Our Learner of the Month for January is Adele Bannister, who has worked at Smoothwall for 2 years, and is nearly a year into her Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship.
Smoothwall are a software development company specialising in the production of web filtering and monitoring products for the UK Public Sector. They pride themselves in keeping children safe online.
Adele was nominated by her Skills Development Coach, who noted: “Adele always goes above and beyond. She deserves to be Learner of the Month at the very least, if not the year! She has been a model learner for Estio and an asset as an employee for Smoothwall.”
Adele’s nomination also refers to her fantastic achievements, such as appearing on BBC news teaching children in schools about internet safety for Safer Internet Day 2017, and helping contribute to the promotion of a campaign which made national television and was publicised on Sky News.
Since the start of her time at Smoothwall, Adele has received two promotions, progressing from a Digital Marketing Executive to a Digital Marketing Manager, to now fulfilling her role as Marketing Manager.
When we rang to congratulate Adele, we chatted about her time and experience so far with Smoothwall.
Adele told us she had been 9 years into a career as a make-up artist but had become inspired to change her career path. In her previous career, she had been an assistant manager, and involved in promoting various online business activities to increase customer retention which sparked her interest in Digital Marketing. Since starting at Smoothwall, Adele has achieved many certifications alongside her apprenticeship, such as CIM Google Analytics, and E-Marketeers Digital Marketing.
Adele said: “I have a real passion for Digital Marketing. It gives you the opportunity to be creative, and it’s always great seeing your ideas come to life.”
“I’m quite a result driven person, so I really enjoy looking at the analytics and seeing the positive impact my work is making.”
“I think the thing I enjoy most about my job is the fact that I get to use my knowledge and expertise in online safety, and on various occasions, share that with children in schools throughout the UK. I find getting to work as an educator in schools and knowing that I’m helping to make a difference is really rewarding. It’s also such a privilege to work alongside such a great team who are all so hard working and supportive of each other’s initiatives.”
When asked about her apprenticeship at Estio, Adele said:
“I’ve felt really supported by staff at Estio. My Skills Development Coach has been brilliant from the start. He really understood my way of learning and so the on-boarding process was made so much easier as a result. Throughout the course of my apprenticeship he was able to outline the evidence-based work I needed to do, which really helped.”
“As for training, the Principals of Coding module has been my favourite module, as it has given me the opportunity to achieve a Microsoft certification, something highly commended. I’ve also now been able to use coding to update the website and have meaningful conversations with members of other departments about the subject, which I would have never thought I could do.”
“I also really enjoyed the Video Imaging and Photography module. Since my training, Smoothwall have invested in a brand new digital camera, enabling me to update our website with our own images and videos. This module has certainly proved valuable as I was able to directly use my knowledge to improve aspects of the workplace.”
When asked why she chose an Estio Apprenticeship, Adele said:
“I think for me, the biggest thing was the fact I could gain a qualification in marketing, whilst continuing to progress within my career and learn on the job. It’s been fantastic having time out of the workplace to fully focus on learning and then on returning the workplace, putting that knowledge into practice.”
Claire Stead, Adele’s manager at Smoothwall, discussed how they have been integrating Apprentice’s into their business: “Smoothwall have been using apprentices for a long time across different departments to train and recruit young talent. Some people join the business as an apprentice and go on to be offered full time roles, whereas others, like Adele, have had the chance to be sponsored through an apprenticeship by the business within an existing role.”
“Taking on an apprentice is a mutually beneficial decision for the company and the apprentice. It’s a chance for someone to shape their career and also you can give them the guidance you want to build an employee that fits perfectly into your business.”
We are so pleased to hear about all of Adele’s achievements throughout the course of her apprenticeship, and wish her all the best for the future.
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