Tom Bushell secured work experience through the Manchester Metropolitan University Agency life programme that gave him one day per week in a marketing work environment. Over the 20-week placement, his enthusiasm and drive gained him more experience as his employer gave him more tasks to work on. His internship has now materialised into a full-time paid placement year at Henri Lloyd as a Marketing Assistant. In this blog, Tom talks about his journey so far and gives 5 tips for securing a role like his.
What interests you about your new role and how has it developed your career?
Firstly, the fact that I’m in a marketing role is great because this has been my dream career for a long time. But what I think interests me the most, about my role in the marketing team, is the nature of the company. It’s an international retailer in both lifestyle fashion and marine clothing, so the marketing opportunities and projects I’m involved in are endless. One day I may be working with creative agencies on new campaigns, the next I could be running a photo shoot and preparing for the next season. It’s the exciting variety that I love the most. Initially, joining on a temporary contract to help out during a hectic period, I was soon offered a permanent position which I’m taking as my university placement. So not only is it boosting my career and experiences, it’s also contributing to my studies.
What were you looking for in a new role from a work and a personal point of view?
I really wanted to get into the world of marketing, because it’s an integral part of a brand, whatever the company may be, but I was thrilled when I was offered my role here because the brand itself is of massive interest to me. I think responsibility and creativity were the two most important factors for me when joining my new marketing career. It’s great to know that I can confidently work and communicate with clients across the globe, whether it is the local printing firm or the main distributor in Spain. Having this kind of responsibility is rewarding because I’m playing an important role in how the company operates. Creativity is the main aspect in my work. Working with the design team and organising photo shoots, for example, are just some of the creative elements I’m enjoying here. From a personal perspective, the sense of routine has really benefited me. Although I’m still a student, taking a year off from studying and joining ‘the real world’ has proved to be enjoyable and productive.
What interests you about the industry that you work in?
Well, I never thought I’d be working for a fashion brand and technical clothing supplier, so I’m still learning and becoming more fascinated each day. It’s the fast paced environment I find very interesting; having to organise an advert in a brochure for the store’s local area with a tight deadline, or managing several calls and emails while you’re out of the office on a shoot. The busyness is real. It’s hard work but equally rewarding. As well as this, I think the nature of a fashion brand itself is really unique. Some days I can find myself working on development and ideas for the 2018 seasons and collections, but this just makes the job even more exciting.
What sort of person suits a marketing role in this area?
I’d say being organised is key to success. Some marketing roles are really specific, say if you’re in an agency role, for example, you may just be solely working on PPC or whichever area you specialise in, implementing the same or similar strategies. Whereas, the tasks and projects that come with the brand I work for, are very broad and varied. As long as you know how to prioritise tasks and really think about things, that window display will get to the store in time, or that presentation you made will have a great effect. So as long as you’re organised and determined, you’ll see the results.
What preparation should people do early in their career to prepare for the role that you are in?
If you’re a student like me and wants to get some work experience as an intern or on an industrial placement, the best advice would be to get involved in anything wherever you can. Great companies usually come with great experiences and great contacts. I took on a short internship during summer last year to get more experience in marketing and advertising, but from a different perspective. Again, during my second year of uni, I was a marketing intern at The Candidate, learning all the skills and techniques involved in digital marketing, which then led me to my career today. Trying out different things leads to places, and best of all, the experiences you learn you can take with you to each checkpoint in your career.
What are the highlights of working in a role such as yours?
The variety. In my role, no day is the ever the same, and I believe that may be the case for marketing as a career. Some tasks and projects are more enjoyable than others, but being able to mix around what you’re doing, is really fun. In fashion retail, you can be working with Creative, Events and PR agencies all in the same week, as well as running your own projects that can really develop the business. Working with big budgets allows for many exciting opportunities – the possibilities are endless.
What are the challenges that people can expect in that role?
The fact that this role provides so much variety, can also trigger some pressure. For example, I may be working on quotes and data on an international level, with lots of figures involved, but you may get bombarded with requests from other areas of the company. Both parts may be really important, so sometimes it can really feel like the pressure is on, but it’s undoubtedly worth it!
What added value did you get from a recruitment agency such as The Candidate?
Well, The Candidate helped me in a great and unique way. After helping with The Candidate’s digital marketing, the term and my internship were coming to an end. On my last day one of their great recruiters, Stevie, told me about the new arising opportunity and set me up with an interview the next day. I got the job the day after I found out about it, and now the temporary position is now a permanent marketing role. The Candidate’s service throughout this exciting time was amazing. Right from helping me with my interview preparation, to follow up after I got hired, and even now, their professionalism and friendliness have been fantastic. They really go the extra mile.
Finally, what are your Top 5 tips for securing a role like yours?
- Get involved with anything that you think will benefit your career
- Be yourself
- Know how to prioritise and be organised
- Be open minded and willing to dip into new areas
- Enjoy what you do. Make sure the company is relevant to you as a person
Do you also want to start your marketing career now or are you looking for an internship that can open the doors to the industry? Get in touch with us today on 0161 833 1044 or send us an email with your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org where one of our award-winning recruitment consultants will be in touch!