In July I began my placement promptly after finishing my final exams of second year and celebrating at our university’s summer ball. My placement was at Great Guns Marketing where I joined the account management team as an account development executive. My sister was an account manager at the company and had told me of temporary work available whilst I was on my Easter break from university. I worked at the company building data for a few weeks and whilst I was there the position was advertised. I asked whether I could apply for the position so that it coincided with my placement year.
Following my interview I was offered the position and I was really excited. I was set to be working alongside my sister and another account manager helping run the various accounts the company held. Whilst I returned to university to complete the rest of my second year I helped support the team for a few hours a week when I could, preparing to start full time once my final exams of the year were over.
Great Guns Marketing mainly offered telemarketing services but also offered email marketing, social media and blogging marketing. My role was focused on our clients, understanding their marketing requirements and implementing these to the telemarketers and marketing team. I sat in on briefs with clients where we got to know what we would be marketing for them and planned a strategy to achieve the best results. Reporting back to the client was also a big part of my job, making sure they were kept up to date with the progress being made and identifying any issues and planning how we could overcome them. This meant I had to work closely with the telemarketers to understand how the projects were going and ensure they were documenting their experiences in detail to allow me to send reports to clients, rich in information and findings.
I was also able to gain some experience with the marketing team creating some email campaigns and reading over blog content that had been created for clients. One of the email campaigns I created was a voucher incentive scheme. I used photoshop to create a voucher that appeared at the top of the email to grab the readers attention before explaining the offer in the text that followed. I found the marketing team’s tasks extremely interesting and liked the diversity it presented, as different projects would require specific strategies and content to reach their target audience effectively.
Even though I only spent a short time at Great Guns, I learnt a lot. One of the most valuable lessons I learnt was how to deal with different people depending on the situation in hand. Whilst I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my colleagues I also had to ensure they took my requests seriously so myself and the fellow account managers could keep our clients well informed on how their projects were going, maintaining a good client relationship. Whilst it shouldn’t effect my role or how I was viewed by others, I was conscious of my age and how my colleagues would react to requests I made when I was younger than them, had little experience and was new to the company. I tried to make everyone I worked with feel comfortable, using different approaches with different people to try and produce the most effective results.
I also learnt a lot about marketing whilst at Great Guns. As generic as that sounds, because they were a marketing company, I don’t actually feel like I have learnt much about marketing whilst at university. It is only one of the six modules I do and although I chose the marketing pathway, my course is still very broad to cover a lot of topics. It was only when I went for an interview when looking for a new placement and was asked ‘what marketing topics have you covered at university?’ that I realised I did not possess as much knowledge as my degree may suggest. Before my time at Great Guns I had underestimated the power of LinkedIn and blogging but I soon learnt how powerful they can be to reach potential customers or network with other people in the industry.
Unfortunately, Great Guns ran into some issues and the company went into liquidation after I had been there for roughly a month. My final day at Great Guns was a tough experience. I had got to know my colleagues and watching my boss break the news to people who had families, mortgages and other responsibilities was horrible to see. I have a lot of respect for my former boss. She was a brilliant business woman and cared about her employees and decided to be honest and upfront with us about the situation rather than leaving it to the insolvency company to explain. My last day was bitter sweet for another reason. That morning we were meant to have our fortnightly company meeting where the employee of the month award is given. Due to the circumstances it was not announced, understandably, but a manager came up to me after the meeting and told me I had won the award. I was surprised my employees had nominated me and was pleased they were happy with my performance. I am very grateful for the time I spent at Great Guns and am glad I had the chance to be part of the team, if only for a short time.
After being made redundant I needed to look for a new placement. It was nearing the end of August and most companies had already sorted their placement students for the year. At first I was worried about what I was going to do but I soon decided that I could not sit around and expect a job to come to me. Being made redundant was unfortunate but many of my old colleagues were left in worse situations than myself and wasting energy moping around or feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to achieve anything. If I were to give any advice to anyone who has recently been made redundant it would be to jump straight back in. Update your CV and LinkedIn, endorse your previous colleagues for their skills on LinkedIn and be positive about what a new job may mean for you. Don’t focus on the bad but rather see the situation as a chance to seize new opportunities.
I have now secured a new placement and am two months in. I get along really well with my new team and am learning a lot about websites and content management systems. Whilst I am enjoying my new placement, I will always be grateful for the time I spent at Great Guns. I believe being made redundant has made me more mature and has shown me the importance of a good attitude no matter how bad the situation may be.
Thank you if you carried on reading all the way to here, it was a very long post and more serious than my other content. Have a good weekend!