We’ve heard from apprentice Samuel Mills on what it's like to be an apprentice and go through the training and mentoring. Now it’s time to hear from Sam’s manager, Ryan Shutt, on the experience as a client company and supervisor to an apprentice.
Sam started at Southwest Exteriors as as intern then worked his way to the full-time position of Internet Marketing Specialist and apprentice with DCI. Ryan meets with the DCI team quarterly to evaluate Sam’s learning objectives and evaluate his progress in the 12-month program.
Here’s a summary of Ryan’s perspective of the apprenticeship program:
“We are so trained to think in terms of traditional education and learning. DCI, for me, is completely different because it gives Sam true insight and on-the-job training that allows him to be instantly effective for us. The investment we put into Sam has been realized multiple times.”
Sam's accomplishments since joining the Southwest team:
- Implemented and developed a rigorous review request system that generated 38 Google Reviews
- Developed 3 high quality videos to enhance brand image explaining company history, products, and installation process
- Designed landing page, video content, email promotion, and flyer promoting a regular community event
- Conducted user experience study on installation and service job processes
Read the full interview below between Ryan and DCI Founder Brad Voeller.
How has DCI supported Southwest’s marketing goals through Sam’s participation in the apprenticeship program?
The amount of education that Sam is getting through DCI really allows us to better evaluate our vendors. Sam’s apprenticeship training helps us uncover metrics on our end that have shown we are not always getting what we are paying for from vendors. By learning more about analytics and SEO from DCI, Sam can contribute another perspective to our team about the effectiveness of our vendors.
What changes have you seen in Sam since his training with DCI began?
When he first started at Southwest, Sam was reserved in his approach. As he’s gained this knowledge he’s also received coaching from DCI on just becoming a better business person in general. He’s learned how to ask the right questions to his manager and the importance of asking for feedback constantly. It’s easy to walk out of a meeting and say ‘hey I dodged a bullet and my boss didn’t bring this up’. But to actually have the professionalism to ask your boss if your work is meeting their expectations - shows how Sam has progressed in the DCI program. I’ve really seen that maturity grow in him.
Are there any skills in particular that Sam has improved on?
There’s a few: understanding what goes into building a SEO campaign, what level of content is critical to having a quality campaign, and having tools in place to measure those results. Sam’s become more efficient in our AdWords campaigns to go through and make sure we are cost effective. Understanding how to calculate the cost of marketing and determining if channels are working in the long term is valuable to us. It’s fun to watch Sam mature and digest that level of data.
With Sam, I can give him a task and he hits the deadline everyday. He always delivers a level of detail that I never expect or ask for and it’s really benefitted our marketing team. He’s diving deep and finding out critical and interesting information for us.
How would you summarize the apprenticeship program?
Expectations are exceeded. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the apprenticeship and Sam. You sometimes associate the word apprentice with someone who needs to be led and taught - a big time investment. For me, that term apprentice, is much more of a business partnership. There’s coaching and managing, but I would view Sam as performing at a much higher level than what people may think of as an apprentice.
What would you tell a colleague when describing the apprenticeship experience?
An apprenticeship is an in-depth partnership that gives a member of your team a cutting edge education on what is going on in the digital space. To work with a company that not only educates these individuals on how to add value but how to continually educate on where to go to learn and stay on top of new trends - it positions the business well. I don’t have to spend huge amounts of time and energy training Sam everyday on all the new skills he needs to learn. DCI trains Sam for us and then we support his learning goals and mentor him through his role at Southwest.
Want to add value to your marketing team just like Ryan did by hiring Sam as an apprentice? Learn more about the apprenticeship model today!