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07 Feb 2020

Excelling in the digital world of work: Emma Green, Social Media Content Executive at MediaCityUK

To conclude our National Apprenticeship week blog series, and to support Greater Manchester Digital Skills Day, the spotlight is on Emma Green and her digital role at MediaCityUK.

Before landing her current role within Peel L&P, Emma was a digital marketing apprentice at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a board of business and civic leaders chaired by George Osborne the former Chancellor of the Exchequer - and Lord Jim O’Neill of Gatley. Emma immersed herself in the Northern Powerhouse Partnership including planning and delivering the ‘Northern Powerhouse Apprentice Summit’ which brought 150 apprentices and 50 business leaders together in MediaCityUK.

Having gained certifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in digital marketing and a qualification in computer coding, Emma also has a degree in Film Studies from LJMU and was added to Northern Power Women’s ‘Future List’ in 2019, for being an ‘influencer and change maker of the future who is already making a difference in her environments and communities’.

Tell us why you are passionate about digital and what inspired you to seek a career in the field

I’m 26, which means I’m classed as a ‘Millennial’ and a digital native, so I’ve never really known a world or job without having a digital element to it - my job didn’t even exist 10 years ago! The speed in which we can gather information, find contacts and share stories via digital platforms is so exciting and, working in social media, I love that I can share news instantly, make new connections and use digital platforms as a powerful tool to engage journalists and influencers directly.

How did you get where you are today?

I never seem to choose the straightforward path with any of my decisions, and my career was no exception! Whilst studying at university, I applied for a work experience placement on a BBC drama whose production office was in MediaCityUK. It was my first visit to MediaCityUK, and I felt so inspired by being there, I knew that it was the place I wanted to be in.

After I graduated, I struggled to find a job in the creative sector and the continuous knock backs really began to affect my confidence and self-belief. As it was coming up to a year after I graduated and I was concerned that my skills in pint-pulling were overtaking my digital skills, I signed myself up for more work experience opportunities, this time in digital marketing. During my placement, I realised I loved the how digital and communications go hand in hand and discovered the Juice Academy, a digital apprenticeship scheme in Greater Manchester. I was then selected by UTC@MediaCityUK to be their digital marketing apprentice.

During my time at UTC@MediaCityUK, I attended the first Northern Powerhouse Partnership Apprentice Summit. This was a small event for apprentices across the North to come together and give their thoughts on what could be done to rebalance the North-South divide. I was then invited to the launch of their 2050 report, where I put my questions to George Osborne and a room full of business leaders. After the event, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) decided that they would take on a digital apprentice and I was offered the opportunity to complete my apprenticeship with them.

I developed the NPP’s online and digital presence and grew its online following organically by over 800%. My job was to develop a strategy to summarise policies, thought leadership and announcements for the purpose of social media. I was also given the opportunity to develop and manage the apprentice summit that I had attended the year before. It grew and we went from 30 apprentices to 150 and 4 business leaders to 50! I also had the task of pitching a location for it to be in. It had to be somewhere that would inspire apprentices and evoke ambition – for me, that was (and still is) MediaCityUK.

Just before my apprenticeship was due to finish, my line manager spotted MediaCityUK was advertising for a Social Media Content Executive. He shared the job advert with me via email with the subject “I think this is your dream job…”. I applied, was shortlisted, interviewed and offered the job. And the rest is history!

I have learnt that you need to say yes to opportunity. Say yes when you get invited along to events and always have an opinion. I have been very lucky to have worked for employers who have recognised opportunities for my career and encouraged me to challenge myself. I’m very grateful to have acquired such brilliant managers and mentors along the way.

What are your career ambitions?

I’m extremely ambitious and have an ever-growing list of ideas and goals I would like to achieve! A lot of people have helped me along the way, and I would like to continue giving back. I would love to be a mentor, and I hope to work with the People Team at Peel L&P to increase the number of apprentices and graduates we bring into MediaCityUK.

A big ambition I have, is that I want to host the biggest summit for apprentices in the UK, Europe and perhaps even globally! I’m a huge advocate for the Northern Powerhouse and hope to be one of the strong voices to champion it… so who knows what might happen in the future, but I would never turn down the opportunity to offer my advice and thoughts to the government!

Can you highlight any particularly interesting digital skills initiatives that you are involved in?

In MediaCityUK, we are extremely lucky to have Barclays Eagle Lab Salford. The lab facilitates a range of seminars, talks and events all based around digital. I’m also a member of Northern Power Women, a network which brings together thousands of change makers from across the Northern Powerhouse, encouraging them to share their stories and their skill set. They have a regular podcast and host events throughout the year, which often encourage you to have a go at trying out a new skill. I’d really recommend looking at what they do!

What would you say to others who are thinking about a career in digital?

With the way the world is and the 4th Industrial Revolution, there will be an element of digital in almost everybody’s career. Digital is a very exciting sector to be in, it can enhance experience and improve performance.

Digital platforms are a great way to find and apply for jobs. Make sure you keep channels like LinkedIn up to date and keep in touch with your contacts. But do be mindful about what you choose to post online about yourself. Digital platforms and search engines are often the easiest way to try and find out information about someone and employers will often look at social media accounts.

There is also a huge digital skills gap, so there are jobs in the digital sector ready and waiting. Keep looking, don’t be disappointed if you get knocked back but do keep applying and the right job and career will come!

To find out more about careers in Peel L&P, visit the careers page.