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When You Were in My Shoes: Amanda

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Being a Digital Marketing apprentice requires a lot of learning and new training and I find that the best way to learn and develop as an apprentice, is to learn from the experts. The industry know-it-all’s. The professionals. Luckily for me, these people happen to be my colleagues.

Everybody’s career starts somewhere. whether it be from university or an apprenticeship and I’m interested to see how the people I’m learning from first hand, got to where they are now. First up in the chair is Head of Social Media Amanda who is also my mentor during my apprenticeship. What better way to celebrate that, than with #NationalMentoringDay!

What were you like at 18?

Loud, sarcastic and I liked to get my own way – so not much different to how I am now! I was at university, so I was more than likely getting drunk too…

Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted to do in the future?

Yeah, I did actually! At college I studied graphic design and I really enjoyed the advertising module that made up my National Diploma. Because of this, I applied for just one course at one university, to study creative advertising. 

Which university did you study at?

I studied at the University of Salford. This meant I had to move out of Liverpool and into a ‘lovely’ student house in the depths of Salford with four other girls.

Do you wish you had done anything differently during that time?

No, I don’t think I would. If apprenticeships like The Juice Academy were around back when I was 18, I definitely would have been interested in going into that. I also think I’d get drunk a bit more – you’re only 18 once!

What was the deciding factor that you wanted to do this as your career?

Following uni, I knew I wasn’t going to be a ‘creative’ or a designer, but it was difficult to know what role I would actually fit into within a ‘real life agency’. The first agency position I applied for was an Account Manager role in Manchester, which I didn’t get. Instead, they contacted me and told me I would make a great fit as a Social Media Executive. The rest, as they say is history. Three agencies and one in-house job later; here I am, Head of Social Media (amongst other things!) at Platform81.

What would you tell your younger self?

Eat less chicken nuggets…

I’d also tell myself that the reality of working in an advertising agency is very different and not as glamorous as they tell you at university. It’s not Mad Men but it’s also not beanbags and slides in the office. It’s hard but it’s worth it.

What advice would you give me as an apprentice?

Eat more chicken nuggets!

To be honest I’d say believe in yourself. If you do, other people will too. Probably above anything though prove/demonstrate that you are determined and that you want this.

What do you think are the 3 most important things you need to succeed in this industry?

Determination, ambition and confidence.

What age do you feel now? Why?

Is it weird that I don’t feel like I’m getting any older?! I definitely should, because everybody around me is however I feel like turning 21 was forever ago but I’m no closer to 30, (unfortunately I am). I have just bought a house though and I think the fact that new double glazing excites me, probably makes me quite old.

What’s your proudest achievement in your career?

Working with ‘Father of Daughters’ on a British Red Cross campaign was a pretty good highlight to my career. Or my minor moment of fame when I was featured (or shall I say my fringe was) in a Faith In Nature shampoo advert which was great. At Platform81, it would have to be the double win at the Stockport Business Awards last year – that was pretty good!

What is the best thing about what you do?

Not to be cliché, but every single day is completely different and it’s nice that our Director’s Nick and Alec have complete faith and trust in what I do. That means I pretty much free reign which I like!

When I was in your shoes, not many people were lucky to know exactly what they wanted to do as a career and I did. I feel even luckier to have made it happen… eventually!

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