What do Digital Creatives Actually Do? in Working

Ever wondered what it is like being a Digital Creative MA? Or not sure exactly what it involves? Some of this year’s Modern Apprentices lift the lid on work and activities that they have been involved in.

Meet Euan

My name is Euan McGeechan, I am 19 years old and I come from Edinburgh. I work in the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate in the content team for mygov.scot.

I have been working in the mygov.scot content team for 6 months. My role in the content team involves writing many different types of articles and guides on things like services in Scotland, how to get help with certain things and how to apply for certain documents. I also do website maintenance which involves deleting old articles that are no longer needed or that are explained better elsewhere, merging different articles if they explain similar things and updating the Information Architecture (the categories that the articles are sorted into) to match what we currently have on the website. Another part of my job is analytics, I use analytics to help see what people are searching for, what pages are being viewed the most/least and what paths the users are taking through the different pieces of content. I feel like the hardest part of my job is talking to business partners and trying to find a middle ground between what they want to write and what fits the style that we write in for the website.

In this role I hope to:

  • Learn how to write for online publications, as most of my team have backgrounds in journalism I feel I can learn a lot from them in this area.
  • Gain better communication skills and as I have to communicate with a lot of different people in this job I feel that I can achieve this easily.
  • Gain better skills in filming and editing and I feel that I can achieve this with the training that I get at Young Scot.
  • Learn all around creative digital skills so that I can be prepared and confident in most digital roles which hopefully I can get with the training that Young Scot will provide on the programme.

I chose to do this MA after spending a year at University studying computer security and forensics, I decided that university wasn’t really for me and I would prefer learning on the job (while making some money). When I was looking for something to do after leaving university I came across the digital creative MA, I had already applied for a business admin MA but I thought that this MA looked more interesting and challenging as it involved filming, writing and other areas I was interested in. So in the end it was an easy choice between the two.

Meet Gregor

My name is Gregor MacAulay, 17 years old from Dundee and I have recently just started my new job as a modern apprentice. My apprenticeship consists of using digital and social media to engage with the community and help out at different community groups throughout Dundee. At my base we work in an adult learning centre but we work with all sorts of ages and groups doing what we can to help out with the community not just adult learning. Most days a group will ask us to come along and we could help them with many of things. We could help the group make a social media account or even help them make a video, sometimes, I even just show an adult how to work a social media website.

Every Wednesday I come along to the Young Scot office in Edinburgh where I study an SVQ in creative and digital media which will help me a lot after the apprenticeship. If I'm not out and about at a group then I'd be in our base working on projects. the projects could be many of things also. It could be putting a video together for a community group or it could be improving a social media account, even if I don't have any projects to do there is still always something I could do to help out.

From this modern apprentice I will hopefully gain many skills such as better communication skills with any age or person, I will gain a much better creative skills, my skills with a computer will gain massively from having to use different computer software's. I chose to be a modern apprentice because I feel school wasn't for me anymore, id felt like I had done the best I could and didn't want to sit another year of exams. The way you learn at school, I never liked it, I prefer do be doing things and have a bit more freedom to do my work than have a teacher make me sit down for hours doing the same thing, I got bored of it very easily.

For me this was a great opportunity. I feel it's a much better way of learning and opens up my options for the future and I now hopefully can go into another full time job after this.

Meet Jack

Hi. My name is Jack Ryan (like the film, the book and many, many other things). I’m 19 years old and I live in Tayport, a small, kind of a ghost town in Fife. A couple weeks ago I started working as a Modern Apprentice in the field of Creative and Digital Media, trying to use social media and other applications to engage with the community. In other words I work using a computer to do... stuff. I work at a community centre where we arrange groups and support for any and all types of people in Dundee, and go along to those groups. I’m a really great help, by hovering around taking lots of pictures and asking people to do surveys. I also help with the social media accounts!

From the job I hope to learn more about community work and helping people out, whether it’s people in need or my co-workers. It’s also fun to learn how to make videos and other media, especially since I’m generally not in them. I also hope to learn how to use social media to help people, promote groups and generally use it to benefit people and not just as a dumping ground for memes and humiliating photos. I chose this MA because when I left school, I didn’t really want to go straight to College or University for essentially more of the same thing. This was an opportunity to take a break from the classroom and learn while going out, doing and experiencing. Oh yeah, and you get paid. That’s pretty decent too.

Meet Carla

Hi! My name is Carla, I am 18 years old and I live in Erskine, Renfrewshire. I currently work in Renfrewshire Council in the Youth Services department in Paisley. I have only been in the role for 2 weeks my role within the department is Creative and Digital Media MA, currently my main roles within the job is to work on the Young Renfrewshire page to try and get more of a following and get more information out for youths in the Renfrewshire area, as well as trying to work on using the social media platform as an engagement tool.

I work on writing articles for the young scot page too. My current focus is the Paisley 2021 bid for City of Culture and trying to get as many youths involved and to inform them of basically how great Paisley is as well as get the chance to work alongside youths. My current project is to try and write a lot of different fun articles that will attract youths and get them on board with the bid as well as going out and attending the services provided for young people through Youth Services to understand how the team operates.

I also travel through to Edinburgh once a week to the Young Scot HQ in Haymarket and here I get different training and get to work on my skills as well as meet up with my college lecturer and go over college work whilst also getting additional support from him. I hope to learns lots of new skills as well as develop skills that I already have. I hope this apprenticeship will help me with my confidence in talking on phones, organising meetings etc. I hope to learn a lot more on working with young people.

I feel like this role will help me develop my organisational skills, and skills within the digital and social media side of things too! I feel alongside working with young people and on digital and social media this role is perfect for me. I chose this MA after my project manager of a CIC (Community Interest Company) messaged me regarding the job, after reading job description I was hooked, I chose this MA because I believe I could show my skills and develop and work on a career. The role I am working in gives me endless opportunities and pathways into making a career for myself.

This is something that I am passionate about and have experience in and to be able to have the opportunity to build on them whilst working and getting a qualification too is amazing.

Meet Shanna

My name is Shanna Mackenzie, I am 19 years old and I come from Dumbarton. Right now I am a modern apprentice in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park working alongside the fantastic communications team. I have been a part of this team since October 2016, so roughly 5 months. My role as a part of the communications team involves updating social media daily, sharing posts which relate to the park and advertising things that are currently happening in the park. Another thing my role entails is updating the park’s main website, which includes adding new events to the event page, doing general updates that need done and also trying to come up with new ideas for the overall design of the website. Such as adding spotlights and different related pages and taking new “fresh” images to add.

My role in the team doesn’t necessarily just mean I am doing the same thing every day, for example in a few weeks I will be interviewing a farmer (during lambing season) and talking about the lambing season and sheep worrying incidents. So for now, I need to plan the interview and think about what I will be asking him on the day and also how I will conduct the interview. I need to consider many things such as the lighting in the area, how I will position the farmer and what I want to be in the background of the video. I guess all this planning does make since I am in the communications team! Also, I get to go out with the education team in the park on an odd occasion and something I may be getting to take part in is helping younger pupils create vlogs on their ‘John Muir award’!

During my modern apprenticeship I hope to gain various skills such as a more in-depth understanding of ‘Digital Media’ and a better understanding of using the recording equipment. Also more communications skills and skills for writing stuff to be distributed online. The reason I chose this apprenticeship is because I much preferred the idea of ‘learning on the job’ and still getting paid. I thought this was the right thing for me because I’d prefer to be active and learning new skills and getting paid all at the same time, instead of sitting in a classroom all day. So far, I can 100% say that I have made the right decision and that a modern apprenticeship was definitely the right thing for me and I have enjoyed all of it so far!

If you're interested in learning more about Modern Apprenticeships then visit our MA Week 2017 page.