Ellie is completing an apprenticeship in content production and social media at an advertising agency in Manchester. In this interview, she talks about the variety and scope of her role and explains how you can follow in her footsteps.
Employer: McCann Manchester
Job title: Apprentice
Apprenticeship title: Junior content producer
What does your role involve?
As an apprentice I get to spend time in every department of the advertising agency. One day I might be writing copy for a client’s social media, the next I could be analysing data collected from an analytics tool. So far, I’ve been in five departments and have learnt so much already. In the social department, I had a lot of responsibility and produced content for clients that was then posted on their social media accounts. I schedule posts, analyse competitors, create content, and contribute to pitches for new clients.
What subjects did you study at school?
Art, maths, English, science, French, geography and RE. At college I studied art at A-level, film studies at A-level and a business BTEC.
How do you use your knowledge of art in your role?
During my time at college, I used an editing software tool called Premier Pro. I use this tool in my current apprenticeship role to create short promo videos.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I wanted to dive straight into the working world. The skills, knowledge and experience I have gained from doing this apprenticeship will set me up for the future.
How did you find out about your apprenticeship?
My art teacher at college told me to join the Ideas Foundation, a charity which helps students like myself find work experience in the creative industries. I did work experience at McCann when I was 17 and I knew it was somewhere I wanted to work. I even visited McCann in New York and was blown away by their offices.
How did you adjust to working life?
Before the apprenticeship I worked part-time as a lifeguard and went to college every day, so it was a big change when I started working full-time. The McCann campus is based in Cheshire and I live in Worsley so the travel is long but definitely worth it. Time management is so important when starting a new job. Every day I make sure I wake up with enough time to get to work so I’m not panicking and rushing. Starting the day right is key to having a great day.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to do your role?
Work experience will set you apart when applying for the apprenticeship. Go to agencies and ask for work experience; most will be happy to give you some. I worked with BJL [an advertising agency in Manchester] and did two of their summer schools.
How do you see your career changing in the next five to 10 years?
At this stage I’m still learning about all the different career paths there are in the creative industries, so it’s hard to see what I want to do yet. I do know that I want to be in a position where I’m happy and love what I do.
Find out more about careers in social media management in our career guide.