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Award-winning legal marketer Sophie aims to inspire a new generation of apprentices


A Derby marketing and business development executive wants to inspire other young people to kickstart their careers by signing up to an apprenticeship after she picked up a prestigious industry award.

Sophie Shapcott, who works for Smith Partnership, says she hopes more people will follow in her footsteps after she was named joint-winner of the Apprentice of the Year award at the East Midlands Chamber’s Enterprising Women awards earlier this month.

The 24-year-old was called to the stage to collect her trophy alongside fellow winner Alice Lees, from Rolls-Royce, after judges decided they could not choose between the two in what turned out to be a hard-fought category.

Award-winning Sophie Shapcott, a marketing and business development executive at Smith Partnership with Kevin McGrath, the firm’s managing partner.

Sophie has worked at Smith Partnership since 2018 after studying for a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.

She was integral in the setting-up of a working group devoted to promoting equality and diversity across the business and is also committed to introducing initiatives that help reduce Smith Partnership’s impact on the environment. 

And, says Sophie, who now oversees Smith Partnership’s overall marketing strategy, has not finished yet, having set her sights on embarking on a Masters degree.

She said: “I was really surprised to win, I didn’t expect it, so I was nervous when I was called onto the stage to collect the trophy and say a few words.

“I’m really proud to have achieved what I have, having been an apprentice, especially at a law firm, because people assume you need to have been to university in order to get a job in the marketing profession, or indeed any profession.

“I want to inspire others not to give up. Loads of people don’t get to go to university for a whole range of reasons but you can still end up in the same place in your career by going down a different route.”

Claire Twells, Head of Business Development and a Partner at Smith Partnership, said: “Everyone is so proud of Sophie for her award and of what she has achieved during her time with us.

“We are committed to making a career in law accessible to a diverse range of people and Sophie is a great example of how apprenticeships can be a gateway to working in our industry alongside a university degree.

“She has also shown a real flair for enterprise by introducing a range of new initiatives that have made a real difference to the company while helping promote causes that she believes deeply in.”

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