutes in a speed dating style round of interviews.

After applications comes a boot camp day (think X-Factor meets The Apprentice) where 54 apprentices met with 22 potential employers. After introducing myself as a JCB who’s long, yellow and always digging for the perfect result, ‘speed dating’ interviews began where I met Amanda from Platform81 and the rest, as they say, is history!

I had my shortlist ready as I headed into the afternoon, and I was looking forward to being  able to get to know Jenny better, after she’d used ice lolly sticks for her long legs in her self-portrait and described herself as a JCB. After meeting her in the speed dating interview and seeing her desire, ambition and determination to succeed I knew she was going to be the perfect fit for P81. When the employers got back to the boardroom though it turned out I was going to have to fight for her. Not only was she my first choice but five other employers wanted her too!

They say ‘work hard, play hard’ and that’s exactly what I will be doing over the next 18 months. I will be working in the Platform81 office with every other Tuesday spent in the Juice Academy base, making my way through modules focusing on everything from campaigns and strategy to digital etiquette, marketing principles and coding to name a few. The final six months will be my ‘assessment period’ consisting of 3 projects created throughout the year using the knowledge gained at Juice and evidence from my training too. It’s like having homework whilst working, but much more interesting as I’ll actually be able to see the benefits and results of my work! After that, I will have a Level 3 certification and a Level 4 award in digital marketing.

 We’re really looking forward to having Jenny on board. There are so many bright young people out there, many of whom are just looking for that first step in the door – and many of us at P81 where in that exact same position at the start of our careers. As a digital marketing and design agency offering a full digital service, we think there’s plenty of potential for an apprentice to join us and really get to grips with all aspects of digital marketing. From Web Design and build to Social Media and PPC, we were looking for an enthusiastic, bright, self-motivated individual to join our team and we think we found just that in Jenny!