6 July 2018
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Ahead of his final day with us and before stepping out into his first official job in the marketing industry, we asked Cailum, to tell us how he found his time spent at LITTLE agency, during his work experience period. If you’re interested in applying for work experience at LITTLE, head over to the contact page and tell us why you would love to become a temporary member of the team.
Proactively seeking opportunities and gaining work experience sets you apart from other graduates when looking for employment after your studies, not only that, you develop your skills and access an insight into what you love to do which will eventually shape your career.
Sometimes it’s very difficult for students to understand which direction they want to take when starting their career, after university. I believe that unless you are dead set on becoming, for example, a doctor, teacher or even a police officer you do not necessarily have that direct pathway to start your career. Work experience allows you to peruse what you enjoy in a safe environment where you are supported. You can make mistakes, ask questions and pick and choose what you wish to work on. Here’s a look into my time at LITTLE, what I worked on and what I learnt.
For me, I studied business and marketing, I had a part-time management job and had recently established a natural skincare company. While developing my business it quickly became apparent to me that it was the creative side of the things that I enjoyed working on the most. I found myself putting my time into the website, branding, blogs and social media. It became a hobby of mine which got me thinking, is a career in marketing for me? So I decided to pursue that.
I applied to several different marketing agencies, but I never heard back. Coincidentally I met an old friend from school who worked at LITTLE. She told me all about the company with such enthusiasm and explained that they accept work experience students. Without hesitation, I contacted one of the directors and arranged an appointment to meet and go through the options.
After walking up four flights of stairs, I apprehensively walked into the office and was immediately impressed. It’s a relatively small space with fours rows of computers. There are several skylights with large wooden beams supporting the triangular roof and a small kitchen and seating area to have your lunch. Everybody works together with the directors positioned around the room alongside the staff, right in the thick of it. It felt cosy, comfortable and energetic. I met with Mark the Managing Director, he asked me which area I wanted to gain experience in, I replied: “I don’t know”. At that point I wasn’t really sure how it worked, I explained what I had studied and what I enjoyed, I felt a little silly for not providing an answer, but that wasn’t a problem here, I could tell that they were here to support me.
I began working on ProBalm, developing a Halloween campaign. We decided to send out two randomly generated emails titled trick or treat. The treat would give the reader access to an online discount and the trick would not. This gave me a first-hand look at how the company worked internally from creating the piece of content, handing it over to the graphic designers to illustrate and visualise and then finally passing it onto the developers to code. It was an exciting process to be apart of, and I felt hooked from then on, it motivated me to work hard knowing that the other members of staff were putting so much effort into materialising what I had produced.
I was then handed responsibility for the ProBalm Christmas campaign. I took inspiration from the monotonous and tedious tasks that people experience around the Christmas period such as queuing at shops, clearing up after Christmas dinner and working around Christmas, which I then put a positive spin on and decide to display how they could be spending their time instead. With this, I tried to appeal to ProBalm’s target audience by referencing activities that they would do in their spare time. The whole campaign was rolled out onto social media. I felt a sense of accomplishment that my work was being viewed by the companies and influencers following, and luckily, it was also seeing engagement.
I spent a great deal of time working on supporting the development of WordPress websites that were launching. I worked on formatting, adding content, cropping images and making it look perfect. This was all brand new to me, but something I took to quickly and enjoyed spending time on. Alongside these various campaigns, I was handed various other tasks such as admin and photography. It gave me an all-round perspective on what I might expect when working as part of a digital marketing agency. With all of this in mind, here are five things that I learned whilst working at LITTLE:
It quickly became apparent to me that the directors wouldn’t accept anything less than perfect. Grammar must be checked, spacing must be consistent, making sure that the correct images are used, and they are engaging, are all of paramount importance. The whole business operates with 100% customer focus. This mentality is maintained throughout from the first project of the day to the last where it would be easy just to say “that will do” and go home. It shapes the way I will now work where at times I may have been slack. It’s a representation of the business and ultimately their reputation in a competitive industry. If it’s not perfect, then it’s not going live.
Each day every staff member huddle together and discuss their agenda for the day. It’s a brilliant way for all to understand who’s working on what. Staff members can solve problems with any issues on specific projects, directors can delegate tasks, and the group can suggest different ideas. It’s also an opportunity to catch up with one another as a more personal approach to working life. Put simply you get a sense of belonging and purpose.
Beforehand I hadn’t really worked much on Google Drive, but after spending my time working on the platform, it has changed the way I work. I found myself completing my essays on Google at home, it’s all there, it’s all saved, and it’s all easily accessible anywhere. You’re not restricted to a single device and you can share documents with other users.
At first, developing different campaigns was intimidating. It was a real-life project for a real business, not something to hand into your lecturer. But working at LITTLE instilled this confidence to work independently, trust my judgment and take the initiative when necessary. I found myself offering a helping hand, and one week saw me working on Photoshop, Googling specific procedures as I went along, when others were busy working on different projects. It takes you out of your comfort zone so you have to take responsibility, but you gain so much back in return.
The main reason for starting my work experience was to discover what type of career path I wanted to take, I wasn’t really sure what I enjoyed, but I knew I was interested in marketing. For me, I found the answer, and as I move on from LITTLE after graduating, I do so into a similar role. I learned so many new things that studying a degree could never provide me with and that itself makes the whole process worthwhile.
If you too are uncertain of your future after University think about what you enjoy and can you make a career out of it? If so be proactive, contact organisations that can lend a helping hand. Start your work experience, discover what you enjoy and set yourself apart from the oversaturated pool of graduates. You may not enjoy it and move onto something different, but you’ll never know unless you take the chance.
6 July 2018
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