Success Stories

One of the most vital and beneficial steps in my developing career

Ruth MacKenzie, ScotGrad

After a varied and jam-packed 12-months, marketing graduate Ruth MacKenzie looks back on her placement with a busy Highland community development trust, the Muir of Ord Hall and Facilities Company.

Published: 08/05/2019

Ruth MacKenzie

I consider my time as Marketing Project Co-Ordinator at the Muir of Ord Hall and Facilities Company to be one of the most vital and beneficial steps in my developing career. In a short 12 months, jam-packed with activities, events, ideas and goals, I have gained an invaluable range of experience and knowledge for which I will always be grateful.

The Muir of Ord Hall and Facilities Company are a development trust striving to provide and develop more for the Muir of Ord community, a community I had only recently moved back to following time at University in Glasgow studying Marketing and working in the south of England. When moving back from living in Portsmouth, ScotGrad was my first point of contact when looking for a role – I knew that with a ScotGrad placement I would be able to add value to an organisation as well as develop my own skills and experience at a rapid rate. I was very lucky when the opportunity to apply for a role in the community I had recently moved back to became available. 

Throughout my placement I have been able to freely undertake the marketing for the company’s facilities, which includes the Village Hall and the newly developed community building The Muir Hub, as well as assisting in the development and management of events. The freedom and trust given to me by the Board and management has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my placement. 

My largest project came in managing the design and development of a new website for the company. The website is now fully launched and already the effects of it can be seen through increased awareness of what is going on at the facilities, and through individuals and groups booking the facilities through our online system. The website is seen as the most vital aspect to the future marketing of the company.

My role in general has focused on raising awareness of the company’s facilities, encouraging event and group attendance, as well as income generation through events and venue hire. Further projects have included re-branding the Village Hall; developing a retail space within The Muir Hub, working with a variety of local crafters; developing flyers and promotional material; undertaking community feedback, and generating a social impact report; using digital and traditional marketing to raise awareness, as well as much more. My final project with the company has been working on a three-year marketing and events strategy to ensure consistent and cohesive marketing and development over the coming years.

The company’s activities are varied and broad - comedy clubs to film showings, lunch clubs to soft play, exhibitions to retail space. It also has a friendly and busy office, welcoming to everyone, and I have enjoyed playing a part in all of the activities, events and groups that are available for the community. 

Working for a development trust/third sector organisation in my graduate placement has allowed me to meet a hugely varied number of individuals from experienced board members, creative development group members, kind volunteers, committed and hard-working staff and the general community – all of whom I have learned a huge amount from, including but not limited to knowledge, experience, innovation, commitment, selflessness, drive, confidence and kindness. It has been an honour to meet and work alongside such a variety of individuals.

I am extremely grateful to have been able to progress my career with such an important and vital community organisation and have enjoyed my past year incredibly, learning quickly as I go and working with an organisation with a strong core community purpose.  The experience I have gained over this short time has been invaluable and has provided me with a huge amount of confidence going forward in my career.

My placement has provided me with a clear focus and confidence for the future, knowing that my career and personal interests lie in working for a third sector organisation and having the opportunity to help others. I could not thank ScotGrad and the Muir of Ord Hall and Facilities Company enough for the opportunity.