Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Previous YIBs endorse the benefits of placements

Current 2nd year YIBs have until July 31st to secure a placement position for 2018/19. For any student questionning why they should continue in their search for a placement position they need only look at testimonials from current Royal Holloway students out on placement or those who have completed their Year in Business. The vast majority of Royal Holloway Management students are overwhelmingly positive about the placement year and the benefits it offers them. You only need to read the quotes below to get a picture...

Quotes from Royal Holloway YIBs about their placement years.

> Jamie Leigh Platt who is studying for BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) and is currently doing a 12 month placement with Avis Budget as a Global Travel and Partnerships Coordinator.
“Since joining the Avis Budget Group in June for my placement, there hasn’t been a day I haven’t learned something new. From creating websites to flying to Barcelona for a call centre incentive, I’ve been given so many opportunities and been able to see first hand how a global business actually works.”

> Mae Wang is studying BSc Management with International Business and doing a Project Management placement with NetApp and says “Overall, the role of a Project Manager is intense and requires a high level of time management and organisational skills but at the same time, you will also learn very quickly and gain a lot of key transferable skills with the opportunity to build a long list of credible contacts both internally and externally. NetApp has been fantastic in terms of developing their interns, they are currently funding my Prince2 qualification for professional Project Managers.”

> Emily Taylor is studying BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) and did a Mid Market Sales Placement with Microsoft. While working on placement she said “I honestly love my placement, largely because of the amount of responsibility I'm given and genuine fun I'm having! It was really nerve-wracking initially applying to such a big company, but knowing the level of opportunities you can gain, I would encourage anybody to apply to do a Year in Business”

> Amy Taylor studies BSc Management with HR (Year in Business) and did a Management trainee placement with Enterprise Rent a Car. She said “The best thing about a placement year is the real world experience you receive. I have not only put the theory I learnt at University into practice but have learnt so much more. I am going back to University for my final year having progressed my skills as a manager and already ready for graduate life”.

> Jordan Maxwell is studying BSc Management with International Business (Year in Business ) and did a Sales and Business Development placement with VMWare and says “my perception of what I thought a YIB would be is actually worlds apart to the reality. My skills in IT have grown but also in networking, presenting, event planning, social media, marketing, sales, time-management, and the list goes on. You can review a job description online but it only paints part of a picture – there is a lot more to it than just coffee runs!”

> Sarah Hunt Graduated with a first in BSc Management with HR (Year in Business) and did a placement with GSK as an Executive Recruitment placement. She said “ My placement year was a vital experience that I enjoyed thoroughly. Without it I would not have been able to secure a position at Pepsi, who value the experience and transferable skills I learnt on placement”

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Joy Timmer's Sales and Marketing placement at Bentley

This is a guest post from Joy Timmer who is studying BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) at Royal Holloway and is currently undertaking a Sales and Marketing placement with Bentley Motors in Crewe.

I joined Bentley Motors in September and can honestly say that each day at work is varied and different. I am a part of the Bentley Pre-Owned team, which means I am part of a team of 6 people and we operate the global Bentley Pre-Owned programme. I see myself as fortunate for being placed in this team, because although there are 4,000 employees at Bentley and 400 in Sales & Marketing alone, I get access to all functions due to being in such a small team. Essentially we operate as a mini version of Bentley, doing everything that the main company does but on a smaller scale. This means I undertake a great variety of roles, something that wouldn’t be possible if I was a placement student in a particular function. As I study marketing at Royal Holloway, it means that I have been given responsibility for a number of marketing projects for the team, from social media to much wider research for the Pre-Owned programme. I work on projects in house, as well as with our marketing agencies. Opportunities to further my learning are always presented, and I’ve had the opportunity to undertake an Excel course, as well as spending time at Google Garage to further my digital marketing skills.

As well as marketing, I have learned other key skills such as processing purchase orders, planning events, managing a budget and managing suppliers. Being a part of a global network has given me an insight into how a company operates across different time zones and as a result, how vitally important communication and fore planning is.

The best part about my placement has been the opportunity to work for such a luxury and iconic brand. In the first month of starting at Bentley I was exposed to the brand in all way’s possible, from visiting the showroom and playing round in the cars, to going on a factory tour. Seeing Bentley’s every day soon becomes the normality, from seeing them being test driven on my way to work, to photographing them for a recent project I was working on. Even so, the novelty is yet to wear off. Witnessing the cars being made, and the detail and time that goes into each one, makes you appreciate the product you are working around. No other car manufacturer hand builds cars in this way and this is why, despite the cost, customers return time and time again to purchase a car from us. From New to Pre-Owned personalisation is available to the customer through our Mulliner customisation, and is what sets us apart from competitors. Whether a customer wants a golf fit, or falconry the Bentley can be personalised to their hobbies and exacting standards.


Luxury is at the heart of everything we do and the customers we reach out to expect everything to be of the highest quality. It can sometimes be frustrating, as sign off processes are long and every detail has to be perfect. However I see this to ultimately be a benefit, as working at this level to start with, has given me a great platform to progress from as I am now used to producing work that meets the high standards that Bentley requires.

With Bentley Motors turning 100 later this year, there is not a greater time to work here, with marketing materials and campaigns being worked on all over the business to celebrate the achievement. As well as this, customer delivery of the first New Continental GT will take place in just a couple of months’ time, marking a new and exciting chapter for Bentley.  If you are looking for a placement in a company that pushes you and where you will learn from the highest standards, I would urge you to apply. Don’t be put off by the location. For me it has been a great experience living and working somewhere completely new. If you have any questions about my placement, feel free to drop me a message!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Sophie Quinn's placement at SME Winser London

This is a guest post from Sophie Quinn who is studying BSc Management with Marketing (Year in Business) at Royal Holloway and is currently spending her placement year at Winser London. Sophie is working as a Marketing and Social Media Marketing student at the luxurious women's clothing company founded by fashion industry expert, Kim Winser OBE. Sophie writes very positively about her experience of working in a SME.

Working in a SME

Roles and responsibility
Since joining luxury womenswear brand, Winser London, last June, there has not been a day where my actions have not had an effect on the company - large or small! As current Marketing, PR & Social Media Associate, my main responsibilities cover: the daily management of social media activity; close communication with the Marketing Manager to develop online and offline strategies; and the analysis of relevant data, which is then reported to senior members of our team.

Although at first the responsibility in your role may seem daunting, settling in will happen, whether this is immediate or over time. For me, it took a month or so before I really got the hang of things, but once settled, I was confidently contributing my ideas and suggestions, involving myself in other areas of the business, such as retail and design. Working in an SME means easy communication between different departments, so potentially, you could have an impact on the business as a whole - exciting indeed!

First-hand experience 
First-experience is what I love most about my role, and is another benefit of working for an SME. Early opportunities and a varied workload allows you to make a real contribution from the get-go, which is definitely a motivating factor to getting your jobs done! A more thorough understanding of your role and the company as a whole also encourages your creative and individual flair for approaching problems.

Taking ownership of the social media has been invaluable in expanding my knowledge of digital marketing. While previously ignorant of terms such as PPC and SEO, and oblivious to the world of Facebook and Instagram advertising, my responsibility in its daily management has allowed me to action strategies learnt from digital marketing lectures, in order to create engaging content - targeted at the right consumer, at the right time! 

Such experience has showed me that social media goes way beyond the odd Instagram post with quirky caption, and instead expands into a world of analytics and sponsored ads; highly useful for our growing, digitally-focused world, where data interpretation and analysis play the key driver behind many digital marketing campaigns. 

Winser London's fifth year anniversary last March allowed me to get creative with digital ideas for our celebrations, which were listened to and actioned by senior members of the team. As a digitally-based company, many of these celebrations were held across our social media channels, including a #FiveDaysFivePrizes campaign on Instagram and our first ever Facebook livestream, a Q&A session between beauty journalist Samantha Freedman and our Founder & CEO, which was organised and filmed by myself.

Preparing your direction after graduation
Despite originally focusing my applications towards large, consumer-good companies, working in a different sector than planned has been hugely beneficial in mapping out where I would like to work after university. Fast paced yet sometimes challenging, a year in fashion has engaged and excited me - and has definitely sparked an interest to pursue this industry after graduation! 

From helping to achieve editorial coverage in magazines and newspapers, sending press samples to Holly Willoughby’s stylist, through to the execution of press days and blogger events, I have loved my experience in a sector I never imagined to lay my placement. I will however add, that although my time here has been amazing - and the first-hand experience gained has been second to none - working in an SME has me interested to explore life in a larger company, particularly within a larger team.

Sophie Quinn

Prior to Sophie's placement at Winser London, another Royal Holloway Management student, Victoria Taylor completed a Digital Marketing placement with Winser London. You can read more here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/victoria-taylor-46820a97/

We are also delighted that another Royal Holloway Management student, Emelie Udehn , will start a 12 month placement with Winser London as Sophie's placement finishes.