Manchester

Does my Placement Year have to end?

After quite a few busy months settling into my Placement Year I’m back blogging! So far I’ve completed nearly 5 months as a Marketing Assistant at No1 CopperPot Credit Union and guess what…I love it!!!

So, what’s my job like? No1 CopperPot is a credit union exclusively for the Police. Not only has it taught me about the financial world but it’s let me take a peak into the world of the Police too. My job is to spread the word of the credit union to Police Officers and deal with the promotional material/gifts we give away, create the adverts, develop/work on the website, travel to different Police events/dinners/conferences and be the face of No1 CopperPot…and I’m sure there’s more than that but you get the picture! I don’t work on my own though, I have a partner in crime…Helene! Helene and I make up the marketing team since we said bye to the last placement student Hass, who has now gone back to Uni to finish his degree.

20140919_191354The past 4 and a half months have already flew by and already taught me so much. My confidence has grew and grew, especially when it comes to meeting new people, presenting and well, just communicating in general. Already in just over four months I have travelled all around England to places such as Lincolnshire, Hampshire, Crewe, Suffolk, Harrogate, Leeds, and even up to Glasgow in Scotland! One of the most amazing nights so far has to be the Charity Dinner I went to in Harrogate to raise money for COPS UK charity. Dolled up to the nines with my fella looking dapper as ever we danced the night away after a lovely 4 course meal and stayed in a gorgeous hotel, it makes me wonder how that can be considered work?!

 

Here’s a snap from Suffolk…

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Working for the Police has given me such an insight into such a unpublicised world. Ok… it may be publicised in the news every now and again when an Officer makes a mistake but when do we see an unbiased view of what the Police do for society or how hard there job actually is? That’s it. We don’t. Going to Police conferences and hearing them speak has made me have so much more respect for Police Officers and less respect for the media.

Police: 1 – Media: 0

For anyone who may be contemplating the possibility of doing a placement year in the future I hope this blog persuades you to go for it. You learn real skills that Uni doesn’t teach you. You learn how to deal with real people in the world of business (not just chat to hungover students), and you learn how a business runs, and you find your part in that business. A Placement Year also looks so good on your CV, being able to prove you have the skills necessary to get a job is worth so much more than just saying you have a degree and assuming that makes you qualified. Plus…you get paid, if that can’t tempt you to do a placement year then I don’t know what will!

Anyway it won’t be so long before my next post, I’ll make sure of that! Laters…

How Important is Picking Your Placement Year?

Manchester City

As a second year University student I’m about to make, yet another, big decision which will affect my future career. As I’ve chosen to do a sandwich year before I graduate – otherwise known as a year in industry – my second year is all about getting the placement. Most placement opportunities are based around the idea that you take your placement with them, learn the basics in that year, then come back to them when you graduate as your full-time career. But what if I’m not 100% sure what I want my full time job to be when I graduate?

As I’m studying Advertising & Brand Management and I am an intern at a digital marketing agency, I have a lot of different possible routes I could go down and all are very different careers. My options are so spread out it’s difficult to decide what’s right for me – especially in the areas where I haven’t have much real life experience in. So far all the huge blue chip companies are advertising their placement opportunities and almost ALL are in London. Great city but no thanks, not for me, I’d rather stay in Manchester! So all these available opportunities don’t apply to me, and I’ll have to wait till after Christmas to start seeing the Manchester based placement opportunities. Thankfully Manchester is full of great agencies and companies and is growing in becoming a major city for business.

Hopefully a placement opportunity comes up giving me experience in all different areas to give me a better idea about what area I can see myself working in, and is based in Manchester. If anyone has any tips or experiences on getting a placement year, all comments are welcome! I don’t really like the pressure of potentially picking my future job in the next few months, but I suppose nothing is set in stone. Things are still subject to change. Come on Manchester, let’s hope you offer the perfect placement…

(image from personalcareermanagement.com)

A Day in the Life of an Intern.

First Day.

(Image from camp4collective.com

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, my University (MMU), offers a unit in our degree which gives us the option to go out and get an internship at a marketing/advertising/PR agency. We either go out and work for one day a week, unpaid, at an agency/company and get marked in a number of different ways and it ends up going towards our 2nd year grade. If we don’t go out and get an internship you then have to attend lectures and seminars, and get marked in a different way. All in all – the ‘Agency Life’ route sounded so much more interesting so here I am…

I ended up getting an internship at a small, yet growing, digital marketing agency in Manchester city center called 3 Door Digital (which I was very happy about). I wasn’t really sure to expect, especially since I haven’t done work in this sector before – my previous job was a waitress/bar worker and now I work in a shop so you can’t really compare them. I started a week later than my friends at Uni did so as soon as I got the opportunity I asked them what their days were like, what they did and did they like it, so I could prepare myself for mine. Since one of them said “I got given a huge stack of paperwork to read through as soon as I got there”, it made me slightly less excited to start mine.

After an early start to get there for 8.30am I found myself in the office, full of chatty friendly people and realising it probably will be a pretty good year with this company. I went to a meeting with my boss at 10am, and spent 9-10 going through a strategy plan that was made for the client and added anything to it I thought was necessary. Once the meeting was over, back to the office to type out plans that had been spoken about in the meeting. Then that afternoon the person who deals with content strategy showed me how to do content writing (I think that’s what it’s called). And sooner than later the day was over! 4.30 it was the mad dash to the bus stop and the hour ride home.

Pretty good start if you ask me, can’t wait to go back. For the first time in ages I actually think I’ve gone down the right career path…

Epiphany Abroad

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After 2 weeks in sunny Costa Blanca – Spain, I’m now back in rainy Manchester, and of course – back to blogging! I thought my first blog post-holiday should be about what has been on my mind whilst in Spain.

toughdecisions (image from nightowlnews.com)

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future and my career and what’s coming up in the next term of Uni. When I go back into what will be my 2nd year of University, I’ll be starting “Agency Life” (which is one day a week in an unpaid job in the industry related to your course – in which we get graded on), I’ll be going to my other lectures and also working. But another important factor will be applying for my Sandwich year – this is a year after the 2nd year and before the final year in which you can choose to work for a year in industry, to gain money and experience and maybe even use it to help with your final dissertation. Since my course is called Advertising and Brand Management I could take a number of different routes in choosing a job for my sandwich year. I could go into advertising, marketing, digital, branding – most routes I choose will be a guess if I’ll like them, as I’ll have had no previous experience – aside from marketing. Now for a lot of research into my possible choices.

I thought once you’ve decided what University you want to go to and what course you want to study the big decisions stop for a few years – but they keep on coming!

I would also like to thank Mama O for the Liebster Award she nominated me for http://gomamao.com/2013/07/23/virtual-hug-received-thanks/ – I didn’t know what this was when I first read it but after a lot of researching on Google I think I just about understand the concept. And a huge thank you to her no less. I’ll be replying back to this hopefully in a few week once I know who to nominate!

Challenge 60

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What is it?

Well, Multiple Sclerosis (or MS for short) affects over 2.1 million people worldwide. Here’s what the MS Society say about it:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system. In MS, the coating around nerve fibres (called myelin) is damaged, causing a range of symptoms. Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS. It’s normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, and affects almost three times as many women as men. Once diagnosed, MS stays with you for life, but treatments and specialists can help you to manage the symptoms. We don’t know the cause and we haven’t yet found a cure, but research is progressing fast.

What is the MS Society doing?

At the moment there is a #Challenge60 (in-case you want to track it on Twitter) campaign – where in 60 days they want to raise £250,000 to fund vital MS research. They are asking for volunteers to fund-raise to help reach their goal, and also wonderful human beings to donate/sponsor the people doing fundraising. (At least I’ve mentioned a marketing campaign somewhere in here – now this links to my blog name 😉 )

Why does it affect me?

My Dad was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago now, and as a family we deal with the consequences of the illness. It’s an evil illness – but it takes strong people to deal with it, I admire and respect them all. As a result of this I like to keep an eye on the MS Society and do whatever I can to help, they do an amazing job and I know this very well.

What am I doing?

I am taking part in the Great Manchester Cycle on the 30th June, where I will be cycling a marathon through the center of Manchester. I am trying to raise as much as possible and help the MS Society reach their target. For any one who would like to sponsor me, any amount would be hugely appreciated and it’s going towards a great cause.

www.justgiving.com/jomcgrann – Here’s my page explaining what I am doing and where people can donate. The money goes directly to the MS Society. Even a pound would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you all for reading and spread the word of Challenge 60!