My experience with InPlace was great and found placement opportunities that I wouldn’t have found on standard websites
More about Matthew
Employer name: Stormsaver
Job title: Marketing Executive (placement student)
How did you find / source your placement?
I found it through NTU's InPlace system. Stormsaver has a strong relationship with NTU and has been hosting placement students in various roles for a number of years.
What was the recruitment process like for this role?
After submitting a cover letter and CV, I was contacted for an interview by the company's managing director, Lisa. I realised I really wanted the placement and would need to stand out in the crowd. I made a presentation for my interview explaining why I was suitable for the role, and included a portfolio to show my creative and academic abilities. I didn't have any direct marketing experience, so took advantage of LinkedIn Learning in order to improve my skill set.
I was offered a placement a week later. The company has also offered me a job role when I graduate.
Did you get support from the Employability team during your search for this role? If yes, what support did you get and how did it help you?
Yes, I used the live chat function on a number of occasions for advice on interviews and my applications for various placements. My experience with InPlace was great and found placement opportunities that I wouldn’t have on standard websites. The whole team were very helpful.
What new skills and practices are you learning / have you learned from your work experience placement?
As a marketing executive, I am responsible for all things marketing and communications at Stormsaver. The role is highly varied, from social media management to creating promotional videos, no two days are the same. As the first marketing placement student, I have been able to tailor my marketing approach and put my own personal stamp on the marketing strategy. I feel I have been able to make a real difference here.
My dedicated placement mentor has helped me learn new things on a daily basis. Having had 20 years' experience in business, she has helped develop my practical knowledge of marketing within a business-to-business setting – something which I have never experienced before.
As well as developing my knowledge of the aesthetics of marketing, I have had multiple opportunities to work with a range of suppliers. These opportunities have allowed me to develop the confidence to work with a range of stakeholders and get the best possible outcome. I have developed a knowledge of graphic design, photography, social media management, and search engine optimisation.
What effect has the pandemic had on you and your placement, and how have you adapted your thought process / planning accordingly?
As I was applying for placements during lockdown, it made it much harder to sell myself over virtual interviews. I always prefer to be face-to-face as there are more opportunities to make myself known to the interviewers. However, to overcome this I used LinkedIn extensively to connect with them and build a rapport.
I have also experienced working from home for a brief period, which I found more challenging than working in a traditional office environment.
How do you think your placement will help prepare you for your graduate job / job search?
I have been offered a permanent position at Stormsaver after graduation from NTU. This will help me to concentrate on my studies for the final year. I will also be having ‘keeping in touch days’ with Stormsaver throughout.
What advice would you give to NTU students applying for placements this year?
- Willingness to learn – show you are willing to learn new skills to your potential employer. A good example of this would be to undertake LinkedIn Learning courses that are relevant to the role.
- Show creative abilities – build a portfolio of your best assessments and any practical work. A good example of this would Adobe Photoshop or PremierPro.
- Self-management skills – show you can manage your time effectively. Being involved in a club or society will help you to achieve this.
- Keep going! – I applied to over 50 placements which was disheartening when I got rejected. However, use the employability team – they are fantastic.
- Enthusiasm – show you are self-driven and are enthusiastic about potential roles. This is especially important in interviews.
- Utilise free resources – LinkedIn Learning, Employability live chat, CV 360.
- Think outside the box – do things that will make you stand out of the crowd.