Read this blog from Jack Clarke, a Business Studies student at BU, sharing his #MyPlacementStory about his time on placement at local business, Creditplus. 

My work placement in the marketing team at Creditplus has been an incredible experience, and I have managed to meet and learn from professionals in a field that I feel passionate about.

Jack Clarke at placement company Creditplus

"My name is Jack, and I am studying BA (Hons) Business Studies at Bournemouth University.

In September 2016, I secured a work placement with local SME, Creditplus. At the time, I was desperately searching for available placements after previously being let down at the last minute. After trawling through BU’s MyCareerHub, and other external recruitment sites I decided to post a Facebook status simply asking for any marketing placements available.

I struck lucky as a friend of mine informed me of a marketing position opening at Creditplus in Poole. As I sent my CV over, my friend started to tell me about the company. I was initially apprehensive when they told me that Creditplus was a leading car finance provider, as I had very little knowledge in this field.

However, I was asked to attend an interview and was offered the role of Marketing Assistant a week later. Although I had been told of the importance and value of an industrial placement, I was still extremely nervous about entering the professional environment. It was going to be my first office job, and certainly the most serious job role that I had taken. My main concerns were not being able to complete jobs to the correct standard or being asked to do something that I simply couldn’t do.

However, most of these worries were rationalised on my first day. Everyone that I met was friendly and welcoming, and it was made clear that people were there to help me and that all I needed to do was ask If anything was unclear. I found myself quickly settling in to my new working environment, and as time went by my responsibilities gradually increased as well as my confidence.

I started out my placement as a Marketing Assistant, shadowing my colleagues with their day to day tasks, including helping with engagement on social media, content writing for blogs and general admin. However, as time went by, changes to the team meant that my responsibilities increased and I was given a greater variation of tasks. I became more heavily involved in content writing, heading up the weekly email campaigns and blog posts as well as occasional news articles for the website. It was also my responsibility to complete month end reporting for my team, which helped develop my organisational and IT skills.

Another change to my role was taking on some of the responsibilities from the Head of Partnerships whilst she was away on maternity leave. This involved me liaising directly with Shaun Armstrong, the  Managing Director of Creditplus, and important partners, in order to complete their monthly reporting and handling of confidential data. This was a huge responsibility, and although I was apprehensive to accept the challenge, it helped me develop my skills in communication, data handling and also gave me a far more in-depth understanding of the company. Working directly with our Managing Director and receiving positive feedback for my work also gave me more confidence in my own abilities.

Creditplus is still growing and developing as a company so there have been many changes to the business while I have been on my placement. This could definitely be seen in the Digital Marketing Team that I was working with, as we expanded throughout the year. This gave me a fresh perspective as new members to the team joined with more innovative ideas and ways of thinking. I was then able to learn from a variety of professionals, learning about the company’s various key aspects, like its strong ethical values within the car finance sector and the strict guidelines it strived to follow. This also helped me gain an understanding on customer service, and how it is extremely important in business that customers are treated fairly and that they fully understand the agreement they are entering . Furthermore, it was an extremely rewarding feeling being part of a committed team, assisting in the growth of the brand via their lead generation website

One key benefit from my placement was discovering what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about my chosen profession.

It was reassuring to recognise certain aspects of my subject that I enjoyed, which I can use to motivate me going into my final year. However, it was also a valuable lesson to recognise what I didn’t enjoy about my job role as that will help me choose my future academic pathways and career choices.

By completing my placement, I have really developed and grown as a person. Being assigned key responsibilities and working towards set timeframes has given me the chance to improve my organisational skills and helped me apply myself efficiently to meet deadlines. Going forward, this will help me when it comes to completing academic tasks for my final year of uni. I am now familiar with full working days, and have a more disciplined attitude and can prioritise tasks effectively.

I would fully recommend a full-time placement to any future students, as I believe the personal rewards and benefits that can be gained are invaluable. The personal growth and development that you will experience will allow you to prepare for future career paths. It is also extremely attractive to future employers, who will see this on your CV and recognise the experience and skills you will have gained.

For any students planning to complete an industrial placement as part of their degree, I would advise them to make the most of every opportunity that they are offered. As much as you are an employee for the company, it is also a chance for you to develop and gain as much from your time with the company as you can. Learn from your experiences, and have fun. Set goals that you wish to achieve, and try and log down any key experiences or learning curves as these will help you with future academic ventures.

Overall, I believe taking part in my work placement in the marketing team at Creditplus has been an incredible experience, and I have managed to meet and learn from professionals in a field that I feel passionate about. Being part of an ever expanding and developing team/company has allowed me to witness a whole variety of day to day business techniques, skills, and practices that I wouldn’t have been aware of If it hadn’t been for my placement year."