Kicki Holm is a high achieving Marketing Management student at Manchester Metropolitan University and joined The Candidate as an intern, where she did such a great job that we offered her a part-time job in our marketing department! She has kindly shared her valuable insight into the benefits of having a job while studying, how to get one and how to handle it without compromising your studies!
It's not a lie to say that I sometimes feel like a juggler in a circus. I study full-time, work part-time and if I don't do it right I'll drop all the balls on the floor! However, the stress and joy is all worth it. Finding a job that is related to your studies is not easy, but once you've found it, your learning journey will change completely. So how do you start and where do you go? For me, it was an internship that got me to where I am today.
How did I end up at The Candidate?
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) differentiates from other academic institutions by putting us in touch with the industry. During my second year, we were introduced to a unit called Agency Life, where we had to apply for internships with companies MMU had built relationships with. I started as a marketing intern with The Candidate, a 6-month process during my studies, where I had the chance to put theory into practice one day a week!
I loved the energy in the office straight away! The teams weren't just co-workers, but good friends and that combination works so well together. The atmosphere was fun but hardworking as everyone has an incredible drive to reach targets!
After a few months, I was offered a part-time job in their marketing department and it was a no brainer! I loved the place and the people there. I knew how much the company had taught me in just 3 months, so I couldn't imagine how much I could learn in a year. The place has a fast paced atmosphere, which encourages you to perform and reach set targets, but you have fun with it! This has also helped me in my university work, as I work a lot faster and more efficiently. I do a lot of content marketing, where I am enhancing my SEO and content skills and knowledge, whilst also spending a lot of time on social media to improve our brand and engage with our audience! What's not to like about this job!
'Kicki has been an excellent asset to The Candidate since coming on board. She fitted into our hectic office like a glove and we could see quickly she was hardworking and enthusiastic. We have found that it is not only the interns who learn from joining us but we learn a lot from them also. They are on the factory floor so to speak and are immersed in digital every day, so they bring a lot to the table. We know how hard it is for new graduates to get into employment and real life work experience in internships and part-time jobs while studying definitely strengthens their CV and prospects.' - Melanie Telford, Marketing Executive at The Candidate
But the tribe can never hunt without a good chief
I have to mention our managing partners, Brian Matthews and Colin Telford; their way of managing is very unique. They make sure that we are part of every single successful step in the company and they are honest with us no matter how it's going! They spend a lot of time spotting great talent for the agency, so you know that you're well skilled for the job if they employ you! You can see that they love new talent, as there have been several interns in the past who have become full-time employees in either the marketing or recruitment department. They reward you for your great work and you can feel their passion for the company, which motivates you, to work hard for the company and its success.
Is it wrong to say that you feel that you are part of a family when you work for The Candidate? Everyone looks after each other, there is room for everyone and how awesome is it to go on a paid holiday with your colleagues? Yep, we went to Barcelona last year due to smashing the targets - how cool is that!
However, the real hard work begins, when you actually get your part time job! Here are a few tips on how to handle it:
1) Be organized, so you don't miss any deadlines (work and studies)
2) You must be a champion at time management
3) Prioritize your tasks (start on reports and essays earlier than you normally would)
4) Don't start a new series on Netflix! (This is probably more a note for me, but if you can control binge watching, then you are gifted!)
The above skills will come naturally when you have a lot of things going on at the same time, but it is important to find your own way to manage your work and studies, so you feel you get most out of both parts! Never ever think that you have to prioritise more than the other, as both your work and studies can teach you a lot in different ways. The top marks and awards I have received through my first and second year at university have definitely been because of my ability to put theory into practice, learn through practical marketing work and from the people around me.
(Point 5 is my favourite)
5) Have fun
Go for the job you want! Not what's smart, ideal or what your surroundings thinks is best for you. There will be times, where you're drained because you're working your a** off, but work where you are excited to learn, develop and see your co-workers - you will then learn a lot more than you think and get the most out of it!
What's up next for me?
I still have 1 year left of my Bachelor's degree, but I am already ready to apply for a Marketing Communications Master degree… and it's obviously going to be at MMU! I am also really excited about what is next in the calendar for The Candidate such as being part of the rolling out of the JEMSS project, an innovative Digital Europe focused masters programme launched in Sofia in September. I am also excited about the upcoming Award Season where The Candidate historically, have great success, as well as continuing to see the business grow rapidly.
Personally, I think it should be mandatory for every university, to offer industry-related internships during term time. The fact that you can learn new strategies or terminology and use it in practice in the same week is the best way to learn and succeed! That's why internships open a lot of doors. MMU has done a great job with their Agency Life course so far and I hope many other universities will do the same. My internship has already given me great contacts within the industry and introduced me to some amazing people in a great agency, which is an experience I wish every student could and should have!
Do you also want the internship that can open the doors for your dream part-time job or do you just think that The Candidate sounds like an awesome agency to work for? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from someone who is ready for a career change.