Written by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog post by current student Marika Curry, studying BA (Hons) Marketing Communications who has recently completed a placement experience at Brockenhurst College as a Marketing and Events Assistant.
Three words to describe my placement search would be challenging, enlightening and proactive. It was a struggle to get a foot in the door with so much competition. I’d always advise students looking for a placement to always, always ask for feedback. During my search, I had to be proactive. I was calling the company to find out more about the role, researching their previous marketing campaigns, social media presence etc.
Three words to describe my placement experience would be insightful, exciting and fast-paced. I made sure that I put myself forward at every opportunity and offered to help on every project to get the most experience I could from different people in the team. It was a steep learning curve, but I enjoyed learning on the job.
The most exciting part of my placement was developing direct marketing campaigns from scratch and seeing them through. It was satisfying working on campaigns from start to finish using software we don’t have access to at University. A lot of my coursework is group work which prepared me for the level of collaboration during placement. It is essential to know how to work well in a team, especially in marketing.
The hardest part has been my involvement with the press and newspaper advertising because I have the least experience in this area. I had to pick up the terminology quickly, and working to deadlines was vital. It can be daunting when you are told to complete a task you are not sure how the best way to go about it is. However, being open to your supervisor about your knowledge and asking for help does not make you look bad. It saves possible embarrassment in the future and unnecessary struggle.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my placement was interacting with college students, especially the Ambassadors. They were so helpful and enthusiastic when I asked them to get involved in a task—for example, posing for a picture or a video. I also loved the weekly team meetings of brainstorming ideas and getting feedback on work from a fresh perspective.
Working with college students certainly gave me the most job satisfaction and was very rewarding. Training the students for our Student Ambassador programme was a unique opportunity that I wouldn’t have experienced anywhere else.
Planning a commercial event at the College and being there to offer help to stallholders and customers was satisfying as it was something I worked hard on for weeks. To see all our hard work pay-off was satisfying. Knowing the answers to questions that stallholders and customers had, after feeling like I was the one with all the questions, felt like a pivotal moment.
Tips for future placement students:
My top advice to students looking for placement would be to try not to stress yourself out by looking at where others have placement because, in the end, you will have completely different experiences. What matters is that you throw yourself into the whole experience—bringing me to my next piece of advice. Put yourself forward and offer help wherever you think it is needed. Volunteering helped me network with different departments and how I became noticed around the College.
My placement advisor made contact with me as soon as I was assigned to her. Since then she made contact regularly via email keeping me updated on the latest requirements from the University. Facebook updates about the campus also help me to feel connected to the uni.
COVID 19 affected my placement by cutting it short. Although I still worked at home, we as a team were limited in the work we could do because all future projects and events were cancelled. The critical advice my supervisor gave the team was that we are not going to be working at full capacity, and that was fine. The focus was on doing what we could and to improve procedures such as the way we organise an event or Student Ambassador training.
It’s frustrating that all the planning and organising that were put into events like the Brock Festival are now not going to happen. However, I am grateful to my supervisor for supporting me and giving me such a great experience.
Marika’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marika-curry-a73383160
Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Marketing Communications.