I’m (almost) six months into my placement and I still feel like I’ve only just started. I guess time flies when you have a routine and you’re enjoying your job. Before starting my placement, I was worried I would have no responsibility and an uncomfortable working environment. But I couldn’t be more wrong. So, here is what I get up to as Marketing and Events Assistant at Bournemouth University.
Higher Education Exhibitions
My main responsibility is organising the UCAS and other exhibitions such as UK University Search which we attend. This is my project that I have full ownership of so it takes up a lot of what I do day-to-day. I organise what we take to the events, data licenses, transport and hotels for all staff. Along with this I have to create a rota of which staff and students will be attending which events. These events are key to recruiting students and raising brand awareness whilst alongside our competitors. We get to speak directly to students face-to-face rather than through countless emails. These events have provided me with plenty of problems I have had to solve autonomously. Two examples are needing more staff to having troubles booking hotels.
Another main responsibility of mine is open days. When I started this job in August I was thrown straight in with clearing open days and then onto the autumn ones. With one person down in the open days team, myself and my line manager had more to do in our roles. At the open days I have been the campus supervisor for the Lansdowne campus. This has put me in charge of staff and students giving me a lot of responsibility. I found it difficult for people outside my team to take me seriously and see me as a staff member rather than a student.
This role gives you insight into how much time and effort goes into an open day. We start around 6am on the day of an open day and you won’t finish until 4pm earliest. Many problems may arise throughout the day that you have to solve. These could be IT, staffing or catering problems and so many more as anything can go wrong. Even a possible gas leak from somewhere in a building that doesn’t have gas! It’s not all bad though bad though, you get some of the pick and mix and it is a fun days work.
Due to there being gaps in the team, it has meant I’ve been given the opportunity to expand the boundaries of my role. I have had a much more hands on experience with BU’s bloggers and vloggers than previous placement students, allowing me to be more creative. I’ve come up with themes, helped run the editorial meetings and managed their profiles. I’ve loved being able to be more creative and input my opinion on what we should be putting out there.
While this isn’t to do with the marketing and events role specifically it has been a huge part of my day-to-day. Being a lot of ambassadors supervisor, I get emails from them pretty much every day! I create the rota’s for open days, assigning them their role and managing them on the day. We have to put a lot of trust in ambassadors showing up and doing a good job so this can be a bit stressful. Recently, I organised a session to train ambassadors in open days. This was something my boss allowed me to take responsibility of and arrange. That is one of the great things about this job, they are open to me trying things out and taking lead on projects.
Along with my placement there are two other placement student in the UK Student Recruitment and Outreach team. They work with certain schools and colleges to raise aspirations of going to university. Having other placement students in my team has made the experience even better and I’ve made friends I wouldn’t have otherwise met. We get to collaborate on events and I have been able to go to colleges for fairs and (my personal favourite) deliver workshops. As blogs are becoming a more and more important tool for media students to use, in groups I got them to come up with a blog and supporting social media. Trying to get them to make it as niche as possible, we made it into a bit of fun. The workshop has been so popular I keep getting asked to deliver it at other colleges!
Another school event I was given the opportunity to attend is the BBC young reporter event. One of members of the schools liaison team invited me as they knew I wanted to work in the media and this would be a unique experience to help my career. I got to hear people who work at the BBC talk and I helped manage some journalism students with their instagram takeover of the event.
As you can tell this job varies so much day-to-day, I couldn’t begin to tell you what I do on an ordinary day. So far, I’m loving my placement and UCAS which I’m looking forward to hasn’t even begun.