HARD working trainee Alexandra Dunphy has won a top Apprentice of the Year award and been promoted at the Newton Abbot company she works for, writes Marni-Sue Emuss.

A non-native English speaker born in France and raised in Belgium Alexandra has now been promoted to SEO manager at Falcon Digital, a website design agency specialising in bespoke platform design.

This has happened since she won the Digital and Data Apprentice of the year title at the Exeter College Apprentice and Employer Award 2023. 

Alexandra Dunphy, started the Exeter College course in September 2022, however she had been working at Falcon Digital since April 2022 where she said her director had been teaching her everything she needed to know. 

To win this award she said she found things really tricky as she hadn’t been brought up speaking English and so she found classes and textbooks harder to understand compared to her peers. 

She sometimes felt out of her comfort zone when taking part in presentations and exams. She had to spend a lot of her extra time understanding industry relevant definitions and learning to confidently present my work. 

But Alexandra always completed her tasks on time and asked her boss and tutor for extra guidance when she needed it to ensure she truly understood the tasks.

Alexandra won this award against the entire sector which falls within the digital marketing course, software development Technician course and the Data Analyst course. She was competing against basically all the students who were studying on any course related to the digital and data marketing course, not one award per sector. 

It was a really competitive award to win as a lot of people were running for the award, so Alexandra worked extremely hard to win this. 

Alexandra was born in France, and raised in Belgium. She studied computer science, maths and graphic design. 

To try to put her English first, once she had finished her A levels she took a few years out to focus on her English. She returned to college to do her apprenticeship. 

When in college she said she ‘appreciated the support of the teachers and ALS team.’

This made her college experience much better as she got the help and support she deserved. 

She got a lot of work done while she was in college, which included ‘marketing exams, principles of programming exam, google analytics certification, five projects/campaigns and presentations.’

All of this work paid off as she won the award. 

She said: ‘I was extremely grateful when I won as I am a non-native English speaker so I thought that would be a setback for my education.

‘However, when they read my name out, I was ecstatic as I proved that working hard and dedication will be rewarded.’

Alexandra is a prime example of resilience and determination. She never gave up even if she got setbacks and she tried her hardest to do everything that she could do. 

As she has now been recently promoted to SEO manager at Falcon Digital.

Alexandra said: ‘This means I am in charge of the Search Engine Optimisation department and I manage two members of staff who recently joined the SEO team.’

She also wants to work towards a DMI qualification (Digital Marketing Institute) as she wants to ‘further develop my skills’.

Director of Falcon Digital, based in Newton Abbot, Charlie Penny, is Alexandra Dunphy’s boss.

He said: ‘from day one Alexandra has shown an initiative that is rare to find in a generation so obsessed with social media and instant gratification. 

‘She arrived day one, notepad and pen ready and has done nothing but listen, develop and grow as an individual. She has often worked late in the evenings, over weekends and gone above the call of duty.

‘Not only to make herself and the company proud but also to beat her client’s expectations. 

‘Alexandra is one of the hardest-working people I have had the pleasure of employing and working with.’

This shows how much of a hard working character Alexandra was and still is because is doing amazing things. Charlie really exaggerates how much he believes how Alexandra deserved to win. I asked him, Did she deserve to win, if so why? 

He replied: ‘Hands down! The college even nominated her themselves! Not only has she shown determination and initiative as previously mentioned, she also has the skill to understand client requirements and deliver them to the highest of standards. 

‘The college has not only recognised her incredible work but also her personal accolades that are second to none. She has the most amazing work ethic, intelligence, empathy and awareness.’

He adds: ‘She truly deserves this award and I could not be more proud. Well done Alexandra, your future is bright.’