Digital Marketing Academy

October 11, 2019, by Leah Sharpe

How the Digital Marketing Academy Helped Kick-Start My Career

By Olivia Taylor, Theology and Religious Studies graduate

Throughout my time at University, I was completely clueless about the path I wanted to take, and the prospect of a real career seemed incredibly daunting to me. Until I happened to land on the Digital Marketing Academy page on the University’s website. It immediately caught my attention.

Having had no previous experience in anything digital related, the opportunity to gain two industry recognised certificates, attend an insight day at a digital marketing company, and gain some real hands on experience in the industry sounded brilliant to me.


I completed two Google certificates required to qualify for the insight day and the group project, ‘Google Analytics for Beginners’ and ‘The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’. If you are interested in learning about digital marketing I would recommend completing these courses. You will gain a wealth of knowledge about the industry and get to grips with the very basics of digital marketing. Not to mention, they look great on your CV!

Insight day

The insight day at Hallam was truly insightful and I learnt so much about the industry and the different roles within a digital marketing agency. It consisted of presentations, lots of opportunities to ask questions, interact with employees and peers, and take part in a social media marketing workshop.

Group project

One of my favourite parts of the academy was completing the group project during spring semester. The brief consisted of a hypothetical situation where we had to plan a new agency opening from a digital perspective. The project involved elements of competitor analysis, keyword research and digital PR, plus we were able to trial a range of programmes such as AhRefs and Google Analytics. I loved working with my team and we became good friends, meeting frequently each week!

Securing two internships

The Digital Marketing Academy was extremely beneficial to help kick start my career. Since completing the academy and getting involved in the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge, I secured two marketing related internships. My first was a two-week marketing and communications internship at Imara, a local charity in Nottingham. This role involved events management, marketing and plenty of client communication. I absolutely loved working at Imara and felt proud to be contributing to such a wonderful cause, whilst working alongside such inspirational people.

My second internship was an eight-week summer internship with Hallam, a leading digital marketing agency. This covered digital PR, content marketing, and SEO. My favourite part of this role was the sheer variety of tasks I am involved in. I have been given constant training and lots of responsibility from the offset and have had the opportunity to get involved in meetings and ideation sessions, form content proposals, write articles, and a blog. I have learnt so much within such a short space of time.

I wouldn’t have secured either of my internships without the experience I gained from the Digital Marketing Academy and the support of the Careers and Employability Service.

Here are my top tips for students starting to think about careers:

1. Don’t panic

If you suddenly find yourself in third year without a clue about the future, don’t apply to random graduate schemes just because you are worried about leaving without a job. Take time to find out what you enjoy and build up your experience by volunteering and taking part in opportunities offered to you by the Careers Service.

2. Make the most of the careers service

If you are in a position where you feel worried about the prospect of a career or you just want to know more about which sectors are suited to you, book a careers appointment. The staff are incredibly helpful. Don’t be afraid to sit down and tell them that you feel clueless about the future, they will be able to help you. You can have your CV reviewed, get help with job applications, attend mock interviews and assessment centres, and get help finding work experience and volunteering opportunities.

3. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone

There were points throughout the academy where, due to a lack of self-confidence, and uncertainty about the day ahead, I felt like dropping out. On reflection, I am so thankful to myself that I persevered. Presentations have always been something I have dreaded, but the more I do them, the easier I find them. If you persevere then you will surprise yourself with how much you can actually achieve.

Do you feel inspired to explore digital marketing? The Digital Marketing Academy ‘Get Inspired’ launch event is happening on Tuesday 29 October. Find out more and book your place

Posted in Work experience