The Apprentice – Billy Reavill

Billy Reavill

My name is Billy Reavill, and I was part of the first ever cohort of apprentices at Omnicom Media Group, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk through how the past year has been for me.

My life before

Before my apprenticeship started, I attended Harris Academy Falconwood Sixth Form. I studied Business, Sport, Sociology and ICT at A Level. At the same time, I was playing for a semi-professional football club called Phoenix Sports, which at times was difficult to balance, but I managed it. Once I had finished sixth form, my search for an apprenticeship began straight away but at the time, the media industry wasn’t really on my mind. I had a friend who had just started a job at an agency in London, he told me about his job role and how exciting the industry is, and it sounded like something I would enjoy. I went for an interview with Arch Apprentices who are a pioneering training provider. Luckily, I was successful with my interview and they started their search for suitable apprenticeships. They managed to set me up with a few interviews with some huge media agencies, but Manning Gottlieb OMD was always the one I had my heart set on. The agency is well-known for their innovative work, has won loads of awards and the clients they work with are amazing! I knew I had a lot to live up to so made sure I was totally prepared before the interview to give myself the edge to secure the apprenticeship, which thankfully I did. I received a call about two hours later with the job offer and without any regrets, I accepted. My career was ready to begin.

The start of my apprenticeship

The time had come for my Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship to start. The first week was busy, including a lot of inductions, the first one being at Arch Apprenticeship’s offices, signing documents and just generally running through what to expect over the coming year.

The next three days were at the Bankside offices (where I would be based) alongside the other OMG apprentices who would be working across PHD Global Business, OMD International, Annalect and a few other Omnicom agencies. The three days consisted of back to back induction sessions with representatives from some of the biggest companies in media such as Google, Twitter, Bing, Facebook and Snapchat. Managers from across the different agencies also dropped in to teach us how every agency differs and talked through what would be expected of us. I took a lot in from this first week and gained good insight into how the media industry works, the sorts of clients I could be working with and how they run.

It then came to Friday, my first day in the Manning Gottlieb OMD office. I was slightly nervous, but at the same time ready to meet my team and get started in my job role as an Ad Ops Apprentice within the Campaign Management team. After an introductory meal, I was straight into the work and learning about DCM, the digital marketing platform I would be working with. From that day on, the first few months were full of learning and training. I attended many different sessions set up by my line manager. They were run by representatives from Excel, Google, Sizmek and some were also run by other work colleagues. As I’d come straight from school, it was the first time I had ever worked on these types of platforms, so it took some time for me to get my head around.

Within these first few months, I was just shadowing my manager and watching everything she did, occasionally trying small tasks myself. I learnt how to pull reports in DCM, the trafficking process from start to finish, how to create tables and graphs in Excel and how to structure emails in the correct way.

Further in to my apprenticeship

After time, I was finally settled in to my job role and my team. I had made friends around the office and was a lot more relaxed. I was a lot more comfortable using the DCM platform. I was now at a point where I could traffic campaigns using a trafficking sheet, pull reports and provide commentary independently, sometimes asking my line manager or another colleague for help. My ‘AA’ (Apprenticeship Advisor) helped me with keeping on track with my apprenticeship coursework, setting objectives to push myself and complete all tasks to the best of my ability.

Within my apprenticeship I have learnt a lot about adapting to changes within my work environment. This could be a new software the company has started using or a team member moving to pastures new. When my line manager changed roles, it brought with it increased responsibility which helped me develop a lot. I had to use my initiative more and more and figured things out for myself. I still had the help of other colleagues and the team manager, but I had to work a lot more independently than I was used to. I reacted well which helped me gain a lot more trust from other colleagues. As a consequence, I began working across more clients and took on more complex tasks.

This is just a small insight of what I have experienced over the past year and what my apprenticeship has consisted of. I am looking forward to continuing to work in such a successful media agency and tackle all the challenges that come my way. Thank you for reading!