Larissa Hardisty, marketing apprentice at Athena Stonecare, discusses her apprenticeship journey – including how she got into construction, what’s involved in her apprenticeship, where she wants her career to take her, and why an apprenticeship could be perfect for you!

What does your role involve?

As a Communications and Marketing Assistant, my role typically involves helping to develop and execute the businesses marketing strategy to increase brand awareness.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, creating and sharing social media posts and blog content, engaging with current and potential clients, and further marketing activity that helps to spread the word about the business locally.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I really like that every day is different. I can honestly say I have never been bored in my role because there is always something new to do or learn! Working in an industry that is constantly changing and adapting means everything I do must be flexible and reactive to accommodate. It’s really exciting!

Where do you want your career to take you?

I am still a little uncertain about what I want after my apprenticeship, but I am really proud to be able to tell people that I work in marketing. I’m really keen to continue to progress and refine my skills so I feel like I am the best at what I do.

What would you say to someone thinking about a career in construction?

Just go for it! Everyone here is a friendly bunch. It’s such an expansive industry, and fast growing, so it’s certainly worth pursuing.

Which company do you work for and what do they do?

I work for Athena Stonecare who specialise in restoring and maintaining natural stone floors, walls and worktops. It’s a really niche business to be part of, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the company grow from strength to strength.

In my 7 months with the company, I have already seen how ambitious the directors of the company are, and I feel really lucky to be under the instruction of such inspirational leadership.

What is the highlight of your day?

I love ticking off the last thing on my “to-do” list at the end of the day. It’s a great feeling knowing that you have had a productive day!

Is there anything else you would like to share which would inspire others to follow their chosen career path?

If you don’t try something, how will you know whether you like it? You shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, because it could be the making of you!

What’s your average working day like?

Every day is so different, but the structure is fairly similar. I start the day by jumping on social media to see what’s going on in the world of construction. It’s nice to have a quick catch up with what everyone is doing!

I’ll then check my emails and action anything that needs to be done urgently before catching up with my manager and moving onto something creative. Whether it’s content planning or video editing, I get a few hours in before lunch and then move onto a more business focussed admin task in the afternoon. This could be responding to client enquiries, updating our CRM, or sending out emails for the local property networking group that we help to run.

I end the day by updating our managing director on what actions need to be taken with regards to client enquiries before ticking off the last thing on my to-do list (hooray!) and heading home to enjoy a cup of tea.

What do you like about your role?

I really like the creative element of my role, and the research that goes into that. Part of my role involves sharing content across our digital space, and so I have to spend time researching and learning what else is happening in the construction industry in order that I can share Athena Stonecare’s take on it. It’s also really exciting to see people reacting positively to the content I spend my time researching!

What skills/qualities do you need in your role?

Digital marketing requires creativity and great communication. You need to have a methodical way of thinking when faced with a problem and a passion for researching and learning. Planning ability is essential, but, as the world is ever changing, you must also be able to adapt your ideas and working methods at the switch of a button!

What was your background before starting this role?

I actually completed a Psychology degree straight after I finished my A-levels, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to do next.

Upon graduating, I fell into a career in retail while I was deciding what to do with my degree, and progressed to management level before I was made redundant after the business I was employed by fell into administration as a consequence of the COVID pandemic. During the lockdown, like many others, I took a step back to look at my life and decided that I didn’t want a career in retail and found myself drawn into the world of marketing.

It was completely coincidental that I ended up working in the construction industry, but it is an industry that I find myself proud to be part of.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud that I took the risk and completely changed career. It was scary to change direction at 27 years old, and I often questioned whether it was the right thing to do. However, now that I am over halfway through my apprenticeship and well and truly ingrained within the industry, I am so glad that I took the risk to try something new.

Why did you choose construction?

I didn’t really choose construction, but I chose to try something completely new. I wanted to expand my horizon and work in a completely different industry – I worked in fashion retail before! It’s been really eye opening to work in an industry that is so vast and expansive, with so many different business divisions and career paths.

What do you do in your spare time?

I really enjoy spending the weekends meeting friends for coffee (and cake of course), going for long walks with my partner and spending far too much time watching TikTok!