EMPLOYER: Russell Richardson
COURSE: Digitial Marketing Apprenticeship
Gracie Smith, 21, has discovered her passion for marketing after starting an apprenticeship with The Source Academy that has allowed her to flourish and make a real impact in her workplace.
Gracie started her job with the family owned paper recycling company, Russell Richardson, 11 months ago, while working towards a Level 3 in Marketing.
Gracie has already proven that she is an integral member of the team, by taking on any challenges thrown her way with an enthusiastic attitude and taking on responsibilities as well as using her own initiative to develop the marketing within the company.
After completing her A-Levels, Gracie knew that she didn’t want to go to university and that an apprenticeship was the best route for her.
‘I wanted to do something different and I like the fact that you can work and earn money and get skills at the same time’.
Gracie previously studied for a Level 2 business admin, where she realised a marketing role was her next step.
Since starting, Gracie has been given responsibility over the social media marketing, but her role has involved so much more!
‘I do a bit of everything; it varies every day! It can go from giving customers quotes, putting details onto the system, that’s the sales side to it. In the marketing side, I do news for the website, maintain the website, photography and I’m in charge of all the social media now’
She’s made such great improvements to the companies’ social media marketing campaigns that she has been recognised for her work by the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, as she had been shortlisted for the Apprentice of The Year Award.
Gracie said being shortlisted is her best achievement since starting her apprenticeship.
‘I’m shocked that I made it to the top five to be honest, I couldn’t believe it’
On October 18th, Gracie attended the BR Chamber awards, which was her first time attending any awards show. Although nervous at first, Gracie really enjoyed the evening and received the ‘Highly Commended Apprentice of the Year’ award in the Apprentice of the Year category.
She was shocked to have got that far but said: ‘It was a great feeling that all my hard work was recognised’.
‘It was a really good feeling and its motivated me even more!’
Emma Skelton, Director at Russell Richardson, who put Gracie forward for the award, said: ‘she has come with a very open outlook to everything and a lot of enthusiasm and that willingness to go and find out new things and new ways of doing things. She definitely brought a younger pair of eyes to it, she’s the youngest by quite a lot which is good because she’s got a better understanding of social media, whereas before we were getting a little left behind’
After completing her apprenticeship, Gracie is still deciding whether to move onto a level 4 apprenticeship to continue building up her qualifications or to work full time, but she knows that she wants to develop further in a marketing role.
‘I would really like to progress in marketing, and like my tutor Adrian at The Source always says ‘make a name for yourself’ so I’d like to do just that’
Gracie would recommend others to look into doing an apprenticeship, ‘Before I did my apprenticeship last year, I was just thinking that people might look down on me, but I’d say just go and do it. And even if you’re not sure what you want to do, there’s so many options out there’.
When asked if she would recommend The Source as a training provider, Gracie said: ‘Definitely,100%! I think this is by far the best provider I’ve been with; I just feel like even if you’ve got a small question you can go to them or if you’ve got any issues or if you’re unhappy. And everyone is thorough with everything they do. I feel like they show a real interest in what you are doing.’
Gracie has proven that an apprenticeship can make a great impact to a business, bringing a new set of skills and enthusiasm into the workplace.