We first met John when he came to visit us at the Oxford Brookes Careers Fair in 2022. He was interested in completing his industry placement year with us because it offered him the opportunity to gain some hands-on, practical marketing experience to complement his Business and Marketing degree.
John told us of the working environment “It was my first experience of working in a professional environment and was less formal than I was expecting, more friendly.”
After the same detailed induction we deliver to all new starters, John’s learning was ‘on the job’, with support and guidance from his line manager and his colleagues. He was given autonomy and responsibility for tasks quite quickly, because we view our placement students as full members of our team during the time they spend with us. He said “It was cool to be given the trust…I didn’t expect it.”
He’d got some digital and SEO experience from his degree course but during the year he spent with us, John attended some SEO training with our marketing agency developing his skills further and gaining exposure to software that he wouldn’t have done at university. He told us “The theory is different to what happens in business…I’d learned B2C marketing during my course but this was B2B and it is different.”
Writing for business posts was also something that John gained experience in and soon became an accomplished and competent writer in the team. Our Head of Marketing said “John was a quick learner and soon became involved in marketing tasks that were making a real difference. He took ownership in areas such as social media and found a flair for creating content and writing blogs.”
During his time with us John enjoyed the team collaboration and being able to bounce ideas off his colleagues. He wasn’t so keen on the administrative side of the role but recognised that it comes with all roles!
Because our offices are based near Oxford, John was able to remain in the house with his university friends and retain that support and social network. He also got involved socially with colleagues at Webexpenses and has made friends with people he’ll stay in touch with.
John returned to university in September 2023 to complete his final year of his degree at Oxford Brookes. So how’s the last year with us been? “It’s been amazing and I am sad to leave, I’ve loved it… I am now going to base my dissertation on the SaaS software industry based on all the knowledge that I’ve gained here.”
He’s been keen to share his experience and has attended a number of careers fairs at Oxford Brookes with us, speaking to prospective placement students about his year in the Marketing team.
It’s too soon to say exactly what career John will pursue once he’s graduated, but Marketing is likely to feature. His manager told us “John went from strength to strength during his time with Webexpenses and experienced growth that will set him up for his future career.”
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