My name is Richard Cerkasins, and this is my first attempt at writing a blog, ever. I recently started my role as a digital marketing apprentice and have come to the end of my first week. Writing and English is not my strong suit. So what better way to improve my skills than talking about my journey through the Apprenticeship.


A little background about me; I am originally from Latvia, and English is technically my second language, so it has been the perfect excuse to avoid writing copy, but the reality is, over the decade that I have lived here it’s become second nature to me so unfortunately, that excuse doesn’t work as well as it used to.


Now, the good part, what I like doing the most – I would say is my strong suit is creativity. I’ve always loved art, design, and everything to do with bringing something to life visually. This love of all things creative started through my hobbies. Photography, digital art and design are probably the most blog-worthy of my past times, which inspired me to pursue a career that includes all of those creative outlets.


Digital marketing was that role for me, not only because it involves design work, but it plays a massive part in every business. We are in a digital age where social media is the zeitgeist of everything.


You might be talented or have a revolutionary product or service, but what good is it if it gets lost in the millions of posts, ads and businesses? Reaching an audience and building a customer base is what turns an idea into a business and digital marketing is one of the things that enables that.


My end goal is to be independent and work for myself. That may be through freelance design (which I have dabbled in, in the past) or by starting my own design company. By starting an apprenticeship in digital marketing, I hope to gain the skills I need to market my own business and ideas successfully. Through this, the world will be my oyster, I can travel and experience everything that the planet can offer all the while doing something that I love.


My entry into the working world has not been pretty. I have had roles in some of the most tedious and intensive jobs like McDonald’s; standing in one place all day running on a loop taking orders. On a nicer note, I have also helped build my parents building business, creating their company brand and assets, as well as helping with building work, unfortunately this didn’t make my pockets any bigger. Then there was my most recent role (I couldn’t wait to leave) prepping food for up to 15 hours, 6 days a week to get money for a driver’s license. Luckily, I was found by the Waterfront and offered an interview for an apprenticeship position in the marketing team. With the help of Baltic apprenticeships who sourced the role for me, I bagged the job! I honestly couldn’t believe it at the time because it finally meant I could stop wasting time in jobs that didn’t get me closer to my goals. It proved to me that I was capable of reaching those goals, which felt great.


Now let’s get back on topic, my first week in the job. Long story short it has been amazing, it’s the first role that I have been in that I actually enjoy. I am not counting down the seconds to leave in fact, the day goes so quick I have no time to count the seconds!


Having a lot of experience in design and being more than happy to do it, a lot of the tasks I was set this week revolved around that. The first day set the tone for the rest of the week, and it has been spent mostly getting used to how everything is done and refreshing my illustrator and photoshop skills. Designing flyers, web pages and posters etc. Finally, I am doing something I love doing while getting PAID! I made sure to flex on my friends still stuck in school or working in jobs they hated (another added bonus).


The biggest learning curve was learning about branding. Being able to create marketing materials that reflect the look and values of the brands I am working with, which include Bliss Hotels, Waterfront Southport and Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. Things like working with the colour schemes, fonts and the tone of voice that fits the brand. I have gained a good understanding but there is still much to learn. I also dabbled in email marketing, making functional email adverts promoting upcoming theatre events using ‘Dot Digital’. Although not my favourite thing to do because of how time-consuming and repetitive it can get.


Overall this has been a fantastic week, I have developed my skills in email marketing, branding, design and most importantly, copywriting.  I can honestly say I am looking forward to next week almost as much as I am to sleep as long as I want over the weekend.