In February 2016, Simon Heptinstall started his ScotGrad Placement as a Marketing Officer at Kyria Ltd, a technology and software company based in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire. We caught up with Simon to discuss the placement and his work at Kyria.
ScotGrad: Hi Simon, thanks for catching up with us today! Our first question is: Why did you apply for a ScotGrad Placement?
Simon: I applied for a ScotGrad Placement because I liked the job opportunities that were available through ScotGrad, and I felt like a graduate placement was exactly what I needed to push my career forward. Finding the right opportunities as a graduate isn’t easy, as it’s often difficult to match your skillsets and experience with the right employer and position. It’s great that ScotGrad has such a wide variety of placements available to graduates of all backgrounds.
ScotGrad: As well as work experience, what else did you expect to gain from this placement?
Simon: After my second interview at Kyria I had a good idea of what to expect from the placement, and what they were looking for from me. I expected them to challenge me in certain aspects of my work, including pushing me to be a better writer, and I looked forward to taking on that challenge, and honing my skills.
ScotGrad: Can you tell us what projects you are involved in?
Simon: Right now I’m currently working with one of our clients to produce training videos for a software product that Kyria provides. This means script writing, filming the on-screen content, and editing the videos. Other tasks include writing everything from product marketing material to case studies and blog posts, and managing the website, including SEO and analytics, and the social media accounts.
ScotGrad: What skills have you brought to your placement and to Kyria?
Simon: Creating training videos and product documentation was a large part of the advertised job, and I knew I was very capable of doing that due to my background in video production. The fact they were also looking for someone to write content on a variety of subjects, manage the website and social media accounts, and create visual content made the job ideal for me. It feels good to put the skills I’ve learnt from college, university and previous jobs to use at Kyria.
ScotGrad: With regard to learning and developing skills, what have you got out of your placement so far?
Simon: I feel my writing has improved as a result of working at Kyria. I’ve always felt like I was a pretty decent writer, but I feel I’m now better at editing what I write, and am more concise and accurate when putting my ideas across. I’ve also been using Photoshop a lot more in this job than I had in previous jobs, and I have definitely improved in image creation and editing.
ScotGrad: Can you tell us about your favourite task or project?
Simon: It’s hard for me to pick just one because what I most enjoy about this position is the variety of work I deal with. I like that in a single day I can go from video editing, to writing content, to creating new web pages. That variety makes my job really interesting.
ScotGrad: What is the office environment like at Kyria?
Simon: It’s a great place to work. The staff here are very smart and good at their jobs. They also work together very well on tasks and projects, and they take the time to ask questions and help each other. But on top of that, there’s a light-hearted and relaxed attitude to life at Kyria too, which balances things out nicely with how hardworking and professional everyone is. Above all it’s a fun and positive place to work.
ScotGrad: Many of our placements are for positions at small to medium size businesses, such as Kyria. What do you think are the benefits of joining a company like Kyria?
Simon: I’ve worked for companies smaller than Kyria, and at larger organisations too, and I enjoy working for a company that while not massive, is growing in size and taking on new projects. At Kyria I find myself having responsibility for a variety of different projects, perhaps more so than I would at a larger company, while at the same time having very capable people around me to offer support and advice.
ScotGrad: Would you recommend the programme to other graduates?
Simon: Absolutely! It’s amazing what the right placement will do for your career, and your confidence. Placements allow you to grow and develop as an employee, test yourself in the real world, and make new contacts. I would definitely recommend it to other graduates.
ScotGrad: Do you have any tips for other graduates applying to ScotGrad, or for graduate jobs in general?
Simon: Well I’m certainly not an expert, but from experience I’d say to make sure you’re doing the basics right. Make sure your CV is up-to-date, take the time to really think out how you’re going to write your application and supporting essays/cover letters, and above all, don’t give up if you don’t get the first placement or job you apply for. Keep searching for placements that fit you, and then take your time applying for them. Just keep applying and you will find something that’s right for you.
To find more information and helpful tips on applying for graduate placements, visit ScotGrad’s Careers Advice section.