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Placement year paves the way for a career in marketing

Placement year paves the way for a career in marketing

Published: 08 Feb 2024

Gemma Harvey

Taking part in a placement year was so beneficial - if your course offers a placement year, take this opportunity. It's the reason I now work in the marketing industry and it opened the door to my first job after graduating.

Gemma, Undergraduate, Alumni

Digital Marketing Executive, Clever Software Group

- 2019

From UK

Previous Institution

Shaftesbury School and Sports College - A Levels

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

Since graduating from Brunel in the summer of 2019, I have worked within a digital marketing role across three different industries. Each has really enhanced my skill set and given me individual insights into how to accomplish different projects. Despite having a degree in Industrial Design and Technology, marketing has always been a great interest of mine and combines my passion for graphics and design. I spent my placement year working as a Design and Marketing Assistant for a company not far from Brunel, so a career in this field felt like the right path to take.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I am now a Digital Marketing Executive for Clever Software Group, a bespoke software development company based in Ringwood, Hampshire. It's my task to plan out all of the company’s digital activities - this ranges from creating and scheduling social media content, writing blog posts, planning Google Ad campaigns and keeping track of the company’s SEO. No day is ever the same and it's exciting to create fresh, original content on a daily basis.

What’s been the highlight of your career journey so far?

Being able to work in three very different industries, but also finding a dream job in the middle of a pandemic. As much as the past year has been very confusing and at times, overwhelming, it has also been very exciting. I've had some amazing opportunities come my way, one of them being the opportunity to work at Clever Software Group. I had to start my position the day after going into the third national lockdown, which meant beginning the role virtually, but I wouldn't change it. The team have been so welcoming and lovely; it's a very exciting time in my career.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

Industrial Design and Technology was such a diverse course; it allowed the opportunity to delve into various different career paths. I met so many incredible people during my time at Brunel, from lecturers, workshop technicians and amazing friends; they have all heavily influenced my journey into industry. Taking part in a placement year was also so beneficial - if your course offers a placement year, take this opportunity. It's the reason I now work in the marketing industry and it opened the door to my first job after graduating. That wouldn't have happened without attending Brunel.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

My Graphic Design teacher at school studied at Brunel, on a similar course to Industrial Design and Technology. I knew I wanted to follow a path in the creative industry and he always spoke so highly of his time at Brunel. So, for that reason, I applied to the University. There is so much to experience at Brunel and being so close to London, there are so many opportunities to explore right on your doorstep.

What is your best memory of studying here?

There are too many. From attending amazing climbing trips with the Brunel Mountaineering Society to watching Varsity with friends (when we should've probably been working on deadlines!). I can't single out a single memory in particular, the whole experience was incredible.

If you could give one piece of advice to current Brunel students, what would that be?

Make sure you keep on top of your studies and stay on track, but schedule in time to take a break and have some downtime. It's important to make some time for yourself and reset, especially with everything that's going on at the moment. Even if it's as simple as making a cup of tea and having a few biscuits, self-care is so important, now more than ever.

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

Apply for anything and everything within the field you want to work in. There are so many opportunities out there - even if it's an internship for 6 weeks or some work experience, it'll be a step in the right direction and work in your favour. Even volunteer work will look fantastic on your CV, so keep your options open and take what opportunities you can. Don't be down-heartened by rejection either; keep persevering. It just means that something bigger and better is waiting for you.