How to get an apprentieship with the biggest creative agencies
Students on the Digital Futures’ training programme are busy starting their apprenticeships at some of the biggest creative agencies in the UK – and we went along to one of their final bootcamp workshops last week to see the graduates in action.
The interactive workshop was hosted in the heart of Camden Town and was led by ITV’s advertising department. The session focused on using cutting-edge technology to engage audiences with rich content during live events. We explored how modern brands harnesses the power of social media, apps and games to involve viewers in real-time activities. The ideas we discussed were innovative and complex – but it’s easy to see why Digital Futures apprentices are best placed to shape these technologies in the coming years.
Exposure to industry experts throughout the apprenticeship offers students an unrivalled insight into how creative brands work. But it is on year-long placements where students are given space to express themselves and reach their professional goals in social media, copywriting, SEO, marketing, analytics, account management and so much more.
It is both the quality of training and the opportunity to get earn and learn on-the-job that attracted student Grace to the Digital Futures programme. Grace, who has just started her social media apprenticeship at GBH, told us:
"I chose not to go to uni because I was more interested in working and I also wanted to do something creative and I felt you didn’t necessarily need a degree. I thought this was quite a creative apprenticeship which is a great opportunity to earn and earn and learn at the same time with such a well-established and interesting company I think grads will find it hard to get a foot in."
Louis, who has just started at famous advertising agency Grey London, agrees:
"The main reason I got into apprenticeships was because I didn’t feel ready to go to uni yet. I left school and got my first job in an agency which gave me a lot of experience but then I felt I needed to be somewhere else. This apprenticeship is more explorative for me. It’s to find my place in the advertising industry. I know I couldn’t do that coming out of uni with £35k of debt."
This self-exploration starts with an Employers’ Day. It sounds daunting, but Grace says it’s super chilled:
"It’s really important to relax as it’s a really informal day. The recruiters just want to get to know you and be really honest. Don’t just say you want to do anything. If you do have a passion you want to show some creativity or you're interested in strategy just voice it so they match you effectively with jobs out there."
Louis added: "It's important to ask the employers questions: to find out more about the company, what exactly your role would involve."
Once you’ve found your passion, it’s all about getting ready for the first day – and that means absorbing knowledge from the biggest creative brains in the industry.
"We’ve been going on lots of tours," Louis said. "Lots of the information on bootcamps is actually relevant to our jobs. So we’re taught how to function on our first days without that anxiety on a first job. It’s a good way to prepare us because we’re going in with information that people already working there don't have so we get a head start and it gives us a chance to excel."
But for Louis and Grace the best thing about Digital Futures is the support network. They say working with like-minded students of a similar age provides the ideal conditions to grow as individuals and as a team.
Louis finishes off: "Here, we’re with each other all day, we go out for lunch and come back, swap banter... it’s a good idea to stick us with people our own age because having a shared network is a really good way to bond. It also means if we stay friends and manage to rise up the chain we’re networked already. So as long as the group stays together and we have those shared experiences it’s a really good way to build trust and survive in the industry."
You get the feeling that the Digital Futures graduates won’t just survive, but flourish.