For me, placements are essential for building experience and perspective in a workplace environment linking to future career aspirations.
Through this year of studying at Liverpool John Moores University, it was becoming more apparent that content relating to marketing was where the largest part of my interests lay. Through my own research and the help of the University, I was able to gain a placement with Reading Room, a digital marketing agency in the heart of Liverpool.
Feeling apprehensive but excited, I began my first day with introductions to staff members in various departments within the agency, before settling and joining the SEO team for the day. After being briefed I was assigned my first task of searching keywords related to a client’s business via Google and placing my findings into an Excel spreadsheet for future use. This developed my skills to present data in an Excel format and an understanding of how to build or increase traffic for a client’s webpage.
After completing two keyword searches, I was then given access to the SEO team's social media accounts, along with a spreadsheet of social media groups and forums. Feeling confident, I made a separate spreadsheet where I identified how many members were in each group and therefore which ones to target that would provide the most exposure to clients' content. By using content such as blogs, photos and links to products to market the client’s business on social media platforms, it gave an experience of using marketing strategies learnt from the course and using them to interact and engage with users on Facebook, Reddit and Google Plus in a real setting.
After gaining a little familiarity with the agency, I used the next morning to follow up on responses users had made on the content posted on the social media accounts. The afternoon provided an opportunity to observe a meeting that was taking place between a client whose content I had been promoting on Facebook and the agency, which I found to be a valuable experience. To be able to watch how the SEO team and the client communicate approaches designed to boost the client's profile and offer strategies is something that hugely benefits my studies.
As my course focuses on sport, I was able to spend some time within the testing department for Middlesbrough FC’s webpages on a range of devices, including an iPhone 6s and Samsung S5. After each device I would report back to a supervisor who could inform developers as to any improvements that may need addressing. I was also able to attend a “stand up” - ironically sitting down - where various teams come together to discuss what actions to make towards a collective target. I could observe how teams communicate with each other and how the dynamics of a group project operate on a larger scale.
Towards the end of my placement I attended a meeting with developers where we discussed the accessibility of webpages for users with impairments, which is becoming largely important within sport business. This was an interactive way to address the measures taken into account when building webpages, especially those for sporting purposes.
This placement has covered a large portion of content learnt from my course in a workplace environment, alongside giving confidence in my abilities and a stronger perspective on where my future career lies.