In her first placement blog, Beth Race, BA (Hons) Business Management, tells us what it is really like working in a visual merchandising and marketing role and what she’s gaining so far from her placement year.
I am currently 3 and a bit months into my 12 month placement at Widdop Bingham (giftware supplier) as part of my sandwich Business Management degree! The first and most important thing I feel I need to say is that placement isn’t for everyone, however if you are considering doing a placement it is an invaluable experience that will not only give you money but experience and a crazy learning curve that will help shape your future career!!
My day-to-day placement
What I was not told about my placement, before I started, was the amount of responsibility I would have or the amount of unbelievable opportunities I would be exposed to. Not only is the day-to-day stuff great; looking after customers, dealing with accounts, merchandising our many showrooms etc. I have also had great opportunities like sitting in on national accounts meetings with John Lewis: I got to meet the buyers and get a real insight into the supplier/buyer relationship with a leading retailer.
I have also worked tradeshows and had weeks away in Birmingham and Harrogate meeting lots of very important people such as the chief executive of the giftware association for the country! I have even been offered the opportunity of a job after university and the assistance of that employer to open up my own gift shop after university. I would never have been exposed to those kinds of opportunities if I was not on placement.
It’s really easy to go onto third year and not bother doing the long applications and spending time on your CV or cover letters, but placement offers more than a year out from uni or a steady income! I have made so many business contacts and learnt so much I feel like my degree has unscrambled itself and I actually know whats going on because I have real life situations that I have been involved in to make sense of it all!
I will hopefully be posting a bit more of my day-to-day placement activities soon! If anyone has any questions about placement even if it’s what to wear or lunch ideas feel free to get in touch via the Placements Team.
Happy placement hunting 🙂