9th February 2023
As part of this week’s National Apprenticeship Week it was great to catch up with former student Ethan to hear about his journey since graduating from St Brendan’s two years ago and taking up an apprenticeship at Amazon. We also asked Ethan for some advice and tips for our current students who are considering an apprenticeship as their next step after college.
Ethan joined St Brendan’s from Mangotsfield School and studied A-level Media Studies, A-level Photography and Level 3 BTEC Business.
What was the apprenticeship that you took up after finishing at St Brendan’s?
After leaving St Brendan’s in 2020, I joined Amazon as a Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprentice, virtually at first and moving back to hybrid in mid-2021 from our London office working as part of the Alexa EU Marketing Team.
Why did you choose to complete an apprenticeship?
I’d been working since I was 16 so knew that I wanted to be able to learn day to day and start putting that in to practice vs heading to Uni and then finding a job later on. I was also able to get a recognised qualification and experience that would provide me with an advantage later on.
What did your role include?
I was placed in the Alexa Built-in team where I looked after marketing of some well-known brands which had Alexa in their products from TVs to Smart Watches in Europe. My day-to-day role allowed me to cover a range of different points of a customer’s Alexa’s experience and dive in to various areas of Marketing. I managed our marketing activations across the Amazon website, Email, Push Notifications and more which really helped me get a taste of what part of marketing I wanted to specialise in. I also managed our key events like Prime Day and Black Friday, making sure we were in the right places at the right time and knowing the millions of people about to see what I’d been working on. As an Apprentice, I get 20% of my time to study, to focus on my off the job work which varied from attending webinars with my training provider through to listening to podcasts about Marketing and much more.
How did you hear about the apprenticeship?
I found out about the Apprenticeship through the Amazon Website and reached out to some of their Apprentices on LinkedIn to see what they enjoyed about their roles and how they found it! It really helped me in being able to get a flavour into Apprentice life and hear first-hand.
What support did you receive from St Brendan’s?
St Brendan’s was a key part to my journey to Amazon! I was able to learn a lot about all my options and make an informed choice on what was next! My Academic Mentor Katy and through our Future sessions made sure we knew about all the options and getting all of the resources we needed together. I also took advantage of the Careers drop-ins to chat with the Careers team when I needed some help weighting up all the options, I had open.
What has happened since you completed your apprenticeship?
Since graduating my Apprenticeship with Amazon, I was offered a full time Marketing Manager position in my old team. I recently shuffled and now own Alexa’s Marketing efforts for Fire TV customers in Europe, helping educate customers on what Alexa can do on their Fire TV which gives me a lot of responsibility and I can still experiment and choose my own path. I’m lucky to have Apprentices across Amazon and in my team that I get to mentor and they teach me things even I didn’t know.
Would you recommend an apprenticeship to others?
Absolutely! An Apprenticeship teaches you a lot from the start to the end and help you think outside the box. I loved being able to have an impact to millions of customers, continuing to discover and alter my path as I was building it and learn from some very inspirational people. You still get that Social Life aspect which Uni gives you, which a lot of people think you don’t get – you’ll occasionally find me having coffee chats catching up with my friends or the occasional after work social event.
What advice would you give Year 13s who are looking to find an apprenticeship?
Take advantage of National Apprenticeships Week – a lot of companies like Amazon having just opened their applications and information sessions, jump on these – they’re a great way on helping you learn what’s out there. Also, network! - Reach out to Apprentices at the companies you’d love to work at on Linkedin or at networking events, we love to chat about our experiences and happy to always help where we can!
THANKS ETHAN FOR THE CATCH-UP AND ADVICE.
For any current students who want to find out more about apprenticeships, be sure to check out the Careers News website – this is constantly being updated with all of the latest opportunities - the link is in the Student Bulletin that is emailed to you each week.
The St Brendan’s Careers Team will also be happy to help – details on how to book an appointment can also be found in the Student Bulletin.