From Apprentices to Directors - marketing duo encourages Hull's aspiring creatives to follow in their footsteps

Back in 2011/2012 Courtney Wood completed her Apprenticeship through HBTC. So when Courtney got in touch to let us know that she and another ex-Apprentice had started their own business together we were absolutely thrilled to hear how well things were going for her and of course we were more than happy to share their wonderful story:


With National Apprenticeship Week just around the corner, Blab Digital’s Courtney Wood and Jessica Clark are encouraging young people in Hull to consider an apprenticeship if they’re thinking of embarking on a career in the creative industry. Both started out at the city’s leading marketing agency as apprentices and within just eight years, are now Directors of their own successful agency.


Creative Director of Blab Digital, Jessica Clark (Left) and Marketing Director of Blab Digital, Courtney Wood (Right)

Marketing Director, Courtney Wood, started her career as a Digital Marketing Apprentice in 2011, gaining on-the-job experience in campaign planning, social media strategy, email marketing and project management. She set up Blab Digital in February 2018 and credits the on-the-job training she received to her current success, as she explains:

“Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door with a company and prove what you can do whilst developing new skills. During my apprenticeship, every day seemed like a challenge because I was constantly learning, but the feeling of achievement when I delivered a successful project made all the effort worthwhile.”


Jessica Clark started her apprenticeship in Graphic Design in 2014, and quickly progressed up the career ladder to become the agency’s Creative Director, managing a team of five. With this valuable experience under her belt, she joined Blab Digital as Creative Director in 2019 to provide its clients with a variety of print and digital design services. She has some useful words of advice for anyone thinking of starting an apprenticeship in design or marketing:

“Starting an apprenticeship puts you in a fantastic position to learn about the creative industry, or even discover if it’s the right one for you. If you want to succeed in design or marketing I’d strongly recommend learning above and beyond what your apprenticeship requires. It’s an ever-evolving industry so you need to stay ahead of the game and aware of current trends.

“Keep up-to-date with marketing and design blogs, follow social media accounts that inspire you and fully immerse yourself in all things creative. Having a ‘can-do’ mentality will stand you in good stead, as will being responsive, flexible and going the extra mile.”


Over the past year, Blab Digital has grown from strength to strength and its client base includes a variety of local start-ups and large, established companies. Courtney Wood concludes:

“We’re a small agency with big ideas and are focused on helping our clients reach, influence
and connect with their customers. As with setting up any business, we’ve taken risks and there’s no magic route to success, but our previous agency experience has given us the knowledge and skills to succeed. Jess and I still challenge ourselves and our clients to achieve more each and every day, just like we did during our apprenticeships.

“Without going down the apprenticeship route, we simply wouldn’t be where we are now. It gave us a head start in our careers and we’ve never looked back. We want to encourage more aspiring designers and marketers to follow in our footsteps, so we’ll be holding a live Q&A session on our Instagram page @blabdigital during National Apprenticeship Week to provide advice and share our experiences.”


Hull-based Blab Digital was established in 2018 and offers a variety of marketing and design services including blogging, social media management, email marketing, online advertising, graphic design, website design and build. Its clients include purebroadband, Sessions Spa, Boutipi, Ultra Lets, One Stop Golf and Great Newsome Brewery.


If you've been inspired by Courtney and Jessica's story then get in touch with us at HBTC as we have excellent Apprenticeship opportunities availble in many areas including Social Media and Digital Marketing. Just give us a call on 01482 211714!

Photo of HBTC