In our first blog post of 2015 we hear from current placement student Hannah Tinker, BA (Hons) Advertising and Brand Management, who self-sourced her placement with ALNO UK Ltd. Read about her placement year so far and find out how to follow in Hannah’s footsteps and apply for this placement.
Hi I’m Hannah, a third year Advertising and Brand Management student, currently on my placement year as the marketing intern at the Head Office of ALNO UK Ltd, based in Leeds.
The phrase ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ sums up how I got my placement; my current manager is a friend of someone I did work experience for a couple of years ago. He mentioned that ALNO – a national German kitchen retailer – was looking for some assistance in their marketing department due to the rapid expansion of the business. My name was put forward and naturally I jumped at the opportunity to secure a placement in a growing business.
I’m now half way through my placement year, living at my family home near Huddersfield and making the daily commute to the city. A daunting thought before you begin placement year is that it will be completely different to what you have been used to for the past two years and of course it is but it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
Whilst on placement year, you’ll discover exactly what it’s like to work in a role that suits your chosen career path and gain the experience needed to prove you can fulfil the skills required of you in future job roles. The Agency Life unit in second year is a stepping stone towards gaining more experience and what I took away from that is that employers are looking for people with as much experience in the prospective role as possible.
ALNO operates two main channels – ALNO which sells premium German kitchens through independent retailers across the UK and in-toto Kitchens which is their nationwide franchise network. Due to this, during the past 6 months I’ve had the opportunity to work across lots of different projects with the company. I’ve been able to work on the marketing for the newly launched appliance line: Bauknecht, which is sold exclusively through in-toto design studios. Working on a new and innovative project is interesting as I’ve been able to look at how a brand develops in the start-up phase and it will be interesting to look back at this brand in years to come and know that I worked on the original launch. It will be interesting for whoever replaces me to work on this further.
I’d recommend to second year students that a placement year is well worth your while as it gives you the experience you need in your chosen industry and although the thought of leaving the madness of student life behind and starting the 9 to 5 can be daunting, it’s an opportunity well worth taking and something you won’t regret. At ALNO I’ve been able to find exactly what parts of marketing interest me and how I can apply marketing to a sector I originally knew nothing about – I was no kitchen design expert before I started! In September I was able to visit the ALNO factory in Germany with the company (and discover exactly how huge a real stein is) which was an opportunity I wouldn’t have found anywhere else.
In terms of moving away from Manchester, it’s been difficult to adjust to but you soon meet new people and adapt to the working week. A huge support has been the MMU Placement Team who have been very useful during my time here and regularly email me directly to see how I’m doing and answer any questions or worries I may have.