Let's talk apprenticeships

Owen is completing his Digital Marketing apprenticeship programme with Microsoft and we caught up with him to learn more about why he chose this career path and what he felt about the programme.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

Owen said, “I never wanted to go to university. Without a set career path, I felt it would be a waste of time deep diving into one subject when I did not know what field I wanted to work in. I also felt like attending Uni was not fundamental to my success.”

“Neither of my parents went to Uni and were extremely successful in their business careers. My parents have always been supportive throughout school, keen to encourage my thirst for knowledge through different activities. From just 14, I had pretty much decided I wanted to do an apprenticeship.”


How did you find your apprenticeship?

However, Owen did decide eventually to study Physics, Maths and Computer Science at college but due to personal reasons dropped off his course and after a few months applied to Microsoft and Agile UX Agency for an apprenticeship. As Owen explains, “I was offered two opportunities but eventually took the Digital Marketing role at Microsoft. Since working at Microsoft, I’ve always felt like a work colleague and not a student.”


Why digital marketing?

Owen said, “Marketing gives you a very transferable set of skills, I enjoy the creativity of generating new ideas and problem solving”. Even in the first few months, Owen has been working on some very cool tasks (even gaining amazing exposure to secret technology before devices come out) and has been actively encouraged to get involved, develop his knowledge and offer his ideas.


What activities has your digital marketing role involved?

As Owen explains, “I have specially enjoyed the accessibility-related development projects enabling technology for all individuals of varying physical and mental abilities.  During his projects Owen has worked closely with teams in the US which he says was fantastic for understanding and adapting to cultural differences too.


In his role Owen has been managing the creation of digital assets, with their deployment and execution. He has also gathering analytics and recorded the learnings to see what works and what doesn’t. Owen said, “As part of my training programme it is good to reflect back on these project activities and see how much progress I have made over recent months.


How does your training fit in with your busy day?

Owen prefers the idea of structure and manages the flexibility of training/coursework effectively around the week with his Intequal Pathway Planner and trainer Nile. Owen co-ordinates meetings with Nile who helps him reflect on his personal development, review programme timelines and provide support around any study topic queries or learning portfolio ideas.


Where next?

Inspired by his accessibility development work on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Owen would like to progress further into the gaming field and would like to pick up a higher apprenticeship now he has identified this as a potential future career aspiration.