As you move through education, you get used to a lot of new chapters, but my placement experience was really like no other.
On the 1st of July 2020, I entered a parallel universe. Coming from my second year of university, during the middle of a pandemic, I moved to Shropshire from the North-West and began my first ever “official” job.
Everything was new, everyone was new. I began my placement with excitement, nerves and enthusiasm for a new chapter in my life.
At the time, I knew how incredibly fortunate I was to even get my new marketing role at Insynth. Many of my university peers were having their placements cancelled or delayed, with many never actually going into an office at all in their whole year of work. But, only now, do I truly appreciate how lucky I really was to secure my placement at Insynth.
With such an incredible team of people, a whole truckload of amazing data analytics software to dig into, and a massive amount of responsibility, my year in industry, really was just that – a monumental year's worth of insight into the marketing industry today.
And I really do stress today for a reason. Coming from my two years at Lancaster University, studying Advertising and Marketing Management, I thought I knew everything there was to know about marketing strategy, advertising, and communications. I mean – the theory is tried and tested, even if it is from the 1950s (you all must know Kotler’s 5P’s of the Marketing Mix right?!)
Unfortunately, although Lancaster Management School prepared me in so many ways for the working world, I did only have a rudimentary understanding of marketing theory and activity. The jump from theoretical to practical seemed to span at least 20 years.
I knew from the get-go, that taking a degree in marketing meant I would need a year in industry to really add real-world building blocks onto my foundational theory. It was actually one of the main reasons I enrolled at Lancaster because of how they champion students to take on a 4-year placement degree.
What Did You Learn at Insynth?
The skills I have learned while at Insynth range from content writing, technical SEO, digital marketing strategy and tactics to website design and management. But I also learned a whole new philosophy of ‘marketing thinking’.
Inbound marketing, when I first learned about it, just made sense. When it comes to digital marketing, inbound, to me, is the only approach that’s effective and impactful. Taking part in HubSpot Academy courses helped solidify that knowledge and I feel I definitely can go back to university knowing double what I did when I started at Insynth.
I have also grown personally and professionally in a more intangible way. As a fully-fledged member of the Insynth team, I was depended on to manage and carry out client’s marketing campaigns. I took on responsibility and was trusted to work at a high standard, one for which I became known for.
Working from home half the time, I became incredibly independent and was comfortable using my initiative to add value where I could. I often worked outside my remit, supporting the team in certain areas of marketing which I then became our in-house expert in. This then allowed me to expand my own learning further so I could present it back to the team.
Finally, by the end of my placement, I was entrusted to share my skills and understanding with our new starters, where I passed on my insider tips and tricks, and helped bring them into the fold.
What Were The Best Things About Working at Insynth?
One of my favourite aspects of my placement was the level of client communication I had. No longer was I working on team projects with my university peers, but I was responsible for working with business owners and marketing managers to help grow their business.
Reporting monthly on their results, I helped track and analyse how my clients could boost their digital marketing and website performance.
The most rewarding element of my placement was also seeing how my own input to the business made an impact – seeing the website content and blogs that I wrote achieve my clients No.1 positions and Featured Snippets - there’s nothing quite like it!
How Do you Feel Going Back to University?
Going back to university in October for my final year is like I’m starting a new chapter all over again. I will be leaving the Insynth team behind to finish my degree, with more insight than I ever possibly thought I could have acquired.
Looking back now, I understand more than ever why placements are so crucial for student’s learning. The same as any other practical degree (from engineering to science), gaining those real-world skills and learning your craft in context makes such a difference.
I’m super sad to be leaving Insynth but I am unbelievably grateful for every day of my placement. I wasn’t just a junior intern or tea-maker, but really part of the team, which is what allowed me to learn so much in those fast-flying 13 months.
At the end of the day, a placement is yours to make the most of and experience in whatever way you choose. I am more passionate, enthusiastic, and keen as ever to continue with my career in marketing and I look forward to seeing what else I can take on once I finish my final year at University.
Thank you Insynth! Freya Over and Out!
Feedback for Freya from Rich Newsome, Head Content Writer at Insynth Marketing:
“Freya has proven to be an outstanding asset to the content team here at Insynth. Her sharpness, attention to detail and willingness to challenge and ask questions are all admirable qualities - and ones that have helped contribute to the agency’s success over the past 13 months.
As Freya leaves us to continue her final year at university, she has left behind a void that will be difficult to fill. I have no question that a bright future awaits her. Whilst we secretly don’t want her to go, we are so thankful to Freya, who hasn’t just been a ‘placement student’, but one of the key members of our team – a real asset.”
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