Name: Louise Woodward 
Role: Operations and Liaison Manager 
Organisation: Nottinghamshire Alliance Training Hub (NATH) 
What apprenticeships are you currently undertaking or have undertaken? When did you start the apprenticeship? How long is the apprenticeship? 
I am currently undertaking a Level 6 Digital Marketer Degree Apprenticeship. I started in September 2021. It is a 3 year degree course in Digital Marketing, plus 3-9 months afterwards to complete my apprenticeship portfolio and endpoint assessment. 
How did you find out about the apprenticeship? 
I was looking at CIM marketing qualifications and saw Nottingham Trent University provided this course, then came across the degree apprenticeship which incorporated CIM learning. 
Why did you decide to start the apprenticeship? 
Throughout my administrative career, I have always enjoyed the communications and engagement aspect of my role. I now want to advance my career within the digital marketing discipline and this apprenticeship will give me the foundation knowledge and strategic planning, and analysis skills for effective marketing campaigns. 
What have you learned during the apprenticeship that has benefited your personal and professional development, as well as the development of your team/organisation? 
So far I have undertaken modules in: 
Applied Marketing 
Digital Marketing Techniques 
Introduction to Management and Organisational Behaviours 
Personal and Professional Development 
This has given me knowledge of different theories and frameworks to create digital marketing plans that are tailored to a specific target audience, and looking at what is disrupting our digital landscape and how user behaviours are changing with the times. Everything we learn, we think about how this could apply to our own organisation. My next project will be looking at a process within NATH and how one group of our stakeholders interacts with this journey, and how we can make their experience better. 
What support have you received in your workplace to enable you to successfully work on your apprenticeship alongside your day-to-day work responsibilities? 
As with all apprenticeships, you are assigned 20% of your job as ‘off the job training’. I usually take Fridays to focus on my apprenticeship work and set my email to have an out of office so people are aware I am dedicating time to this. Laurence is my work mentor and we have regular catch-ups to go through any queries I have about my course/upcoming projects, and he helps me think of suitable work experience and examples that meet my apprenticeship knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSB) criteria. Everyone at NATH is very supportive and we celebrate my exam/assessment results together. 
Why do you think apprenticeships would be a good option for other people? 
If you are like me and learn better when you put theory straight into practice then apprenticeships are definitely the right route for you. I find it so helpful that everything I am learning is part of my job and can help me make processes and the way we work more efficient and more effective. It is always good to keep developing yourself and keep your brain active! A bonus is that there is no cost to you as an individual (outside travel costs and buying materials needed for the course) as the tuition fees are primarily covered by the government and then topped up by your organisation. 
What words of advice would you give someone who is about to start a new apprenticeship? 
Try to keep on track of your studies – so planning the time in your diary and sticking to it is essential. My course is very self-directed so you need that discipline and motivation to ensure you are doing the work and don’t fall behind. Be realistic, an apprenticeship is studying on top of your job. You will need to sacrifice some evenings and weekends to complete all the work (but remember that it will be worth it!). Also, remember to schedule down time, and time to be social with your friends and family. A good, work-study-social life balance is crucial to keeping you healthy and happy. I hope you consider taking on an apprenticeship and have fun with your new studies! 
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