Katie Fiddaman

Tell us a little bit about you?

My name is Katie and I am 19. I am currently in my first year as a Pearson Degree Apprentice at Pearson College London.

What are you studying?

BA (Hons) Business Management

Where are you working?

Pearson College London - Communications, PR and Content Assistant

Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship?

When I finished sixth-form at 17, I decided that university wasn’t for me as from the age of 15, I had been working in part-time and full-time roles and I enjoyed working and earning money. However, I knew I wanted to continue to learn and had always enjoyed business, particularly the marketing side as the flexibility for creativity within marketing always excited me. I found Pearson College London’s degree apprenticeships on “notgoingtouni.co.uk” and was fascinated by what they were able to offer to successful applicants. I originally applied for the Rotational Degree Apprenticeship in which my home company was Kantar Added Value and based in Paris but unfortunately I was unsuccessful in the final company interview.

However, I knew that this was the route most suited to me so I persevered and applied for the degree apprenticeship scheme working for Pearson College London themselves. But it still wasn’t easy. I learned from the feedback that I received and I applied this to ensure I was successful in the interviews.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

I have really enjoyed my Introduction to Research module as it has allowed me to research an area of my role further. This is mutually beneficial as it allows me to both complete the work for my degree, whilst also researching a project in which the results will benefit my team. I have also enjoyed studying alongside degree apprentices from other companies because they can bring a range of case studies from their workplace to seminars which allows me to understand a different viewpoint in certain situations.

What have you learnt so far during your work placement?

During my work placement, I have been exposed to a variety of areas of marketing such as social media marketing, email marketing, content creation such as blogs and website content and PR. Being trusted with responsibility has definitely helped me learn and develop my skills in all of these areas. For example, I manage half of our social media channels, across Pearson Business School and Escape Studios. I have also learnt how to use different online systems, such as our customer relationship management, blogging and email systems. I have had the opportunity to attend and present at events, open days and a masterclass run by the Guardian about pitching to journalists.

I really enjoy the PR side of things, because alongside my interest in marketing, I have always been intrigued by journalism. Therefore, this element of my role allows me to combine these two interests, giving me the opportunity to meet with companies to make deals and have my work published on external websites.

How has your placement helped you with your studies?

The degree is catered to suit the work we are doing and therefore I am able to apply my work experiences to various areas of the degree. Within the Principles of Business module, we are covering a wide range of topics from Sales to Marketing to Corporate Social Responsibility to Finance. I can apply the work I have done within my role to these topics and it makes it a lot easier to understand. 

Do you have any advice for anyone applying for a degree apprenticeship?

My main piece of advice to any applicant for any of the degree apprenticeship programmes would be to never give up if you are sure that this is the path you want to follow. Pearson College London provides application windows year-round so if something comes up that you are unsuccessful at, try for the next opportunity. Perseverance shows a great deal of desire and determination which are very attractive to employers. And, the best company for you will find you.

In hindsight, Pearson was definitely the company most suited to me. If for any reason this didn’t work out, the degree programmes at Pearson Business School are phenomenal, offering internships and rich industry experience, as well as wide variation with regards to modules.