As part of my BA (Hons) Event Management course at Leeds Beckett University, I opted to spend my third year completing a placement year in the marketing and events industry. As I reach the 7 month mark at Banana Kick, I felt it was a good time to reflect on this opportunity and give a little insight into my experience so far while providing some useful tips for others making that big decision.
This placement is my first taste of a ‘real’ job in events. After a few shifts as an event activator for Banana Kick, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to come and work full time as part of their intern programme. I knew it would be a learning curve from the outset, but I perhaps underestimated the gradient of this curve! Here are a few pointers that have helped guide me through what I can only describe as the most beneficial 7 months ever.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough. To begin with, it will always be extremely daunting entering an environment that is completely different to what you are accustomed to. At first, I would avoid questions in the mind set that I would look stupid. However, I came to find the only way to make myself comfortable was to ask as many questions as I could think of. You will find that everyone is more than happy to help (even if it’s how to work the coffee machine).
Another top tip for an intern is say yes to absolutely everything! You are only there for a year (and trust me it will fly by) so it is vital you make it count.
I have found myself involved in a real concoction of projects, from events to print campaigns. My two highlights so far include working with Kingstone Press on their Tough Mudder sponsorship and very recently helping to organise the Leeds Sports Awards 2019. I’ve also had the opportunity to dip into creative, finance and digital marketing.
Taking my own advice, after plenty of self-doubt, I agreed to be the show caller for the Leeds Sports Awards at the First Direct Arena. It was the most amazing and rewarding feeling and has made me truly fall in love with event management.
It is paramount you take in all information available, even if you don’t think it will be beneficial, it will be. Try taking the time to speak to each department within your placement. During my first week, I was lucky enough to get a meeting with each team within BK, where they explained how and why their team functioned, their clients and the specific processes they go through to make sure they are at the top of their game. You’ll find within all businesses, everyone has their specialities and talents so taking the time to really listen and engage with them is extremely valuable.
Why doing a placement was the best decision I made for my future self
When making the decision as to whether you should complete a placement year or not, many questions will spring to mind. Will I actually learn anything or just be doing small jobs? Should I graduate earlier so I can get into the industry quicker? My friends aren’t doing placements, do I want to be the only one working? I won’t get to graduate uni with my current classmates…
I considered all of these things and more. But after a significant time here at Banana Kick, it’s very clear to see that this was the right decision for me. Not only have I developed my ability to manage time effectively, improve my work ethic (which will be imperative for a strong final year) but I have made some great friends and had the chance to work on some big projects with some really exciting brands and clients.
My internship at Banana Kick really has been Unforgettable.
Written by one of our Account Executive Interns, India McCall.