I’m Jared O’Donnell and I’m an Ad Operations Assistant here at Walk-in Media, undergoing a Level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship. I’m writing here to explain what life is like as an apprentice here as well as how I got the role amongst other details. One thing’s for sure and that’s every day sees different challenges and is different from each other!
The application process was a lengthy one and it started with the background as to why I applied. Back in April 2021, I was searching for apprenticeships and jobs within the media industry as a whole as the idea of working in an agency like this has always appealed to me. As a result, when I saw the vacancy online, I didn’t hesitate to apply, attaching my CV as well as answering screening questions such as what attracted me to the role. To be honest I then forgot about it then all of a sudden I heard back from the Apprenticeship screening partner who said I was successful in being invited to two group sessions.
The group sessions were split into two; a masterclass in Ad Ops and SEO as well as hearing from the CEO himself, Simon along with a session answering data based questions and being asked to explain the answers to a selected panel. The group sessions were quite competitive as everyone wanted one of the two roles available (one in SEO, one in Ad Ops) however I felt as if I gave a good account of myself. Luckily, my optimism wasn’t misplaced and a few days later, I heard back and was asked to interview for both of the two roles.
My first interview was with SEO and although I thought it went well and the role was intriguing, I knew after my second interview with Ad Ops and my now line manager Billy which one was the right fit for me. I answered all the questions well and had a connection in the interview, something that would serve me well. After all of the screening processes and interview processes, I awaited news and luckily I didn’t have to wait too long to hear back that I was offered the role on the Ad Ops team and that I could start a couple of weeks after that! The whole of the interview process was only the start of my journey in the industry…
Life as An Apprentice
Whilst I was waiting to start, I was a bit anxious as to what my day to day duties would be as I had never worked in any role similar before and initially, everything was done remotely so I wouldn’t even be meeting those I would work with in person. However as soon as I started, those concerns were swept away as soon as I met the team I would be working with and after some training and experience, I’m now in the position I am today, writing this post. That’s why I’m going to give an insight as to what a day in the life of an apprentice looks like:
Firstly, a day at WIM starts at 9am so its important to feel prepared for your upcoming day at work. Usually, I would use the first 15 minutes to catch up and reply to any emails I may have missed as after this, its time for the Ad Ops/Data team ‘Morning Team Huddle’ until 10am. Within this meeting, we discuss how the previous day went for everyone and look at the requests that have come in and work out who’s going to do each request so the workload is balanced and fair to everyone. After this meeting, I then go about my day using a tool I have become very familiar with, Google Campaign Manager. I use Google Campaign Manager in order to traffic any requests that come in to us. To sum up briefly, its an ad server that allows us to host, manage and serve the creative assets of our clients. We can view reports within the CM360 platform if we so wish as well. Before I start trafficking a campaign, I will liaise with our media team who send the requests across to us as to the details in regards to whether it’s a social setup or a display setup as each one will be done different.
Once all clarification is done, I then go about trafficking campaigns. However, once a week, I have a 1 to 1 with my line manager Billy when we discuss how I’m getting along, training opportunities and how he thinks I’m doing from a development point of view. After that, it’s back to CM360 for me as I aim to traffic a campaign and send tags over so a campaign can be set live on the various platforms. I continue carrying out these requests until 5:30pm (with a 1 hour lunch break of course) to help play a small part in delivering a good outcome for our clients. Once every two weeks, I have a paid digital team meeting I have to attend which is a wider meeting of around 25 people compared to the morning team huddle in which there are 6 members.
However, once a week, I have a day dedicated to off the job training for the learning part of my apprenticeship where I will carry out revision for the exams that I have to sit throughout the apprenticeship, complete project work in the way of writeups of tasks or projects I have been asked to do here at WIM as well as keep on top of my Maths and English skills, as is required of an apprentice. Additionally, I have a coach at LDN Apprenticeships called Howard who assists in any queries I have and helps provide feedback on how I’m doing.
Overall, I’m enjoying my experience here so far so hopefully it continues and I hope you now have a better idea of what life as an apprentice is like here at WIM. It’s hard work but we also have fun here which makes it a great place to work!