Written by Guest blogger
This is a blog post from current student Ashleigh Ridler studying BA (Hons) Media Production.
I study Media Production and my placement is in the marketing department of Baldwins Travel, an award winning independent travel agency with branches across Kent and Sussex, my office is in Tunbridge Wells, above the flagship store.
I’m currently writing this blog on the last day of my placement, it’s a stressful and quite an emotional time. I’ve been with these amazing people for 12 months and working here has made such an impact on my life, the thought of having to go back to university is really strange.
“It’s not what you know it’s who you know”. In September 2017 I did freelance photography and filming for the company, because my father is the branch manager in one of the shops. From there I was able to enquire with the Director and the Marketing team about any placement opportunities. After a few months of back and forth emails a “Placement position” was set up and designed for me.
Earlier in the year, my 30 week placement turned into a 12 month placement, and I’m very happy to say I will continue working for this amazing company remotely, while I’m studying back at Bournemouth, I’m obviously doing something right…
As much as my Instagram might suggest, my placement isn’t just gala dinners, fancy dresses and meals out. Being in the marketing department means assisting all 8 branches, plus Business Travel, Bespoke and Weddings and Honeymoons – whether that be with events, marketing collateral, local advertising, shop cover etc. So there’s never really a dull or quiet moment.
I was really thrown into the deep end in my first few weeks. Due to holidays and illness, in first month I was already in the office on my own, dealing with e-mails, deadlines, branch enquiries and making sure everything was sorted for our upcoming show.
Joining a small team in an independent company really has its perks. We are more than just a team, we each have our own strengths, and are able to support each other with any task or project. After a few months the social media and digital side of marketing was given to me to look after. I now run the companies Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I collate and design the weekly e-newsletter to customers, and design and upload the digital screens in the window of 7 branches. As well as designing adverts (generic company ads and events) to go in newspapers/ local magazines and attending local business networking events.
My Placement Journey:
- Organising smaller branch events and larger company events
- Representing the company at industry award shows
- Industry networking events and conferences across London, Kent and Sussex.
- Representing the company at the naming ceremony for the cruise ship MSC Bellissima
- Having my photograph published as the front cover of a national magazine
- Running the company social media accounts
- Designing advertisements, invitations and posters etc. for use in local newspapers, magazines, customer mail-outs and in store use
- Working closely alongside a marketing experts during the rebrand of the company
- Helping design the new website baldwinstravel.co.uk
- Working closely alongside designers as we created our semiannual magazine baldwinstravel.co.uk/travel-collection
One of the most memorable moments was representing the company at the ATAS awards in Birmingham, 22nd October 2018. I was generously hosted by the operator AAT Kings, and Baldwins Travel won Best High Street Agency in London and Southeast England of the year, and I went up on stage to collect the award.
I have had the greatest time at my placement and I don’t have a bad word to say about the company or my time here. Everyone was so welcoming and made me feel one of the team. Being able to do a placement year has been one of the best opportunities given to me by the university. I’ve learnt real world skills and have experienced real working conditions. The one piece of advice I’d give to people looking to do their placement, would be to really throw yourself into everything!