I came to Zeal to do work experience fresh out of Leeds Beckett University at 21 after finishing my Media, Communication and Cultures degree. From being a teenager until the last couple of months of university I had liked the idea of going into some kind of marketing, but truthfully I had no clue what exactly I wanted to do or how I would get there. I felt stuck with no idea of what was next. It was around this time that I met Jane (CEO at Zeal) and she offered me three weeks at her office, gaining experience and exposure to what it’s like to work in the world of digital marketing.
I was absolutely elated and excited to be working right in the centre of Leeds, it’s like every graduates’ dream! My first impressions of Zeal were that the office was beautiful and the views of the city were so inspiring. Everyone I met was warm, friendly and made me feel like part of the team straight away. I was in a bit of shock after I stumbled out of the office at the end of my first day, wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into. There was so much to learn and understand, the same as any workplace when you’ve never worked in that kind of environment before. Who sat where? Which department was which? What was literally anyone’s job title?
For my first couple of weeks at the agency, I worked with the client services team. This included meeting with one of the clients to do a monthly report meeting and learning about the way that the agency communicated with them. I was also shown the way in which the staff strategise and plan and how the different departments in the agency work together to tailor their services to each client. For my last week, I worked in the SEO department, learning all about the way they use campaigns and content to help direct organic traffic towards their clients’ websites.
So what are my final thoughts on my three weeks at Zeal? One of the most important things for me was the massive emphasis on company culture. Through ‘mate dates’ (where different members of staff plan the socials every two weeks), flexi-time, and the constant friendly faces that you know you can always go to if you’re stuck, Zeal creates the perfect working environment. I was always treated as part of the team and given total respect by everyone I interacted with throughout the departments and straight up to management. The work experience was just that: a brilliant experience. I learned so much in the small amount of time I was there, stuff you couldn’t learn from Googling all night or reading a million books. It was a thoroughly enriching three weeks and I would say to anyone that if you get the chance to do some work experience for such a great company, you should snap it up. You never know how it could change your career focus.
Update: Incredibly, I was actually offered the chance to do a 15-month digital marketing apprenticeship at Zeal in my second week and so that’s what I do now! I’ve been working in the SEO department for just over a month now and I love it even more than I did at first. It’s always important to remember that sometimes if you try new things and go out of your comfort zone, really great opportunities can come your way.