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Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Emma, I'm 22, and currently live in London where I work as a Marketing and Events Manager for a Corporate Finance Company. I studied HNC and HND Events Management at Edinburgh College, and went on to study events further as a direct entrant to 3rd Year at Queen Margaret University. I left QMU at the end of my 3rd Year to pursue a placement through ScotGrad as a Marketing Assistant for a small renewable energy company, Sunamp Limited.

What did you learn during your placement?

I had a very steep learning curve when I worked at Sunamp, as not only did I have to learn to put all of my theory from college and university in to action, but I also had to learn about a fairly new, fast developing industry that I previously knew nothing about.

One of the biggest things I think I learnt on my placement was the etiquette of the business world and how to act. It seems stupid, but even just down to how you present your business card to a new contact, something I had no experience in doing, was important, and it helped me to develop a corporate identity for myself, which has helped me come across to new contacts as professional and experienced.

What kind of projects were you involved in?

As Sunamp was such a small business when I initially joined, I was left to run all of the company’s marketing single-handed. I did everything from designing and printing brochures, banners, and corporate gifts to managing the company’s website and social media accounts. My biggest, and proudest, project came when Sunamp exhibited at All Energy 2015. After exhibiting on a small stand-share the year before, I pitched to the executive management team the proposal that 2015 would be the year we go it alone! I received a budget of £20,000 and was told to organise Sunamp’s presence at the show. This meant I had to design a stand, source the contractors, organise new marketing material, source corporate gifts for the show as well as organise all the staff who were attending. I even managed to organise two networking events, which were held on our stand, and yet still managed to come under budget!

What are the benefits (and challenges) of working for a smaller business?

Working for a small company is both a blessing and a curse. It meant that I had a lot of say as to the marketing and the way we did things, however it also meant that at times, especially during events season, I would have a huge workload and not a lot of help. But, it helped me become more organised with the way I manage tasks, and meant I learnt about all aspects of marketing and events.

Any advice for those applying to ScotGrad placements?

Have a kick ass CV. It needs to stand out, not only for what you’ve done or achieved but visually as well. I made my CV InDesign so that it would be visually appealing and give me an edge. Though that doesn’t mean content is not important! Your CV needs to prove to the employer that you are the best person for the job! Look at the requirements for the position and see how to relate your previous experience or skills to the role. 

Where are you now?

After my year’s placement at Sunamp, I stayed to finish off a number of projects I was working on for 6 more months. After that, I decided I wanted a complete change and applied for a job in London. Within a month of applying I got the job, moved down to London, and now work as the Marketing and Events Manager for a Corporate Finance Company chaired by former 'Dragon' James Caan. I'm really enjoying my new job and new city, however one day I aspire to start my own Marketing and Events company... though I think I may need a bit more experience and money behind me before I embark on that dream!

Congratulations on your success, Emma.

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