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This is a guest post by current student Ross Beadman studying BA (Hons) Advertising

Finding a placement was a gruelling process in the beginning. I applied to the most relevant internships on the placement microsite by customising a cover letter, CV and email. Each rejected application … obviously I felt bad. I did this for months and my application rate was poor. I had several unsuccessful interviews. I decided to then create an online portfolio and change my application methods.

I then reflected on advice that BU gave me on utilising my circle of influence to gain a placement; in short, my methods weren’t working. I realised this and I created an online portfolio and basic sales prospecting-style list of multiple marketing/ advertising companies locally and nationally. I decided that calling every company up in the Bournemouth area was the best strategy for me to obtain a quality placement and develop my skills.

Rejections were instantaneous and I quickly grew a thicker skin. Calling up these companies directly led me to save time without crafting custom cover letters, CVs and emails for every business I applied to. Phoning in and putting myself on the line felt empowering.

In August 2018 I called up a company called Search Creative and a week later they emailed me with an interview proposal the following week. In the interview I proposed that I could help them upgrade their social media profile and that of their client’s using my graphic design, English and basic video editing skills. I started work there the following month.

My initial responsibilities revolved around me creating graphics and creating SEO-friendly blog content to upgrade Search Creative and their client’s social media pages. I was responsible for managing clients’ social media accounts as well as using my newly-developed Google analytics skills to detect problems with their websites and what was and wasn’t working.

When I was given the task to create a new logo animation for Search Creative I headhunted an acquaintance to make use of his video-editing experience. Together we would improve our Adobe After Effects and animation skills. We took on the responsibility of producing two landing page videos per week. Over time, our skill level improved from beginner to intermediate and we are still collaborating on projects now.

My favourite aspect of the placement was crafting an overall creative strategy for Search Creative’s numerous clients. Most of our trade clients were masters in their craft and presenting their business in an updated way was gratifying.

The advice I’d give for other students applying to placements is to embrace rejection and not be afraid to change application methods if you’re getting frustrated. For me, phoning local businesses and getting instant rejection and feedback on the relevance of my skills made me ensure my time was spent efficiently. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a creative internship, creating an online profile showcasing your past work definitely helps with your success rate. Directly contacting with these businesses led me to now having work experience with two other companies in the same placement year; TreeHouse Digital and A-List.

Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Marketing Communications with Advertising. 

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