The Introduction Meeting
Prior to my Fantastic week, I came for a pre visit. This was important as I was able to familiarise myself with the office surroundings before starting and was also able to discuss any queries I had.
Pre visits are also a great opportunity to ask about the dress code and typical hours and therefore can help you to organise your placement week in advance. However, if you too decide to apply for a placement, make sure that you create a good first impression! This cannot be reversed and your employer will have a lasting image of you from your approach to the first meeting… make it a good one!
The First Day
I came to Fantastic having already researched their work — this is something I would definitely recommend for any future placement students to do, whatever your work experience area, as this will give you a head start in understanding the processes and the importance of the services the company delivers.
I also researched Fantastic’s predominant clients and explored their websites and branding. This gave a clear incite into the type of work Fantastic could create on a daily basis and how they adapted and worked as a team to deliver the best customer service.
The Assigned Tasks
Monday morning started off with a meeting with everyone in the company, including Managing Director and Founder, Andy Hobson. I found sitting in on this meeting interesting, as the relationship between employees was relaxed. I didn’t expect to find this overall mood in such a well established working environment. (Andy had even brought in a hover board to the office, offering anyone interested lessons!) The meeting meant that everyone was up to date with client needs and had a clear agenda for the week. Any meetings scheduled for the coming week were also discussed between both sides of the company.
Beth Saville (Fantastic’s Account Manager) gave and explained a work book that had to be completed throughout my time at Fantastic. Each task related to one of the services that the company delivers and so this meant that I had an opportunity to look at the different areas Fantastic worked in.
After nearly finishing my induction workbook, I was asked to write two product descriptions for Actavo Direct’s (a scaffolding company) website. After my work was returned with positive feedback, I was then asked to write a further seven, researching as I went along as I was not an expert in scaffold poles and boards… to say the least. Not everyone can say that they know the full definition and process of galvanised scaffold tubes, right?! These will go live on the Actavo Direct website later in the week.
The Required Skills
Everyone at Fantastic was friendly and talkative from the start — these communication skills are also evidently crucial in the work of client services. Throughout the day, the phone didn’t stop ringing with questions from clients and yet, at all times (even if the employee was already busy), the client was made to feel welcome and at ease with a prompt and friendly returned phone call.
The Best Bit
For me, I have always dreamed of a career in writing, whether that is traditional magazine journalism or researching and reporting on the arts. Considering this, of course I loved it when I was asked to write real client pieces for Fantastic. However, I’ve also found sitting in on meetings really interesting, particularly with clients. Again, this is probably down to the fact that the meetings I enjoyed most involved a creative aspect, like generating ideas for a brand identity on social media for one client.
So what about new words or marketing jargon I’ve learnt? Well, after research, I now know the different campaigns related to advertising and which is most suitable for a particular product or theme. Direct marketing, social and multi-channel campaigns are all effective ways of increasing a product’s target audience. I had first hand experience in dealing with a direct marketing campaign for a client during my time at Fantastic.
I’ve learnt that in such a competitive marketing industry, confidence is key. I never stop talking and am communicating with customers constantly through my part time job and role as a student journalist at college. Therefore, having now completed a work placement at Fantastic, maybe a career in marketing/PR could be on the cards in the future? Who knows…?