Katerina Petrou joined Avrion in August 2021 to start her Digital Marketer Apprenticeship – the second apprentice in Avrion’s apprenticeship program, provided by Firebrand. We caught up with her to find out how she is getting on with the aim of informing school leavers and other people interested in apprenticeships (in general) or digital marketing (specifically).

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I had been working with the NHS in the Test and Trace scheme during the first part of the pandemic and then had to take a break for family reasons. Consequently, searching for the right job after that was a challenge. I was offered some work through a family friend – Jonathan Wilkins – working on social media for his software company. He knew I was interested in the medium and once I started work at Avrion, my line manager, Caroline Robertson, suggested an apprenticeship as a possible avenue. I was aware of the idea of an apprenticeship as an alternative to university or college and was attracted to the potential of working alongside learning and earning.

How are you finding working with Avrion?

I am enjoying the ability to work both at home and at the office. I value time in the office to interact with colleagues and learn anecdotally. My role as curator and author on social media channels means that I am learning about the business as I work, and creating content to explain it reinforces the knowledge at the same time. Software and CRM were not areas I was very aware of before, but now, through my work, I am comfortable talking about them and understand it much more clearly.

What about the team at Avrion?

The team has been very welcoming from the start and is a great mixture of ages and genders. I have felt comfortable to be myself with a very supportive core Commercial Team who have never put pressure on me. We share the office with the Development Team which gives us more of a mix of personality types, as well as more chance to absorb other elements of the job.

Tell me about the learning side of the apprenticeship

With my course, I am entrusted to do around seven hours of studying per week – I prefer to spread that out over the week and do an hour or so first thing every day. That way, studying for courses is shared over the week however, for some projects I will spend a concentrated amount of time. My tutor from Firebrand – Andrew Rafter – is very supportive, guiding me on my time allocations and ensuring I keep to course deadlines. My course and projects are related to digital marketing with some more specific modules, such as coding, which ties into websites and helps with overall understanding.

“Katerina hit the ground running when starting as a Digital Marketing apprentice in 2021,” says Andrew Rafter, Katerina’s Learning Mentor at Firebrand Training. “She’s got a thirst for new knowledge and skills — and is already having a real impact on the business, bringing fresh ideas and new ways of marketing to Avrion, which is great to see. She is set to have a bright future ahead of her.”

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?

Absolutely, yes, I would. It’s a brilliant way to learn on the job, attain useful qualifications as well as earn money. You get to understand the processes of digital marketing as you work, in real-time. I will finish the course with several certifications, such as Google Analytics Advanced, BCS Principles of Coding and BCS Marketing Principles, but without a large student debt.

What’s been your favourite part of your Digital Marketer Apprenticeship?

On a personal and emotional level, I have enjoyed the supportive, empathetic attitude of my team, not being placed under pressure. On a more practical level, I really enjoy the creation and scheduling of the content for social media – I love seeing how it all joins up and presents the company to the outside world.

Further information

An apprenticeship is a brilliant way to earn while you learn, whilst gaining work experience simultaneously.

Are you considering an apprenticeship? If so, you’re more than welcome to contact us with any questions – whether it’s about apprenticeships in general, or a Digital Marketer Apprenticeship specifically. You may also find our previous blogs, ‘How does an Apprenticeship Work?’ and Benefits of Apprenticeships beneficial.