Read Anais’ inspirational journey here and find out how our apprenticeships work...
At 18, Anais Valoris started a Data Analyst Apprenticeship at Merkle and four years later has progressed to a Senior Analytics Associate!
‘Feel confident in yourself and shine through – at the end of the day you
want to be yourself and do what you enjoy’
How it all began…
Born in the Caribbean, Anais’ parents travelled hugely in her early years with her mother’s profession as a French teacher dictating their next destinations. After living in Haiti, California, San Francisco and France they finally settled in the UK, resulting in a disrupted early education. However, Anais successfully completed 3 A levels in Maths, French and Spanish, and although unsure what she wanted to do next but did know ‘she wanted to do something different’.
How supportive were your school with career direction?
‘I was just told I had to go to university and complete my personal statement, but I wasn’t motivated to go to university.’
What subjects at school would benefit someone seeking a career in advertising/marketing?
Maths (not essential but useful), Media Studies (allows for you to be creative).
Who steered you towards apprenticeships?
‘Due to my interest in IT, my mum suggested I take some relevant courses, so I looked into it and decided to take courses in Data Science, Python and Excel, which I really enjoyed and led me to apply for the Data Analyst Apprenticeship at Merkle!’
What advice would you offer on the interview process?
‘Do a lot of research and remember you are not only interviewing for the job but the people who are interviewing you, so ask the questions you want answers to as the process goes both ways.’
Tell me about the apprenticeship structure and how you progressed?
‘The full-time position involves 20% training through either a college or apprenticeship provider (I attended Imperial College), then the remaining time is spent on the job - I was promoted after only one year, moving from Junior Associate to an Associate in Business Intelligence.’
‘I moved around a lot of teams which encouraged me to gain experience in different areas. Starting in Media Solutions I next went to Data Solutions, and then over to Analytics before making a preference from Media Science (covering statistics and forecasting), Data Pipeline (covering data engineering) to finally choosing Business Intelligence, which appealed the most as it was more about data and visualisation platforms.’
Did you have a buddy/mentor when you joined?
‘I had a mentor when I joined who really helped me and took me through everything – they are also on my Team so have remained my go-to person.’
Have you got any interview tips for apprenticeship applicants?
‘Feel confident in yourself and shine through - at the end of the day you want to be yourself and do what you enjoy’ and ‘be curious and show you are happy to learn - you don’t have to have an answer for everything - just ask the right questions.’
What is the culture like at Merkle?
‘It’s a supportive culture; all my managers and colleagues have been really helpful and will happily do things with me to explain anything I’m not sure about.’
What are your future ambitions?
‘Currently I’m happy where I am but I would love to work with different data and build and gain my skills to be a Lead or Manager at Merkle.’
What social events have you had with your Team?
‘I went to Bristol because someone was leaving in our Team - we went to a nice restaurant and a few bars, the company paid for the hotel, and it was all very fun - and I got to meet people in-person who I’ve not met before, usually I’d only spoken to them via Teams!’
What has been your most memorable moment at Merkle?
‘There are a few memorable moments: Scott Sallée, the Social Impact Manager at Dentsu, was an Apprentice Parent and, having become an Apprenticeship Ambassador myself, we would both go to schools and speak to the students about apprenticeships. I loved doing that and we also went to Parliament, met the Minister for Education and along with other employers supported the government’s Apprenticeship Programme. Other memorable moments have been completing client projects through completing ‘dashboards’ and having the client being thankful and knowing the ‘dashboard’ is used in the business – as a Data Analyst it is always good to see the client use what you have developed.’
Finally, what sets Merkle apart from other companies to work for?
‘I have a lot of friends in other companies and from what I hear the biggest differences are the support provided – in contrast Merkle provide outstanding and ongoing support which is amazing, and everyone has just been brilliant!’