Melody Duarte on sandwich placement with Qatar Airways in Zurich Switzerland

Course & Home CountryMelody Duarte

A few years ago I was a 2nd-year student in Marketing Communications seeking a work placement, preferably at an international company and abroad.

Before coming to Bournemouth University, I had always lived in Switzerland, my home country, more precisely in the French area near the city of Lausanne. I like a challenge so therefore I decided to undertake a degree in a different country with a different language.

Placement Title and Department

I worked for Qatar Airways in Zurich in the E-Commerce Department and I was the ‘E-Commerce Assistant Switzerland’.

My job role consisted of assisting the Senior Marketing Executive of Switzerland, who was responsible for both Marketing and E-Commerce departments. During the first 6 months of my internship, my tasks were more focused on the E-Commerce part. I helped launch the local English website in Switzerland as well as provided operational assistance in day-to day business for the other two websites in German and French. Besides this interesting and technical element, I also created print advertising materials for our events and helped in planning and contributing to several campaigns and reports.

I was actually not supposed to stay one full year at Qatar Airways. My first contract was only for 6 months and I thought I would find another 6 month internship afterwards in a different field. However, I asked to extend my initial contract and they agreed to keep me. That was the best decision I have ever made as I got to experience more marketing tasks while still doing my e-commerce duties. I can definitely say that I have expanded my knowledge in both departments where I have worked. I have also had the opportunity to manage projects and even supervise a radio advertising campaign on my own!

Why did you want to do your placement abroad?

First of all, I wanted to go back ‘home’ after living already 2 years in the UK. To tell the truth, ending up in Zurich, which is in the German part of Switzerland, was not in my initial plan. The easiest option for me would have been to find a job near where I used to live. I still sent out my CV almost everywhere to optimise my chances, (as Switzerland is small J), and I got to choose between two placements: one in Geneva and one in Zurich. I finally opted for the one in Zurich to discover another city and fully experience this placement year somewhere outside of my comfort zone.

What inspired you about this placement?

I saw in this placement an opportunity to not only learn more about one of my passions, as I have always loved aviation, but also to improve my German. Even though it was probably a bit risky from me, I only applied to jobs within industries that I was genuinely interested in, such as the automotive, travel, jewelry, and computing fields. Thankfully I was offered one in aviation!

What have been some of your highlights to date?

I had many highlights during this work placement. Below are just a few:

  • FC Barcelona Game in Geneva
  • 10 years of QR in Switzerland celebrated in Zurich
  • QR E-Commerce workshop in London
  • Distribution of flyers at the Zurich train station for our brand campaign
  • Qatar Embassy event in Bern
  • Realisation of many tactical print advertising
  • Achievement of a new work certificate: Safety Management Course (online)
  • Amazing colleagues around the world!

In conclusion, make the most of your placement, as this work experience will also help you see the real world of industry and working life! It is also awesome. It has seriously been one of the best years of my life so far!

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