Guest blogger Produced by

This is a guest blog by Luke Etherington, who is studying BSc (Hons) Sport Management.

I’ve never written a blog before but there is a first time for everything! My name is Luke Etherington and I am a final year student studying BSc (Hons) Sport Management. I think placements are a great way to get your foot in the door to an industry and they offer a fantastic opportunity to learn how a business operates. You can also learn a lot about their culture and see if it aligns with your values, which can help when finding a job in the future.

Not anticipating it would secure me a placement, I went along to the BU careers fair and I started chatting to the Captify team and the rest was history! Captify are based in Covent Garden, so I was fortunate enough to work in the heart of London. Captify is a search intelligence/Adtech media agency, who are the single largest holders of search data outside of Google. My role was an unusual one, and one that you may not have heard of. This is exactly why it caught my attention; it was different, exciting, and stood out to me. The role is defined as a Programmatic Trader, a relatively new role that has only been recruited for in the last 10 years or so. The crux of the role was to manage brand display and digital advertising campaigns across the UK and internationally, with sometimes 45 + campaigns running at peak times. I was responsible for optimising and troubleshooting client campaigns to hit each campaigns KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).

Challenges

With any new job it was difficult at first to learn the software, the overall tasks of the job and the product around programmatic itself. It took me 3 months to feel confident about the business and the role. I think for me, learning on the job is the best way to overcome the first initial challenges. You are able to deal with real consequences, and personally, this forced me to take real care with what I was working on. I also found learning about each department was a great way to gain an understanding of the business and the wider market.

What I learnt

Placements are a great way to find out what you like, what you don’t like, how you like working and what type of people you see yourself working with/for. Even if a placement wasn’t to work out, at least you know where not to look for the future! My placement really helped me narrow down what I am truly passionate about and I urge any placement student to think, what am I truly passionate about?

Plans for the future

With the pandemic ensuing, I know it’s going to be more competitive than ever, but with my year in industry I feel more confident in landing my dream job than I’ll ever be!

Advice for students seeking to enter the Adtech space

If you’re thinking of working in this industry all I say is do it! I had so much fun on my placement, learnt so much and the industry itself is young and vibrant so if you want an industry to work hard and enjoy a young working culture in the heart of London, this is for you.

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