Lucy Reed – Roundhouse Digital

How did it feel when you found out you were Apprentice of the month?

I’m so happy to be named apprentice of the month, I was very surprised! All the apprentices I have come across on my training have all been fantastic so when I found out I was even nominated I was over the moon.

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Roundhouse Digital

I work closely with my line manager, Elliot McGrath, helping to maintain several clients’ social media accounts, which involves a lot of research into various different industries to create relevant and engaging posts that are suitable for various platforms. Personally, I really enjoy creating content and editing imagery for emails as I can tap into seasonal content and get creative, I like to use my overflowing inbox of subscriptions for inspiration! Helping to look after blogs for both Roundhouse Digital and clients is really interesting as I get to work with various types of content and inform my decisions with analytics, audience and SEO research. It’s great to get this much experience in different areas.

Is it difficult having to become an expert in such varied topics?

It can be quite difficult to think of new content every day but there is so much inspiring content online and I love reading about it all!

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day is really difficult to describe as my schedule usually revolves around a monthly schedule and any trending topics.

To start my day, I begin by reviewing Co-schedule, this is a social programming tool that allows me to see what’s scheduled to go out that day and what’s trending that we could potentially get on board with. If there is something I think that we could tap into I will usually begin to brainstorm ideas, around keywords, hashtags and look through our selection of imagery.

I would then look at the blog schedule for the next month and see what I need to be working on, what’s ready to go out, what needs written and how I can make older blogs relevant and evergreen. If it is time to work on new content and new blogs I will look and current trends and if there is any seasonal content we can engage with. When thinking about ideas for future months it is crucial I to check through Google Analytics at which style / type of content is performing higher than others.

Once a month I also curate and edit content for an email on behalf of a client. After this is sent out at the start of the month I begin looking at and recording the various statistics and analytics, this then forms the basis of a report which recommends decisions for the future month.

What made you want to apply for an apprenticeship?

When I left school, I wasn’t sure what wanted to do, I was undecided. I finished with a good general knowledge but I had no idea of anything specific that I wanted to specialise in, so I thought about what I am interested in compared to the classic subjects I studied. After a lot of thinking, and working in various retail high street stores, I came to the conclusion I love to shop, I know that sounds very girly but I do! I love the whole retail experience, beginning with a search query, looking and engaging with various different social media campaigns, then performing a call to action and either visiting a store, or purchasing online and getting the desired item. The whole experience for me is personally very exciting.

I decided that I wanted to get some experience in Digital Marketing after contacting Roundhouse Digital, a creative diverse agency in my local city centre. I was interviewed and given the opportunity to come to Roundhouse Digital on a month placement, it was a brilliant offer I couldn’t turn it down. After a really enjoyable month placement I was then offered the opportunity to stay on an apprenticeship, which offered me the support throughout my apprenticeship training. This meant that I would gain vital real-world experience, plus actual qualifications in a subject I’m passionate about, I have never looked back!

What stood out about this programme?

One of the main things that stands out about the programme is that every single thing we cover on training days I can take back and implement in my day to day role. Every staff member I have also encountered whilst being on course has been exceptionally friendly and always happy to help which is really appreciated.

How do you feel a woman in the tech industry?

This is difficult one to answer as I don’t feel like I am “woman in tech”, I just feel like I work within technology and I just happen to be a woman. I never think of this as a disadvantage. I know that there are very few women in the industry and I just don’t know why! Women are very creative and this sector is crying out for creativity and a fresh perspective, it’s an ideal industry for a woman to thrive in.

Do you feel like there has been any limitations for you?

When I was doing my A-Levels, my school only offered Computing, not a general IT qualification which did put me off as I wasn’t as interested in the actual hardware and software. Because of not taking it at school I never really thought of starting a career in tech because I didn’t know this career path was an option for me.

Who inspires you?

My friends inspire me more than anyone. A lot of them are bloggers and vloggers which I find so inspirational, and I love following their updates and watching their latest videos. It is so inspirational for me that they have carved their own way have been very successful. I think it is just amazing that they have a platform that gives them a voice and a place to talk about what they love/care/worry about, and gain support from a great network of users.

What advice would you give to a young woman unsure about a digital apprenticeship?

Just go for it!

There are so many resources online and so much information, Baltic always have somebody on the end of the phone or the live chat if you have any questions or concerns. The IT industry is so vast there are so many different areas you can work in.