Inspiring Digital Leaders – Archived

Inspiring Digital Leaders ran from May to October 2019.

What did we offer?

What did we offer? icon
  • A chance to learn directly from some of Scotland’s leading digital agencies
  • Five separate placements, experiencing agency life in a variety of working environments over 20 weeks
  • Training in five key disciplines: Client Services, Content Strategy & Brand Language, Digital Marketing, UX Design, and Web Development
  • A programme designed and delivered by the agencies taking part, demonstrating their commitment to your progression and development
  • Support and additional training from industry learning experts TRC
  • Glasgow Living Wage salary throughout 20 weeks of training
  • The chance to make connections and build relationships with people living and breathing the creative digital industry

Inspiring Digital Leaders 2019 worked differently to any other internship programme.

Instead of thinking about what one business needs, we thought about what the digital industry needs. And what young, talented graduates needed to excel.

Five agencies. Five disciplines. Five four-week experiences. You might call it speed-learning. By the end? You’ll be armed with a solid foundation of digital skills, free to choose your path in the digital industry, and strides ahead of the competition.

How it works

Inspiring Digital Leaders 2019 was a paid five-month training programme, created by BIMA and TRC, and co-created by the five participating agencies. Here’s how it worked:

  • Five interns were selected through the application process.
  • Each intern completed a placement of four weeks with each of the five agencies in succession, covering five different disciplines and a total of 20 weeks’ training.
  • The learning within each discipline was designed by the module lead(s) at that agency, as they’re experts in that particular area.
  • Interns were paid the Scottish Living Wage, and they also received additional training from TRC to learn how to progress and grow in the creative digital industry.

Register your interest

To register your interest in the next edition of Inspiring Digital Leaders, please sign up here.

Inspiring Digital Leaders

Eddie Allbutt

Rosa Downing

Patrick Fearon

Evan Kayes

Julia Rosner

  • Eddie Allbutt

    Confident, friendly, and down-to-earth, Eddie was a big hit with the interviews panel and describes himself as a ‘human-centred’ designer. This is borne out in his experience, demonstrating a fascination with cultural progression, community and collaboration. He graduates this year from Glasgow School of Art with a BDes in Product Design, having studied in Paris for several months as part of his degree – in French, no less. He has also completed an editorial design internship at Stylist magazine, led an ethnographic research project on the west coast of Scotland, and taken part in the Italia Innovation Program in Verona last summer. A personal passion is music – he’s teaching himself production and visual programming, and loves experimenting with its interaction with visual media. He also likes a challenge, and took part in a boxing event earlier this year – 12 weeks of training culminating in the adrenaline rush of a real bout.


    Rosa Downing

    Rosa’s personality and skills really shone through at interview, and her career path so far is an interesting one. Originally from Northern Ireland, she began learning HTML and CSS at age ten, building websites obsessively until her 14-year-old self deemed it too uncool (although she regretted it later). Fast-forward a few years, and with an MA in English Literature with Film & Television under her belt from the University of Glasgow, Rosa took off for Shanghai to work as a classroom teacher and private tutor. The switch to marketing came with a role as editor and copywriter for a global company in Shanghai, where a conversation with one of the developers proved pivotal: “Still interested in being a developer? Take a conversion course,” he said. Done. Rosa graduated last year with an MSc in Software Development from the University of Glasgow, and has been working as a graduate software developer since October.


    Patrick Fearon

    Instantly likeable, intelligent, and self-deprecating without undervaluing himself, Patrick’s honesty and humour scored big at interview. Academically brilliant, he gained a first class BA in Interactive Media Arts from Ulster University, was on the Dean’s List for high achievement, and won the Ulster Edge Award for sustained commitment to personal growth. Graduating this year from the University of the West of Scotland, he’s about to add an MSc in Digital Marketing to the list. That makes sense, because going by his experience it’s clearly where his interests lie: he’s occupied a number of assistant roles in digital marketing, media, social, and video production, and up till now has been Digital Marketing Coordinator for a local company. He also runs a pug welfare site that he built himself in WordPress, and is curious about VR, academic research into fake news, and internet culture.


    Evan Kayes

    Evan’s energy and optimism impressed the interviewing panel from the start. With an unusual range of experience, Evan believes that developing as a person means trying new and different things. He achieved a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow, and has completed courses with Google Digital Garage, HubSpot, and Udemy. Through Nominet x Livity, he took an internship to develop a social media campaign for an optician’s humanitarian efforts in Kenya. He has worked in the family fairground events business, and as part of Fair Glasgow (Scotland’s travelling showpeople community), led the team for the Riverside Museum Christmas Carnival two years in a row, with attendance of over 25,000. He competes in strength sports, like Strongman and Powerlifting, and designs and builds his own equipment. He loves language and stories, has studied Russian, and is currently on Spanish. If you meet him, ask about the ninja sheep.


    Julia Rosner

    Cool, calm, and collected, Julia is also highly talented and focused. The panel were extremely impressed with her artistic flair and quiet eloquence – especially since English isn’t her first language. Having grown up in Dresden, Julia came to the University of Glasgow to study, and graduates this summer with an MA in Digital Media & Information Studies with History of Art. An accomplished all-rounder, she has designed magazine layouts, developed client and contributor relationships, planned and produced editorial and social content, and is also an avid illustrator and animator. Her passion for animation began after volunteering to become Animation Producer for Glasgow University Student Television, with no experience whatsoever. She taught herself, and led a team onto the shortlist for ‘Best Animation’ at the National Student Television Awards. Julia has also designed and built several websites, including the new site for Glasgow’s Golden Generation, where she ran the project from start to finish with minimal supervision.

Here’s what the 2019 disciplines looked like.

Client Services (with Dog)

Client Services is the hub of agency life. Account handlers are the main source of client knowledge, building relationships and helping to develop briefs and final solutions. Whatever format that takes, they’re responsible for making it happen. On this rotation, you’ll gain an understanding of the full-service agency ecosystem – how the client is king, and account handlers need to be chameleons interacting with all departments across the agency.


Content Strategy & Brand Language (with Front Page)

Effective branding permeates everything the organisation does, including how it speaks and the words it uses. It’s all about building relationships with the audience, with a consistent voice across all channels – because consistency builds brand trust. At Front Page, you’ll learn about branding from the ground up, including how to write in a brand style, and how to apply strategic thinking to plan meaningful content.


Digital Marketing (with Equator)

Digital marketing is marketing and advertising through online channels such as social media, search, email, affiliate, and display. Specific strategic skillsets are employed across analytics, customer experience, SEO, CRM, and personalisation among others. On this rotation, you’ll be guided through the ins and outs of nine different disciplines, with the aim of passing your Google Analytics Individual Qualification at the end.


UX Design (with After Digital)

User experience (UX) involves all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with an organisation, its services, and its products. After Digital follow user-centred design processes to create websites, products and more for their clients. Interns will learn the fundamentals of design thinking, user research and strategy, as well as the latest tools used in user-interface (UI) design to gain a full understanding of what it takes to be a UX/UI designer.


Web Development (with Screenmedia)

Development forms the core of digital industries – developers deliver the solutions outlined by creative and business leads, and drive forward technological, service and business change. Interns will gain an insight into the challenges of defining a problem from a technical point of view, and learn how to structure the breakdown of tasks and tackle problems.

Here’s the agencies that took part in 2019.

After Digital

After Digital offers expert digital transformation consultancy, digital marketing and strategy, web design, and complex web integration and development services. With 20 years in the industry, they craft award-winning creative solutions for clients in a range of sectors, primarily in arts and culture, education, and third sector industries. They have an international client base, growing in both the UK and US.

Find out more about After Digital.


UX Design module lead: Rachel Ward, Senior UX Designer

Rachel is a hugely passionate creative with an unwavering focus on using innovative and practical solutions to improve the online presence of some of the UK’s best-known brands. Heading up After Digital’s UX and creative team, she ensures consistently high standards and that the end-user is considered in every aspect of a design. She fuses well-researched technical expertise with a love of new ideas to ensure each project expresses the individuality of the client, without ever compromising on return-on-investment.



Dog is an independent agency with a growing team of more than 80 staff across offices in Glasgow, London, Singapore and Jakarta. Through its three core disciplines – marketing, creative design, and developing technologies – Dog helps clients from a range of industries change, evolve and grow through one simple but challenging thing: customer experiences that positively impact business performance.

Find out more about Dog.


Client Services module co-leads: Kirsty Burns, Account Director, and Alex Petrie, Group Account Director

Kirsty has worked in the agency world for over 10 years, managing a diverse range of global clients in FMCG, finance and investment, sports, and the public sector. She leads strategic account direction to deliver high quality digital solutions that help clients achieve their business objectives. Kirsty dabbles in a little guest lecturing when the mood takes her, and is known for her love of dogs more than people.

Having worked in client services since graduating in creative media, Alex’s passion lies in delivering the best digital and creative solutions. As Group Account Director, her fundamental role is to partner with Dog’s clients to understand their business, objectives and challenges – so Dog can deliver the very best integrated digital expertise, and achieve results.



Since launching in 1999, Equator has held a simple belief that has delivered incredible results for their clients – that only truly connected thinking transforms brands. They continue to create specialist teams as each new channel and technology emerges, in an environment that’s conducive to creating the best possible work.

Find out more about Equator.


Digital Marketing module co-leads: Martin Jordan, Innovation Director, Breda Doherty, Head of Strategy, and Fiona Gray, Marketing Director

Formerly Equator’s Marketing Director, Martin was given the enviable role of Innovation Director when the agency recognised that the world of digital was moving at an unprecedented pace. Martin and his team are responsible for keeping Equator’s clients at the forefront of technology and marketing, bringing cutting-edge innovation, hardware, technology and processes to the business.

Breda is a Digital Strategy Specialist with over seven years’ digital strategy and marketing experience. She’s laser-focused on connecting digital to all other aspects of a client’s business, and driving growth opportunities through strategic thinking and careful planning.

Responsible for directing marketing operations, Fiona leads a team of 20 experts. The team covers all aspects of digital marketing, including Search (SEO & PPC), Partnerships (Affiliate, Lead Generation, PR & Outreach) and Digital Media (CRM, Display Advertising, Social Media & Digital Out of Home).


Front Page

Front Page has been designing, writing, thinking, developing and building long-lasting relationships for nearly 30 years, working with some of the world’s biggest brands, as well as clients just along the road, and with an emphasis on travel, leisure and sports. They have an established reputation in branding, marketing strategy and communications, development, digital design, e-learning, app development, and content planning.

Find out more about Front Page.


Content Language & Brand Strategy module lead: Jo Levy, Head Creative Copywriter

Jo has always been passionate about language, words, and communication. In her 20 years in the industry she’s written, strategised and conceptualised for a wide range of clients (from blue chip to local), specialising in travel and leisure. She loves delving into brand strategy, insights, and research to determine the best way to communicate with the audience, and creative problem-solving is one of her favourite things to do.



Screenmedia is an innovation, design and technology practice. Since 2004 they’ve worked at the forefront of new technologies, from rich media to social media, mobile to responsive web, and Internet of Things to cloud. Their creative design and UX planning expertise is complemented by a highly specialist knowledge of technology platforms, allowing them to deliver innovative solutions across multiple digital channels.

Find out more about Screenmedia.


Web Development module lead: Lachlann Rattray, Technical Director

Lachlann is a full stack developer, expert in both front- and back-end solutions. He’s highly creative while being rooted in classical development processes and standards. With over 12 years’ experience in commercial web development, he’s an adept team lead with excellent planning abilities.


BIMA is Britain’s digital community, bringing the digital industry together to build connections, deliver thought leadership, recognise excellence and drive change. With TRC and the five agencies taking part in this initiative all BIMA members, BIMA are delighted to help support this ground-breaking programme to accelerate the growth of talent for the Scottish digital economy.

Find out more about BIMA.


For over 20 years, TRC has delivered high-end training for individuals and businesses working in the TV and digital sectors. Through TRC, careers have been transformed, new start-ups established, international business secured, skill shortages tackled, business strategies re-framed and invaluable networks formed. TRC’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading training providers has allowed them to provide unrivalled access to the world’s most innovative companies, including tech leaders in San Francisco, and broadcasters from London to New York and Los Angeles.

Find out more about TRC.

This is the schedule for the 2019 programme.

  • 25 March: Applications open
  • 22 April: Applications close
  • 1 May: Interviews
  • 3 June Successful applicants notified
  • Last week in May: Pre-placement kick-off session
  • 3–28 June: Placement 1
  • 1–26 July: Placement 2
  • 27 July–2 August: Break
  • 5–30 August: Placement 3
  • 2–27 September: Placement 4
  • 30 September–25 October: Placement 5
  • w/c 28 October: Final presentations event

The ideal Inspiring Digital Leaders candidate is passionate about digital media. They may have a grounding in one of the five disciplines, but are keen to get a broader understanding of how everything fits together. They may know they want to work in digital, but aren’t sure of the right direction. Or they may want to explore different options without committing themselves to one route.

These are also essentials:

  • They must have graduated within the last two years
  • They’ll need to work hard – this is an intensive programme, and we want our interns to learn as much as possible
  • They’ll need to feel comfortable outside their comfort zone – each discipline brings its own set of challenges, and not everything will come naturally

Who are TRC?
For over 20 years, TRC has delivered high-end training for individuals and businesses working in the TV and digital sectors. Through TRC, careers have been transformed, new start-ups established, international business secured, skill shortages tackled, business strategies re-framed and invaluable networks formed. TRC’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading training providers has allowed them to provide unrivalled access to the world’s most innovative companies, including tech leaders in San Francisco, and broadcasters from London to New York and Los Angeles.
Find out more about TRC.

What is BIMA?
BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) is a network of talented individuals with a mission to drive innovation and excellence across the digital industry. BIMA are the connectors, thought leaders, champions and change-makers determining the shape of Britain’s digital industry.
Find out more about BIMA.

Which agencies are involved?
There are five leading digital agencies in the 2019 Inspiring Digital Leaders programme, each offering expertise and training in a different discipline:
• After Digital (UX Design)
• Dog (Client Services)
• Equator (Digital Marketing)
• Front Page (Content Strategy & Brand Language)
• Screenmedia (Web Development)

How long does the job last?
The job is a fixed term contract, starting 1 June and ending 25 October 2019. Dates for 2020 aren’t yet confirmed.

Will I be paid?
Yes! At Inspiring Digital Leaders, we believe strongly that interns should always be paid for work. That’s why the salary is based on the Scottish Living Wage of £9 per hour.

Will I get holidays?
You’ll build up annual leave during the programme as you would at any full time job. To avoid disrupting your learning, we’ve designed the programme so all interns take a one-week break after the second module. The remaining days’ holiday can be agreed in advance with the relevant module lead.

Will I have an employment contract?
The five successful candidates are each be given a contract from TRC, which outlines the terms and conditions of employment.

What training will I get?
You’ll get on-the-job training at each of the five participating agencies, and also one or two additional days training through TRC, with paid leave to attend. This extra training is specifically designed to help strengthen your confidence, knowledge and skills in the creative industry.

What qualifications do I need?
The programme is open to recent university or college graduates, with an ambition to develop their career in the creative digital sector. We also want to hear about your passion projects and side hustles.

Can I apply even if I’ve been working in a different sector?
Absolutely. If you’re looking to transition from another sector and have transferrable skills (eg. project management, design, marketing, and communication), then as long as you’re a recent graduate with an ambition to develop a career in digital, we want to hear from you.

I’m still at college/university – can I apply?
That’s fine, as long as your course ends before the role starts.

Is there an age limit?
No, there is no upper age limit. You must be 18 to take part in the scheme.

Can I apply if I’m not originally from the UK?
Yes, you can, as long as you live permanently in the UK, and have the right to work here.

Do I have to live in Scotland to apply?
Anyone living in the UK can apply, but you’ll have to be able to prove you can move to Scotland in time to take part in the programme. We can’t cover relocation expenses, so only apply if you’re willing and able to move to Scotland before the role starts.

Where will the job be based?
You’ll be working on site with the five agencies, all based in Glasgow city centre.

Where does the extra training take place?
All the additional training will take place with TRC in Glasgow city centre.

What if I have more questions?
No problem. Get in touch with TRC at

Eddie Allbutt

“For me, Inspiring Digital Leaders is the perfect educational foundation for new disciplines to compliment my background in design; to be a part of five exciting creative agencies across Glasgow is an absolute pleasure.”

Rosa Downing

“Having recently moved from working in the arts and marketing into software development, it’s been difficult finding a position that bridges all of these areas – until I encountered the Inspiring Digital Leaders programme. I am absolutely delighted to have bagged myself a place and can’t wait to get started!”

Patrick Fearon

“By the time we graduate, our degrees are already out of date, so a unique opportunity to work with five leading digital agencies and learn the tools of the trade… I had to apply! I hope to push myself outside my comfort zone and build the skillset needed to kickstart a career in such a fast-paced and evolving industry.”

Evan Kayes

“Being offered a place on the inaugural Inspiring Digital Leaders programme is, to me, an exciting opportunity to set the standard for something truly amazing. Gaining such a wide range of experience with five incredible agencies offers the perfect chance to take advantage of the digital landscape like never before.”

Julie Rosner

“Having worked on various freelance projects while at university, I am excited to have the opportunity to experience the breath of digital design in the professional context. I’m especially looking forward to expanding my network, strengthening my existing skillset, and venturing into new disciplines!”

Get in touch

Are you interested in this programme or do you have any questions about our courses?

Contact us via this form and a member of our team will get back to you via e-mail.