January 15, 2024, by Joe

Lara Cuthbertson – Navigating the World of Marketing: A Student’s Insightful Journey through a Dynamic 10-Week Placement at the University of Nottingham

During my first semester of the second year at the University of Nottingham, I completed a 10-week placement program alongside my Geography studies. I worked with the University of Nottingham Sport marketing and communications team at David Ross Sports Village, where I spent 7 hours a week in the office working on particular projects with the team.

I collaborated with various areas across the marketing team, from live-streaming performance sports to creating social media artwork and conducting market research. This included marketing the BUCS Super Rugby games, participating in the National Badminton League headliner, and creating game graphics such as scoreboards for the professional squash league. I also participated in market research, attended team meetings in the office, and worked on Excel spreadsheets. I acquired new skills in Photoshop, YouTube, and live-streaming film techniques, as well as improving my general communication and professional skills at work.

My placement began with simple tasks like adjusting team names and locations on artworks, but it quickly progressed to creating my own billboard match posters and marketing plans for university headliner matches, which included match giveaways and half-time competitions. The experience was enjoyable because I worked with a team of friendly and helpful people, and the tasks I took on were not only in my area of interest but also far from the usual mundane internship duties. I actively engaged with the team, shared my ideas, and even had some published, which was particularly rewarding.

What I enjoyed most about this placement was the variety of work I was able to be a part of and the significance of that work. Instead of spending 10 weeks doing mundane tasks, I was involved in the entire process of marketing and operating the badminton headliner. I brainstormed initial marketing strategies with the team, published the ideas, and attended the game to see how our work had paid off. Although I initially thought I would prefer hybrid working, being in the office was great as the team was friendly and knowledgeable. The experience significantly benefited my digital marketing skills and boosted my confidence in speaking to colleagues, sharing ideas, and adapting to an office environment.

One of the biggest challenges during this work experience was time management. As my degree demands increased towards Christmas, and with a part-time job, I wanted to ensure I had time for socializing and breaks from work. However, I overcame this challenge by effectively choosing my placement hours—sometimes doing 7 hours in one day when I had no lectures and occasionally splitting it between two days to avoid long, stressful days of work followed by immediate revision. Once I established a routine for my hours, overcoming this challenge became much easier, and I was able to enjoy the placement.

After a really knowledgeable and interesting 10 weeks with the University of Nottingham Sport, I am now extremely happy to say that I have been offered to continue working with the team, with the same hours during my second year at university as paid work.  I am really excited to continue working with them, especially as my placement has now led to a paid job, which I think is definitely something anyone can achieve by the end of their placement with the right attitude and commitment to the company.

For anyone considering a similar type of work experience, I would recommend utilizing all your hours in the office if you have the option to work at home. In-person learning with everyone around you is much more effective. Asking as many questions as possible on the job is also advisable, as it not only facilitates learning but could lead to working on projects aligned with your interests. Lastly, I suggest visualizing your timetable with 7 fewer hours in your week before you start. This gives you insight into the time you have left for university work and socializing, making you feel more prepared when you start!


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