People Power: From Apprentice to Award Winner

10 Feb, 2022
Community | Cook + Associates

New ideas are the lifeblood of our industry, relying on the future talent pool to drive innovation, provide inspiration and energise ideas. Young professionals are at the centre of the evolving digital era, bringing an essential fresh perspective.

At Cook + Associates, we have been harnessing this energy for more than 8 years, thanks to our apprenticeship scheme that has delivered great results time after time.  We have successfully trained 6 apprentices to date, the majority of whom have gone on to join our company and help drive us forward.  It’s an extremely rewarding and exciting combination.

Anna Bray’s story is one example of our apprenticeship success!  Joining the team in October 2019 as an 18-year-old Marketing Apprentice, Anna is now managing our marketing programme. She joins two other erstwhile apprentices, who have gone on to become key team members in different departments – Senior Project Manager Jack Tyler in our busy Operations department and designer Hannah Edmunds.

Anna’s story is inspirational. She has grown remarkably in stature over a very short period – from an 18-year-old apprentice to a highly proficient and capable marketeer in little more than 2 years. By providing the framework for young talent to succeed, organisations can introduce a dynamic that has a profound and lasting effect.  Anna typifies the sort of talent that reflects the future potential of the industry and indeed the future of our company.  She has consistently shown real determination to find solutions to difficult problems, including working with Cook + Associates’ management to come up with a formula to keep the brand image in front of clients during the pandemic, at the same time as completing her studies.

“I knew I wanted to get moving on my career, and the apprenticeship was the best option. I never expected to face some of the challenges I have in the last 2 years so early on in my working life but the experience and opportunities it has provided have been priceless” -Anna Bray, Marketing Executive.

The pandemic bought many challenges for our industry, to begin working from home in an industry under threat of extinction is no easy feat for an 18-year-old fresh into the working world. But Anna took everything in her stride, completing a company rebrand, a social presence and a new marketing strategy for a digital and hybrid world. It’s no wonder she became ESSA’s Young Person of the Year 2021.

ESSA Awards Evening

Design Director, Jamie Williams added “Here at Cook + Associates, we believe that if you invest in your people, they will invest in you. We are always looking for the brightest talent to join our team and Anna is no exception to that. We’re proud of the apprenticeship scheme we run and the partnerships with various training providers as we nurture the next generation of talent.”

Want to join the team? Head over to our careers page to find out more.