Sofia, Level 3 digital marketing apprentice

Sofia Mumtaz is doing a Level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship with Google.

Finding the right apprenticeship can feel like the perfect solution, and it’s even better when you’re supported

I had applied to do Business Management at university, but during my second year of A-levels I lacked motivation and couldn’t see myself at uni. I wanted to step away from traditional formal education, so began to look for gap year and school leaver opportunities. I applied for a traineeship within the finance sector. I spent a year in that industry but didn’t feel it was right for me.

 

During my traineeship year, I worked within the asset management industry in the marketing team. In my trainee cohort, there were people going on to apprenticeships, and I saw that big companies do hire them too. So I started to look for marketing specific apprenticeships.

My family was very supportive. I’m half-Persian and half-Pakistani - often there can be family pressure culturally to go to university. I come across people who think I should go to uni, but my family are super proud of me.

I looked for apprenticeships and ended up applying for the Digital Marketing Apprenticeship scheme at Google. In the beginning I was worried about the choice I made. In my year at school almost everybody went to university. But when I started working and had conversations with people in my industry, I started to realise university wasn’t the only way.

Don’t be afraid to not do what everyone else is doing. It’s ok to take your time. It’s ok to take a year out. It’s ok to not go to university, even if everyone else is.

If you’re unsure where to apply, working with a third party can be helpful

Multiverse is a qualification provider. I found them through googling online. They post all the apprenticeships that are coming up. I applied through them rather than directly to Google.

Multiverse called me and I had the initial phone conversation with them. Once they were happy with my knowledge around digital marketing I was able to apply for the role. It was like a deconstructed interview - you create a profile and video with Mutliverse, and then after that you can start applying for roles.

Google set me a task to do, and then after that it was the assessment centre and interview stage. The assessment was one day - Multiverse was good at guiding us through the process. It’s the first real job interview for a lot of people, so they help you feel calm about it. I had two one-on-one interviews and a group task. After that, I waited and then got the job offer.

Each apprentice at Google is in a different team; there are no two people doing the same thing

With apprenticeships, you realise that within industries there are a wide range of opportunities available. You don't have to be a software engineer to work in a tech company; you could do marketing. You don't have to be a portfolio manager to work in finance; you could work in HR. It's these things you don't hear about in school.

My team does market research, which is really cool. There’s the opportunity to see lots of different parts of marketing. As part of my qualification I have to do digital marketing to meet the requirements. I've loved the experience.

It’s really given me confidence in myself. I had a rough year during my second year of A-levels. I wanted to take a break, work and see what was good for me. Spending that year out was the best decision. Doing the traineeship and apprenticeship gave me back that confidence and I really grew as a person.

The five key skills Multiverse look for in apprentice candidates:

  1. Grit - do you have the ability to overcome adverse situations? It's incredibly important for employers to see resilience
  2. Interpersonal skills​ - how well do you interact with others, both verbally and with written communication?
  3. Conscientiousness​ - your desire to do a task well. What techniques do you put in place to make sure a job is done well?
  4. Problem-solving​ - the ability to come up with effective and creative solutions, taking responsibility for solving the issue
  5. Intent -​ the likelihood of you finishing and your desire to complete your apprenticeship.