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Hear from our Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice

In 2021, Emily Coxson joined Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) as the newest Digital Marketing Modern Apprentice. In this blog she shares her experience of joining the organisation during the pandemic, working towards a qualification and what activities she’s been involved in so far! 


My apprenticeship at MGS will last for one year, in this time I’m working to achieve a diploma in Digital Marketing at SCQF Level 6. To do this, I spend one day a week completing my units, receiving on the job training, and getting support from assessor and line manager. While working on my qualification, I get to be involved in MGS activities and projects which helps broaden my marketing skills and abilities.

A bit about me

After graduating with a marketing degree, I really wanted to strengthen my skills and plan what I wanted to do with my career. When I saw that MGS were hiring a digital marketing modern apprentice, I was really excited! I’ve always had a strong interest in history and aspired to have a career within the heritage sector from a young age. But I realised after graduating how difficult it was to enter the sector or qualify for a marketing job without extensive experience. This is when I knew that applying for this role would be a great opportunity to start my career!

Remote interviews are JUST as nerve wracking...

The interview process involved me having to create a video explaining my most memorable experience in a museum, gallery, or heritage site. I remember being quite nervous as I hadn’t created a video before, but I knew straight away what I wanted to film. I asked my brother to help, and he filmed me at The National Museum of Scotland in the Ancient Egypt gallery. I spoke about how I cherished this period of history as a child and that it triggered my love and appreciation for museums.   

Afterwards I had a remote interview and met with members of the Communications and HR team. Thankfully there were no technical issues and I found everyone in the panel easy to talk to. A few days later I received an exciting phone call saying I was offered the apprenticeship! 

...and working remotely has its challenges

It felt strange starting a new job remotely, but everyone was friendly and encouraged me to ask questions and offered support if I needed it. This made working from home a lot easier as I didn’t feel as overwhelmed or isolated as I first thought I would. I spent my first few weeks receiving training on our different platforms and having introductory meetings. These meetings were extremely valuable as I learnt about funding, accessibility and fair work within the sector, something that I previously had no knowledge of. Also, it was useful to put Teams names to faces!  

One of the biggest challenges I faced was asking for help remotely. It was sometimes difficult trying to explain an issue I was facing through a Teams message or email. To help with this, my line manager and I have daily video calls called ‘Question time’. Here we’re able to work around issues through discussions and screen sharing (it’s also a great opportunity to have a chat). 

I have been involved in a wide range of tasks since starting my apprenticeship. I’m regularly active on our Twitter account, where I announce achievements or updates on behalf of the sector and MGS. I’ve had the opportunity to help with our newsletter, post website content, organise our image library and even using Adobe software for the first time! One of my favourite tasks is captioning videos of the events that we host! Though it can be difficult listening to hours of audio, it’s rewarding when a video is fully accessible for everyone to enjoy. I really appreciate how diverse my tasks are and that I get the opportunity to work with people across the organisation.

Here is one of the first videos that I got to caption!

Learning through a Modern Apprenticeship is a great self-confidence boost

Alongside my work, I’m also studying a Diploma in Digital Marketing. My assessor, Frankie, is extremely friendly and helpful, which has made the process of going back into education much easier. I’m able to choose the units I find the most interesting and get to shape my work around them.     

I’m already seeing a positive change in my self-confidence and abilities in my role. I genuinely feel the work I produce has a notable impact on myself and the sector which has made my experience at MGS so rewarding. The last few months have flown by and I’m excited to see what other projects and training I can be involved in. 

Interested in hosting a Modern Apprentice in your museum? Digital Marketing Modern Apprenticeships are open to new and existing employees between the ages of 16 to 29 years old and are a fantastic way to upskill and develop your workforce. Find out more on our Modern Apprenticeship page.