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When You Were in My Shoes: Gary


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-alls. 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 and what position they were in back when they were in my shoes.

This month I’ve sat down with our Technical Director, Gary to get the ‘goss’.

What were you like at 18? 

At 18 I was doing a HND at college in graphic design. I had no real experience of working within a business environment but I was good on computers and loved design so, I thought it would be good to start with some specific qualifications rather than stay on at school and do A-Levels.

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

My main priority when I was younger was to just land a job at a marketing agency! While at college I did 6 months unpaid work at a local printers, which really taught me a lot. After 6 months they took me on and I did 2 days a week while at college. It complemented my course really well, I was getting paid whilst gaining valuable experience. It also meant I could print out all my college work for free! 

Which university did you study at?

I went to University of Bolton. I moved up from the Midlands and did a two year top up to get a degree from my HND. 

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

Looking back I think it all worked out really well. As I’d already trained for 4 years in graphic design, by the time I went to university I was ahead of most of the students there. Thanks to working at the printers, my knowledge of print was superior to other students.

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

Essentially, I really enjoy what I’m doing. I’m fascinated by digital marketing and websites so once I started learning about it I realised this was the career path I wanted to take. I had some wobbles early on but by the time I went to university, I was 100% sure. 

What would you tell your younger self?

I think just try and get as much experience and knowledge as you can. It does take time in our industry, there’s a lot to learn!

What advice would you give me as an apprentice? 

I would say firstly to try and learn as much as you can. Digital marketing is pretty fast paced, something that was the standard 6 months ago, will soon be updated and a new way will be introduced.  Ask as many questions to senior members of staff as you can and understand the basics of why we are doing the day to day tasks. The second thing is to enjoy it! You spend a lot of time at work so I think it’s important to do something that you feel positive about.

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

Hard work, good communication skills and knowledge. 

What age do you feel now? Why?

I’m 34 now and I suppose that feels about the right age. Running and working in an agency is hectic and one day is never the same. I’m sure its added a few wrinkles! 

What’s you proudest achievement in your career? 

It’s been nice to work alongside some big brands. From premiership football clubs to international sporting brands it’s been a great experience, and something I’m proud to have done. 

What’s the best thing about what you do?

For me personally; I enjoy it. Helping our clients grow their own business gives me a good sense of achievement. 

When I was in your shoes I was keen to learn as much as I could, working really hard to ensure I had a good skillset on which I could build on in coming years.