As the digital industry continues to evolve, candidates are finding that the key to success is EXPERIENCE! The Candidate has been working with MMU's Agency Life scheme for over 4 years now, which offers students an invaluable experience before they graduate and giving them that 'head start' in the working world!
Manchester Metropolitan University gives their students the opportunity to gain work experience during their course, giving them an edge when carving their career paths through internships with top Manchester agencies through the Agency Life and Big Agency unit for all second-year students in the Marketing, Operations and Digital Business departments. The unit introduces them to working within a fast paced business or a department of a large organisation within the Marketing, PR or Digital industry.
Students taking part in the Agency Life scheme work with their host business for two terms one day a week. During this they get the feel for the environment within the company and get a chance to work on a variety of projects and the everyday tasks. Each student gets regular feedback from both their employer and tutor and this forms part of their overall grade. The knowledge the students gain by carrying out the internship is invaluable and it costs the companies nothing!
Employers want experienced candidates and students need experience….it is that simple! Agency Life is all about taking the skills that the students have learnt in the classroom and putting them into a real life context which will not only enhance their skill set but also give them the confidence they need within the industry!
Sarah Penney, Lecturer at MMU and Programme Manager on the Agency Life unit comments
"Agency Life is a response to the need to provide the industry with graduates who have experience, as most job ads ask for this. It's fairly low effort from the client company but provides maximum returns to those that engage. It's the first time we've run this - in response to industry requests - so now it's time for that industry to come on board with this social contract and respond."
The Candidate has built and maintained a strong relationship with the Agency Life unit since 2012; by offering their student's the chance to undertake a 6-month internship with us! When interns come to work for us, we are offering them the chance to put their knowledge to the test by involving them in all aspects of the Digital Marketing department. From implementing social media campaigns to content writing, we expose them to all aspects and this in turn gives them the skills to broaden their career prospects. It is an excellent way for us to give students work experience, but they also contribute with innovative ideas for our digital platforms, which is valuable for us as an agency!
Last year, our very own Kicki Holm started working with us as an Agency Life intern and now when she's not at lectures she's flourishing here as our Digital Marketing Assistant! The proof is in the pudding, by taking an intern you might be training a future employee for your business.
The Big Agency
For those students that choose not to take an Agency Life internship in their second-year, Manchester Metropolitan University offers them an excellent alternative, which is The Big Agency.
Dr. Bex Lewis, Senior Lecturer at MMU and programme manager for the Big Agency unit says
"With an average of 200 students per year, it is difficult to secure all students' placements on Agency Life, and some students respond better to the classroom environment. We hope that students will build upon or develop a passion for the work they are doing, be more employable - with relevant skills that agencies, start-ups, and other employers have highlighted to us."
As part of this module, their students spend three hours per week working on real life projects from great agencies and organisations within the Greater Manchester area. Each group bids for a project which they have from October to March to complete, thus giving their students skills, motivation and drive to work within the marketing industry! The aim for both units is the same; to build the students skills to give them the best chance at employment jobs in the industry by providing them with skills and experience that all major agencies look for!
Bex Lewis continues,
"I believe that passion, experience and connections can make students stand out in the workplace, and want to start that process as early as possible with our students - therefore we have rebuilt this unit from scratch. It will probably redevelop as we see what works, what doesn't work, and based upon feedback from agencies and students, as we improve both the student learning experience, and give employers early connections with our students, who may become your employees!"
More companies acknowledge the benefits of taking on interns! If you feel your business could benefit from either unit, then get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or read about the Big Agency here: https://thebigagency.wordpress.com