I have had a fantastic year at Johnson & Johnson and have gained so much insight and experience into what a marketing role really entails. I had projects with real responsibility such as briefing creatives to agencies, doing customer research and working on new product launches. I had a great team who really valued my input and my ideas so I felt really welcomed into the business. There were lots of other placements which made it less daunting and meant I had people my age to hang out with at lunch and meet at the weekend.
J&J is a really inclusive environment and I never felt excluded or put down as a placement. Placements are really valued within the business and our input and our fresh eyes on the business means our creative input is really appreciated. There are lots of employee resource groups that help empower different groups of people such as LGBTQ+, Women and ethnic minorities to ensure everyone is treated fairly and that the work place is positive and diverse.
I had regular check-ins with my manager on a weekly basis but i could ask/ message her anytime asking if I had any questions. This meant that if I ever felt unsure or confused on a project or it was unclear what my role within a project was, I could ask straight away. I had a couple of manager changes during my placement year which at the time felt daunting but thankfully I had support from the wider team so never felt isolated or unsupported.
Throughout the placement year, work load went up and down which is just the nature of marketing roles where it can be very busy as we gear up for a big activation and campaign and then have a 'quieter' period once it has gone live. I never felt like I had nothing to do, I always had projects and my manager ensured I could always manage my time effectively. If I ever felt like I wasn't busy enough, I felt comfortable asking my manager if I could help on anything else. It's definitely worth being proactive and communicating if your work load is too much or too little.
I loved that I was trusted as a placement to lead a project from start to finish. I had other team members I could turn to if I felt confused to felt confident doing this. I felt proud seeing a project I'd lead go live and see the results it delivered. If there were other areas of marketing I wanted to gain exposure to as well, I could volunteer to be part of those things too.
I have gained a really strong insight into the real world of marketing and business through my placement year which i can 100% apply in my final year studies. I have also developed interpersonal skills such as time management, confidence, project management and presentation skills through the different projects I have worked on which will definitely be useful in my final year modules. There were lots of extra training's i could sign up during my placement year such as Mental Health awareness and energy for performance training too which has been super useful and insightful.
The office was a really fun, welcoming and positive environment. At J&J they have the Ministry of Fun which is a group set up to keep morale high in the marketing office. They host fundraiser days and events which are really fun to get involved in. Everyone is really friendly and will stop for a chat at the coffee machine and ask you how your day is going which instantly makes you feel really welcome.
We had a 4 week induction period which was packed full of training and inductions with various members of the business which was really useful to help me understand the business and marketing. We also shadowed the previous placement on our role for the four week period so we could understand what our roles entailed and the sorts of projects we would be working on over the next year. I had quarterly reviews with my manager too where i received in depth feedback from her and also feedback from other people I had worked with so I could constantly develop.
There were lots of mandatory and also optional training sessions you could sign up which I definitely took advantage of. A placement year is all about learning and developing so I really wanted to do as much as possible! All the training sessions were free too and managers allowed you to do them too. Having quarterly reviews meant you could get lots of in-depth feedback and be constantly developing and improving too which helped me get the most of of my placement year.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
J&J like to invite placements to interview the graduate positions first before opening up to the public which shows they really value us as employees and feel confident that we could be a great fit for the role. A lot of people in marketing started their J&J journey as a placement which is really motivating and reassuring to see that they have had a continued positive journey. Due to J&J being a global business too there are always opportunities to apply for international jobs too.
YES! Myself and the other placements all become great friends. We would always hang out at the weekends and at lunch times. We would organize fun socials for a Friday night and we have become really close because of this. We are all similar minded due to being students and can really support each other throughout the whole placement year and beyond. marketing is a fun and young environment too so there was lots of fun socials throughout the year too.
I lived in Maidenhead which for me was a lot more expensive to what I am used to but I felt my placement salary was fair and i never felt worried about money. being near London i did enjoy going there at the weekend to socialise and I could really make it as expensive or as cheap as I wanted. Rent was also manageable with my salary too so I didn't feel worried with that either.
There wasn't much to do in Maidenhead however great train services meant you could go to London or Reading easily. Reading had a big student scene which made weekends a lot more fun and interesting. There were lots of nice pubs and some really nice towns nearby that you could go and explore for food and drinks at the weekends too so I never felt bored. These were nice to go to instead of clubbing if we ever fanceid.
You could participate in CSR days which could be volunteering at a charity shop, hospital, care home or nursery which felt really rewarding and was also a chance to connect with people you worked in. You could also go out and visit media agencies when working with them for meetings which was nice. I didn't have any opportunities abroad though which would have been nice! You could help our with the Ministry of Fun which is a group of people in marketing who put on fundraisers and fun events to create a bit of fun!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Advertising, E-Business, Financial Management, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Sales
3rd July 2020