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This is a guest post from current student Alma Dirisu, current student studying BA (Hons) Marketing Communications.

Oracle Corporation is a technology company that specialises in providing goods and services to other businesses. During my placement year, I was positioned within one of Oracle’s Global Business Unit’s (GBU’s). These businesses are an extension of Oracle’s core products and are essentially Small-Medium Enterprises (SME) within the business. GBU’s focus on key industries and I worked within the Hospitality Global Business Unit which aims to support hotels, casinos and cruises deliver smooth customer experiences by providing them with the best software to manage their business.

I moved back home during my placement year because of the location of the Oracle office. What this meant for my placement experience was that I really felt like I was working a full-time job and had finished university. This allowed me to get a taste for what post graduate life is like. At first, I struggled with trying to balance work and a social life and often found myself exhausted at the weekend. This experience has allowed me to prepare mentally and physically for what life after university will be like. I am really glad I took a placement year for this reason as I think that if I didn’t, I would have been delusional as to what to expect post university and would have really struggled. As well as finding a work life balance, placement year has taught me how to manage my finances better which I believe is an important skill to develop.

Working for a Global Team

My team epitomised globalisation. I had team members in Singapore, Brazil, Netherlands and across North America. I was the only person from my team based in the UK which was hard for me to get used to. As well as adjusting to work life, I also had to adjust to working with a variety of countries and cultures. One thing that stood out to me is language and communication differences. Though we had covered this in a university module, I had the chance to experience cultural differences for myself. I often had to google words after team calls to understand what was said. I also found myself pronouncing words differently when speaking to my American colleagues which I found funny when I caught myself doing it!

When scheduling team meetings I had to consider the various time zones that people lived in. My mornings were often quiet so I could get on with my projects and things outside of my line of business, but my afternoons were filled with calls because North America would be online. An achievement that has come from working in a global team is that I have improved my languages skill. I would sometimes practise Spanish with my colleague and because I often had to translate landing pages into other European languages, I managed to pick up a few phrases. Working for a global company has provided me with contacts in each region of the world which is something I am proud to say.

Due to working remotely from my team, I had a lot of freedom which came with responsibility. I didn’t have my manager watching over my shoulder and I was trusted to complete my projects and manage my workload.

During my placement year I found myself connecting the dots from theory that I had learned on my course to situations in the industry. Everything that I had studied in my first two years of university really allowed me to flourish during placement as the foundations had been laid. I also found my placement advisor Vianna Renaud to be really helpful! I never felt like I was forgotten about during placement and I also really enjoyed having my two meetings with Vianna as it allowed me to readjust my perspective towards what I wanted out of my placement. I think that as an intern you sometimes feel like you just have to go along and do what the company wants you to do, but Vianna helped to remind me that the direction of my placement year lies in my hands and always encouraged me to be vocal about this.

COVID-19 and Working from Home

From March 2020 my placement experience drastically changed, with COVID-19 we were all instructed to work from home (WFH). The idea of this didn’t panic me too much initially as I had previously WFH a number of times. However, as the weeks went on, I found it hard to stay focused and be productive while WFH. I believe that this period of time has allowed us to take a moment to reflect on our actions and learn from our habits. Remote working is the reality of the ever evolving, global workplace. When working remotely, I have learned that communication must continue to flow to create a sense of togetherness and to increase team productivity.

After I graduate from Bournemouth University, I plan to move back home and secure a job in the Media/Entertainment industry specialising in either digital marketing, social media or analytics. When looking for a job, company culture is something that I will consider more as I believe it is important to work for a company that is representative to oneself.

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

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