Stories from the Footprint Academy
Every year, since 2015, Footprint Digital has run a digital marketing academy in the summer for university students. Born out of conversations with lecturers and students alike, we realised there was a gap that needed bridging between the theoretical knowledge students get at university and the practical knowledge and skills they need for the real world. Our intensive, one week course aims to bridge that gap.
We sat down with some Footprint Academy Alumni to find out how it has impacted their future careers.
I loved it so much – I had to do it twice! I had a taster of the course in 2017 while still studying. After working in the finance industry in London for a few years, I knew there was more I needed and wanted to learn about digital. So I signed up for the course in 2021 to further enhance my skills in the digital marketing landscape.
I was looking for that next step of how to apply what I learned at university but take it to the next level. I wanted practical lessons, from experts in the field, and to get familiar with the power and insight Google can provide for businesses!
The Footprint Academy was interactive, thought-provoking, and practical. There were clear action points from lessons that I could apply either in work or practice in my own time to continue my learning on the topics. Analysing user behaviour through Google Analytics and how you can draw business and marketing strategies from that data was the best part of the course for me.
As a salesperson, I feel much more confident to answer clients’ questions on how and where digital marketing can help achieve their business goals as well as address specific hurdles they’re facing.
I took part in the Academy in 2021 because I wanted to learn more practical elements of digital marketing that I hadn’t got experience with at university. I wanted to understand processes that agencies follow and what working in those roles would therefore include.
The Academy was great; the team who delivered the course were really engaging and I loved that they actually gave us logins which allowed us to use tools on client accounts. It’s really rare that companies give you that kind of access rather than just telling you about the tools that could be used. To actually learn how to use Google Analytics and Google Ads for example, made it invaluable for me. The brand messaging elements were really interesting and helped me understand how crucial it is to get to know your client’s business and how to approach that to do it effectively.
The course gave me the foundations of understanding how a digital marketing agency works and how departments work together. It also gave me deeper knowledge into SEO, PPC and CRO. I think without the academy I would have felt really lost when starting my job and felt like I had so much learning to do before I could be effective in my role.
I took part in 2021 because I wanted something a bit extra to help me get a job and better my knowledge about the digital marketing landscape. I felt like I lacked some theoretical experience when I came out of university since I did an English Literature degree but I did have some practical experience as a marketing intern. I believed the academy would be a great stepping stone for a beginner to learn about digital marketing and help me land a job.
I found the whole thing very engaging! There were both theoretical elements, where you would learn in a lecture-style, but also practical elements where you’d go off and interact with other people in the Academy and complete tasks. It was a great experience learning from industry experts and absorbing all their knowledge.
I really enjoyed learning about the technical side of SEO and using ScreamingFrog. It was really interesting to see how much data can be pulled from a website’s URL and you can see everything you need to know at once. It was very eye-opening.
The academy gave me the core foundations to understand what digital marketing is, specifically, SEO, PPC, content marketing and CRO. It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how the four parts interconnect and relate to one another in terms of website traffic and performance. By having that understanding, I’m able to work and think more holistically about how the content I write can affect the SEO or CRO side while ensuring I’m optimising the page as best as I can.
I took part in 2016, so it’s been a while now! When I did the Academy it was held over 21 days during the summer, so I got to spend a lot of time in the Footprint office, learning theory whilst also seeing how an agency runs day to day. This was my first experience of office life and gave me invaluable experience – not only in digital but in how work life really feels.
If I’m honest, I probably learnt more in those 21 days than I did in the whole previous year at university! It was fantastic to be able to sit down in a small group with industry experts teaching us, being able to pick their brains and get their feedback on our ideas. Everybody was so friendly and welcoming that we soon felt part of the team.
My favourite things to learn about were technical SEO (because I’d never heard of it before) and PPC, because we were given a real life client and asked to create our own adverts for them – I felt like a real life marketer!
The course is now much more intensive – taking place full time for one week, with an online course of videos that attendees can go through beforehand. This means that it won’t take up a whole summer, and most of it is online so people from all over the country (even the world!) can take part.
Find out more about the Footprint Academy here. If you are a current graduate or are graduating this year, apply to the academy by sending an email to email@example.com expressing your interest and attaching your CV.