Naomi Edge

Digital Marketing – Gener8 Finance
“For me being creative isn’t only a skill, it’s a necessary. Being autistic means I can find it hard to express myself sometimes, and using my creativity really helps with this, my work life and my social life.”

I didn’t have the best experience at secondary school, while I had a great circle of friends who made it bearable and I’m still close with alot of people I met at school, I didn’t enjoy the education side of it. I struggled particularly when it came to exams and preparing for them. I was fine with coursework, it was my comfort zone, but I really struggled with exams so I knew that Uni probably wasn’t the right plan for me. Once I got the chance to pick my GCSE subjects in Year 9 I knew straight away I wanted to do the more creative subjects, so I picked Media Studies as one of my options.

I loved the Media lessons, I had an initial look into the media industry and learned more about the different parts, jobs and type of people that make up the industry, the behind the scenes/backstage parts of it. From then I knew I wanted to continue studying  Media and find out even more. I was entered into the Higher exam and wanted to get a B, but came away with a C by a few marks. I was deflated but I still wanted to carry on and improve. When it came to deciding what I was going to do after school I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the Media or Art industry but I had no idea how to get started or what type of job I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to go to college rather than sixth form as it would allow me to be more independent, meet new people and make new friends. I know I only wanted to study media, the full-time L3 Media studies course, which would help me decide what I liked/enjoyed, and what I didn’t want to do as a job later on.

The careers advice from the school advisors was very biased, all for choosing sixth form, picking 3 or 4 subjects to study and then choosing which one to study at uni. There was little to no information about college and no mention of apprenticeships. I was very vocal about wanting to go to college, knew I wouldn’t get the right grades for sixth form and regardless it wouldn’t be the right choice for me. I went to open evenings at the local colleges and knew it was where I wanted to go next, the learning structure really appealed to me, aswell more independence and meeting new people. I applied for a course at my local college to study L3 BTEC in Creative Media Production, a 2 year full-time media studies course that covered everything from Scriptwriting to Music Videos, to Film Theology and Video Production. I had the best 2 years learning more about the industry, making new friends, meeting new people, and discovering what parts of the industry I did and didn’t like.

Apprenticeship Begins:

I heard about 3aaa whilst unemployed, on jobseekers allowance after finishing my first apprenticeship in Art & Design. This time I was looking for companies and/or colleges that specifically offered courses in Marketing and Digital Media. I was at an appointment with my job advisor who had seen some vacancies through the Universal Jobmatch website. I applied for them and only heard back from 1 out of the 4 I had applied for so wasn’t feeling too hopeful, but the one I heard back from was for the job and role I’m currently doing, so it worked out!

I was referred for an interview at 3aaa’s Oxford Academy with Liz, for the marketing job and had a follow up interview with one of the company’s directors the following week. I was so nervous before my 2 interviews as I hadn’t had one in a while and really wanted the job, but Liz was great, she made me feel comfortable, relaxed and confident in what I did know as opposed to what I didn’t, playing on my strengths. I had my interview with Mark the following week and again was really nervous, but he was very welcoming, friendly and interested to learn more about my experience and my previous apprenticeship. I thought it had gone awful as I stumbled several times but I received a call a few days after from Liz saying they wanted to see me again! I had the second interview at their office and met some other members of staff, and I thought that went much better, I received a call a few days after saying they wanted to offer me the job!

What I love about my job is no two days are ever the same, there’s always something going to do in the marketing team, and while I’m not a person who likes change I like the fact that it keeps me busy and importantly, interested. The fast paced nature of the office means I can be working on a few things at the same time, which is great as I’m always learning something new and this can be used as evidence for my coursework also.

I had no experience in Marketing before my second apprenticeship course, in business or personal uses. I know I want to go into Marketing in some way or another, but I haven’t figured out in what way yet. I think I know the kind of place I wouldn’t want to work at, and where I would love to work at. There are many benefits to apprenticeships, the main one for me has been earning while I’m learning. I went to in my job not being able to afford to go out with my family or friends for several months whilst unemployed, but can now afford to go out a few times a month, and treat them when it’s their birthday or other special occasion. I’ve also been able to go to the theatre since starting this course, which I had last been to while still at school, and go to London to visit my sister Rachel.

Future:

I used to hate the question ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?’. I never had an answer, if I did it was ‘Have a job that I love’, and for some reason it was the one question that I would always be asked in an interview. I still don’t like it, but I have learned different ways of looking at it and how to answer with a longer, and better answer. If you asked me how I’d answer it now, It would be along the lines of ‘I want to have a job in marketing with a company that I’m proud to work at, can grow in, have enough money to be comfortable and be living/saving for my first flat/house.’ I would describe myself as a dreamer, ideas can run away with me and I do tend to get carried away. I am generally a positive person, I’m not happy all the time, I have my bad and very bad days, but I like to think positive and look at the bright side of things rather than be a ‘negative Nigel’.

Recently I have become more of a realist and have had to put some ideas and plans on hold as I know I can’t afford to right now, but I have some ideas of what I want to do in the future. I know I definitely want to continue in a marketing role of some sort, but I don’t know exactly what I want to do. I also want to continue working with social media, I still love it but can look at it in a different way after using it for marketing & promotional purposes. My apprenticeship has helped me become more confident in my current skills aswell as developing new ones, in both media and marketing. I have become better at working as part of a team, specifically marketing groups/teams as I was used to working by myself previously. 3aaa have defintley helped me with my confidence and developing my personal skills, as well as my writing, English, and ICT skills. I have met some great people along the way who have helped me on my course, like my tutor Liz who was a great encouragement and person to keep me sane when I was stressing out! My assessors have also played a part in this, my most recent assessor Ian knew my strengths, but also know how to work on improving my weaknesses and my coursework, with different ways of including and presenting evidence.

#my3aaastory