I really enjoyed my work placement and was extremely sad to leave. I worked with a great department and was able to truly develop in various aspects. I got to experience many elements of marketing such as social media, content marketing and digital marketing working both with colleagues across various UK locations and also with external media and creative agencies. Overall I had a really enjoyable year in industry which has formed a great foundation for me to build upon in my final year of university and into my future career.
My colleagues were all supportive throughout all elements of my placement especially in challenging circumstances, for example presenting a report to a wider group of colleagues in the business. My ideas were always taken into consideration and I never felt like there was a boundary as a placement student. I was valued as much as all of the Marketing Assistants and Marketing Executives when putting ideas forward and acting upon them.
I had a monthly 1 to 1 with my manager in order to catch up on my progress, receive constructive comments and to check on my general welfare and balance of work. If I had any issues I could go to many members of the team for advice and there was always someone willing to help. When I first started my placement I was given a buddy to guide me through the planned induction.
I had a really good balance between the two sub teams that I worked in. If one team needed me more as there was a product launch or other increased activity then I was able to change the balance from 50/50% to 70/30% for example. The managers were very realistic about the amount of time that I had and the hours that would be required to complete a particular task which meant that I was never given an impossible task and also ensured that I was always working on something.
I was given the opportunity to lead the reporting and analysis of an external content marketing site. I created a report format that I populated using an dashboard and analysed user behavior and site statistics to feed into the Marketing teams content planning and idea generation. This was an area of great responsibility and gave me the chance to lead and present.
The skills that I have learnt will stay with me forever, From soft skills such as increased confidence when communicating and presenting to more technical skills such as data analysis and interpretation I have experience a wide variety of tasks that have developed me. Digital Marketing will play a part in my final year of study so my exposure to it will definitely help.
The atmosphere in the office was great, Everyone got along and each of the sub teams within the Marketing department had many opportunities to collaborate and socialize. There was a weekly team meeting where we got to catch up on what everyone was working on and help each other where possible and every month there was a Marketing department webinar which allowed different people the chance to talk about key projects that were underway. In the team that I worked in there were some great characters that were very motivational and knew how to keep the mood in the office up!
My placement was split equally between two sub teams within the Marketing team; Research and Marketing Communications. My hours were planned within the role split across both of these teams so that I had a clear view of what I would be working on. When I first joined there could have been a clearer induction but actually working things out for myself did help me in the long run.
Within the Marketing department there was a Learning Academy with many different courses, webinars and workshop opportunities to learn about specific areas of Marketing, the insurance industry and the business itself, The framework was very structured and each team had a champion to help everybody get involved.
I am definitely looking to apply to the Graduate scheme as I had such a great placement experience. Employees are really appreciated and the people are a great group to work with. I can also see good progression opportunities as the business is always evolving and changing to expand products and capabilities.
Socials occurred about every two months although more often informally with friends that I worked with. The department itself has a start of year event, a mid- year event and a Christmas party, Within the team we organised more ad hoc socials such as wine tasting and crazy golf.
The cost of living and socializing was very similar to the amount that I was used to spending in my University town of Reading. Therefore I had to make very small changes but nothing too significant.
Guildford was the nearest night out which was really good fun but because of good train links into London we would often go for drinks there instead.
There were lots of sports clubs to get involved in but few other activities.