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Ashleigh, 24 - Digital Marketer at Digiflex

"I knew it was the best thing to go for so I could earn an income and learn at the same time."

Read more of Ashleigh's story below

How did you start your career journey?

"I started it through my apprenticeship. I have always been interested in starting a career in Digital Marketing, however, I understand that there is high competition with being given the chance to work in this sector. With applicants who have marketing degrees and others with years of experience on their CV’s, I struggled with finding a company that would give me the chance to start at the bottom of the ladder with the mindset of working up. I had then decided to apply for an apprenticeship as I knew it was the best thing to go for so I could earn an income and learn at the same time." 

What's been the most exciting moment so far?

"I feel that any chance that I have been given to travel to London to learn more about digital marketing has been the most exciting moment so far. I enjoy that I am covering many areas in marketing which will help me in my career later in life."

What does being an apprentice mean to you?

"To me it means that I am being given a similar chance to someone who has been accepted into university, but without the large debt. It’s something I must work hard for -  in both my apprenticeship coursework and my full-time job. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given since starting my apprenticeship as it has provided me with knowledge in digital marketing and a learning on the job role."

Any talents or interesting facts about you?

"I sketch and paint a lot. I enjoy painting a great deal as I have been using it recently as a way of expressing how I feel when my mental health hasn’t been great. I enjoy all types of art but mostly abstraction, graffiti/street art and anything that shows imagination."

Who are your favourite influencers right now?

"There’s an artist that I am heavily influenced by called Anthony Lister or just ‘Lister’ as his street art name. His art is very inspirational and I always find myself watching his interviews on YouTube and looking at his artwork. After spending a long time away from art, he inspired me to start painting again and has made me fall back in love with art again. He has an interesting take on art and views on the world so I would say he is a large influencer in my life right now."

Do you feel you have been supported in your apprenticeship?

"I have been given a lot of support so far in my apprenticeship, all the teachers I’ve had at QA have been more than helpful whenever I need any extra help with any assignments given to me. Even my assessor is always more than willing to help me if I have questions regarding units being given to me or any queries I have in general about my apprenticeship."

Can you think of a time when you needed additional support?

"I suffer with social anxiety and panic attacks so due to this I was concerned how this would affect my abilities going into my apprenticeship and mainly when visiting QA. After consoling with my assessor and explaining what I struggled with my permission she informed all tutors who would be teaching me in the future about my mental health. This helped a lot as there have been times where I have needed to remove myself from the classroom to calm my nerves and the tutors are aware of this and have made sure they avoid putting me in situations which would trigger my anxiety.

Also, early on in my apprenticeship when I was informed that I would have to take a maths and ICT exam I was rather sceptical about how well I would do, luckily my assessor is always easy to get in contact with and reached out to John Grover who volunteered to come to my workplace once a fortnight to go over any confusion I have going into my maths and ICT exams and helped me brush up my memory on particular subjects I wasn’t very confident on, by doing this I felt a sense of reassurance going into my exams."

How did you find your experience with QA overall?

"I am happy with how I have been treated as an individual as I have not been made to feel as though there have been any issues with my anxiety. I’m not the type of person to use my mental health as a reason to get out of something I don’t want to do or to use it as a reason not to go into work, I always try to push myself outside my comfort zone and always give everything a go to try and push past my nerves, I feel as though everyone who has helped me so far at QA is aware of this and helped me work to the best of my abilities while also being aware of my anxiety.

What do you wear to work?

"I wear smart office wear."

How do you like to wind down after work?

"I enjoy playing video games on my Nintendo switch or PC, watch videos on YouTube or spend the evening sketching."

 

What's the best thing you've bought lately?

"My Nintendo switch with Mario kart 8 deluxe and Zelda breathe of the wild."

Preferred holiday destination?

"I have always dreamed of going to Tokyo, Japan ever since I was a child. I have a fascination with countries that are greatly different to the UK, whether that be in spoken language, culture, history or architecture." 

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