Initially, I was drawn to the role of a Digital Marketer because of the creative freedom and variety involved in the role.
Advertised duties involved tasks such as creating content for the website & social media, looking into marketing trends, developing communication strategies, and additional opportunities to get involved in research & development (R&D) projects.
I also had a small amount of relevant experience in marketing music concerts for a small events management organisation which had given me the confidence to apply. Although, I think it is important to note that experience isn’t necessary for an apprenticeship at all. A positive attitude, passion, a desire to learn, and confidence are much more important attributes when applying for a job as an apprentice. After all, an apprenticeship is about gaining experience and learning new skills.
The interview process was in two parts: the first to find out more about me as a person and the second to demonstrate my technical knowledge and abilities. I really enjoyed the interview process as it gave me the opportunity to showcase my passions, ideas, skills and abilities – I felt like I could be completely open and honest straight away and wasn’t made to feel like there were any wrong answers or trick questions.
The view from the office is also definitely a bonus. Not to mention the nearby places to eat and drink (e.g. Nibble and Berts) which have kept team productivity consistently high!
In my first week, Scott & Ian were incredibly welcoming and encouraging, still are! As the company directors’ first full-time employee, it was quite a new – but exciting – process for all involved.
Within the first few days of starting my role, I was already off on my first business meeting at the University of York, where I sat and scribbled down lots of notes, trying to take in and understand this foreign BIM language they were talking about. I relished the opportunity to get involved in the multitude of discussions and meetings in my first few weeks of starting at Bimsense. From the very start, I was made to feel an important part of the business; with my opinion and involvement being encouraged and valued. These discussions were also a great way for me to learn about the ins and outs of Bimsense, Scott and Ian always made time to explain anything to me that I didn’t understand about BIM or their work; such as helping me decode the scribbly, incoherent notes from my first meeting with them at the University of York.
For the first few months, my main priority was to learn from those around me and build up my confidence as a Digital Marketer. I was several research tasks to do such as providing a SWOT report on Bimsense’s competitors, which was great for me to understand where Bimsense sits in the marketplace. I also put aside some time most days to do a bit of reading on BIM, construction and marketing; both online and offline. In addition to the independent research & learning, I also partook in weekly marketing meetings in order to discuss the strategy for the upcoming week.
During this time, the Bimsense team also started to grow with the addition of Tim as CTO (centre) and Ed (centre-right) as a Software Development Apprentice.
As I gained confidence, I gradually took on more responsibilities – I started editing & publishing articles for the website, producing analytics reports, prospecting potential clients on LinkedIn, and curating content for social media. I also attended several marketing events at C4DI which gave me lots of further insight into marketing and entrepreneurship. In one particular event, I was introduced to JetBuzz, an automation tool for LinkedIn where you could personalise and automate connection requests & messages. I demonstrated this to Scott and we soon implemented it for the business which saved us masses of time. My efforts didn’t go unnoticed, and I was soon nominated for Apprentice of the Week:
“Alison joined the company as an apprentice to assist our Business Development Director in creating content and sharing the business news, thoughts and ideas. However, Alison quickly became the leading manager of content structuring, creation and distribution. Her attitude to learning is of real value to herself and our business. Our websites and social media platforms have gained a remarkable upturn in respect of attention and following since her arrival, gaining new audiences around the world. Alison has also been exposed to active lead generation practices and after reading up on the subject, implemented various practices to widen our client target base. Having reviewed software to automate our processes which resulted in savings to the business equivalent to her own monthly salary. We could not be happier and prouder of Alison.” 😭
Although I didn’t win, the nomination meant a lot more! 😊
As time progressed, I started developing my role into its own. I took ownership of Bimsense’s social media networks and started to regularly create, design and curate content for them. I also wrote several articles for the Bimsense website including one about the Bimsense Team Growing and another discussing Bimsense’s Rebrand. Alongside my workplace role, I was simultaneously working on my Apprenticeship assignments and exams: achieving 96% in Social Media Strategy and 94% in the Principles of Online/Offline Marketing!
In March 2019 I went to my first Awards Ceremony for Inspiring Businesses and Bimsense only happened to win. The prize included £25,000 of business support, which included personalised one-on-one social media training for me with the brilliant Eskimo Soup.
As of now (June 2019), I am nearing the end of the apprenticeship. So far I have passed all 4 of my apprenticeship exams and completed 10 out of 13 units demonstrating my on-the-job learning and am very much looking forward to the future. I know I will be completing my level 3 apprenticeship with a bunch of new skills, newfound knowledge, experience and confidence to take on the world. 😉
As for my future at Bimsense, they are looking to expand the team further and even release a new product called Operance. Operance is a mobile application (developed by Tim and Ed) designed to store historical and up-to-date building information in order to facilitate a building’s operation & maintenance. I’m currently drafting out a marketing plan for the release of the app (it’s presently in BETA testing)… so watch this space!
Thanks for reading