POV: Becoming a marketing apprentice at the age of 16.3 min read

I began this year sitting at a dirty, gum-covered school desk. 

Pencil in hand, I was frantically jotting down notes for my GCSE exams that were due to take place in the coming months. 

However, they never happened. 

The coronavirus pandemic came as a shock to us all (minus Bill Gates).

My exams cancelled, my plans ruined, my life… failed?

Post-school, I had a variety of options open to me.

Sixth form was always my last choice.

College didn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

And yet, all of my aspirations of achieving the single thing I had desired the most, an apprenticeship, looked unlikely.

However, giving up was never an option.

I spent my time in lockdown gaining experience by developing my marketing skills through personal projects, as well as applying for tons of apprenticeships.

Google, Bloomberg, Unilever, BT. 

I jumped on every opportunity I could, only to either get turned down, realize the company wasn’t suited to me, or to shift my attention to another company looking to hire.

Time was slipping away, and before I knew it, I had to make a decision on where to study.

With no luck in getting an apprenticeship, I had no choice but to go to…

Sixth form. 

I spent one day at sixth form, which acted as a small reminder it really wasn’t the route for me.

So I left, and instead joined a fashion academy in Central London.

Another great decision.

I had to wake up at 4 am each morning, and would end up getting back at around 8 pm. 

The universe must have heard me, as an opportunity arose at a local marketing agency.

Joining a friendly team, surrounded by an abundance of knowledge, being treated like an adult, and gaining hands-on experience was too much of a tempting offer to resist.

Unlike when I applied for Bloomberg and Google, I decided to be myself for these interviews, and made sure not to act as the ‘perfect, unflawed candidate’.

“Don’t trade your authenticity for approval”

I guess that’s how my time at Digital Gearbox began.

In my short one month of working here, I have learned and experienced more than I ever thought possible.

I’ve been given numerous opportunities to complete crucial marketing tasks,

Become ‘Google Certified’ within my first week,

Learned masses of information and knowledge regarding the world of PPC,

Been given the chance to feature on the ‘PPC Burrito’ podcast (check it out here),

Settled and became a member of a great team,

And most importantly,

I am finally happy with how my life looks ahead of me.

I began this year sitting at a school desk, uncertain about my future life. 

I am ending this year sitting at a desk, this time from home.

I am a digital marketer in the making, working for a fast-growing marketing agency. 

I am certain about my future.

“Stop trying. Start doing”

If you would like to learn more about me, please follow me on LinkedIn.

Sam Pilgrim

A one-man marketing machine, Sam is a heavenly combination of natural PPC skills and street smarts. Known beyond the world of pay per click for his impeccable taste in fashion, and his friendship with the world’s biggest rappers…

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