We have started a series of Q&A blogs with students who are on or have completed a role as part of Hope’s Placement and Internship Programme (PIP). We wanted to highlight the incredible contributions Hope students have made to organisations, businesses and charities. PIP was created to provide Hope students with bespoke work placement opportunities related to the university’s degree courses and prospective career paths and industries appealing to students.
PIP opportunities are extracurricular and usually involve flexible and part-time hours, though some have been created with full-time hours for Easter and summer periods. Many are based locally in Merseyside and the North West both to ease access for students but also to help local businesses and charities grow. Roles may either compliment the skills and talent base at the company, address skills gaps within the organisation and also are flexible and cost-effective ways to launch new short-term projects and deal with capacity issues. Our students bring fresh ideas and approaches and a high-level of work ethic.
We strive to find opportunities that not only improve a students’ employability, learning and assessments scores, but also provide a wage for the great work they do. Only Hope students and graduates can apply for PIP opportunities as our Placement Officers work with organisations to provide for many that first rung on the graduate job market ladder.
First up in our series is Lucy Slater, a final year Business Management and Marketing student.
CAREERS: How did you find out about the placement/internship?
Lucy: I followed the Hope Uni Careers Twitter and Instagram pages (HopeUniCareers). They posted about the opportunity and I found the details on the My Careers Centre job search in My Hope that they posted the link to.
C: What is the role and company, what do they do?
L: I work for MMA Defence, a self-defence martial class company, as a marketing assistant. The company hosts self-defence classes/seminars and charity events. My role is to market the company and raise awareness of the classes and events through social media and leafleting in order to raise awareness of the company and grow the start-up brand online.
C: Were you looking for this kind of role or was it something you hadn’t considered?
L: I wanted a paid placement that would give me marketing experience as this was related to my degree and the career I wanted to enter after university. This paid placement is exactly what I was looking for. I work remotely which allows me to work from home in my own time creating social media posts and marketing material
C: What was the application process? Do you have any tips for application forms/interviews?
L: The application process consisted of completing the initial application form and sending my CV. I was then invite to interview. I received a lot of help with my application and updating my CV from Oliver at the careers centre. Oliver assisted in ensuring my application contained information the company was looking for, that it identified my skills and experience in relation to the job description and person specification the employer had outlined and he helped me to update my CV to professional standard.
C: What does a typical day on placement look like? What do you enjoy most? How does it differ to study?
L: After a day at university I have the responsibility of editing a continuous marketing report that establishes ideas for the company and creates schedules for the upcoming social media posts. It has aims and objectives as well as future goals for the company and how I plan to achieve them. I enjoy this placement as it gives me flexible working hours alongside my studies and experience in an industry that I find interesting.
This placement also offers me opportunities to work in different roles and to earn more distributing leaflets before and after university, This is good for students as it is an opportunity to make money around your studies. During this work I have met other students working on the placement and we have worked together on certain projects. It has been fun to work with other students in the same position as me and working on a project that we are excited about due to having autonomy to be creative.
C: What skills have you developed?
L: This role provides me with real-life experiences of how companies are run and real-life experience of marketing a company.
L: The biggest challenge has been creating awareness as the company is a start-up. It was difficult to have so much autonomy in the beginning for a company that didn’t already have procedures and processes in place. However, this became a benefit of the job as it allowed me to use my knowledge from my degree and put it in to practise. The company’s growth has been a success as the number of returning members has grown enormously and students from my marketing degree now attend the classes.
C: What are you doing now?
I’m still in my third year of uni and I have worked for this placement for 3 months. However, I do intend to remain with the company as it has been insightful to watch it grow and succeed. I have worked alongside the owner to overcome challenges and I enjoy seeing the success of MMA Defence grow. Once I graduate from university I intend to continue this placement as a part-time job hopefully alongside my graduate job unless opportunities arise as the company continues to grow.
C: What have you learnt/How has it helped?
L: This role has increased my confidence in my own ability to put my knowledge of marketing in to practise and produce effective processes. My knowledge of the marketing industry has also increased through my research and working alongside the owner as they set up a new business. My degree is marketing and business management and it has been enlightening to watch and help a new company be created.
An additional note it’d like to make is it is that the careers centre has helped me a lot by finding this placement and offering it to students, secondly by helping to ensure my CV and application were up to a great standard before sending it. Additionally, during the placement the team has continuously encouraged and supported my work. I believe this placement will definitely help me to stand out in the job market once I have graduated due to the experience and knowledge it has provided me with.
C: Thanks Lucy! For anyone reading wanting to know more about MMA Defence and the services and classes they offer please see their website for more information https://mmadefence.co.uk/
Thank you for reading this inaugural blog post of the series. PIP opportunities can be found via https://liverpoolhopecareers.com/placements/. If you follow the LHU Placement and Internship Programme profile in My Careers Centre you will receive automatic updates when new opportunities are posted.
If you are an employer interested in creating an opportunity please contact a member of our placement team:
Oliver Back – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Ratcliffe – email@example.com