A Student on Placement. . . ‘I know nothing. . .’

February 6th, 2013 in Views 3 minute read

Written by Kris Wright from Leeds Trinity University.

Jumping into that big wide world of work is a shock for most people…

For me it felt even worse. Being a model student, (cough cough) I’m used to waking up really early, packing my bag up full of books, and trailing into university no matter the weather. Well maybe not, I’m sure you can guess without me going into too much detail what 21st century students are really like.

Like I said, I was in for shock, being on placement means you can’t go to sleep at 4 in the morning, and having to turn down that phone call from friends inviting you out to the £1 a pint night or 3 Trebles’ for £5.
All I could seem to think is why me? What experience will working in a digital agency really give me? ; I know how to do a Google search! I already know loads about social media! I HAVE FACEBOOK & TWITTER. You can’t teach me anything!

How brutally wrong I was…!

From my first day I walked into the office, I was greeted in that usual morning ‘hello’ and ‘morning’ which I have experienced every morning so far…
After being shown around the office, (and the complimentary tea and coffee before it disappears at Noon) I was shown my desk… for the rest of the day I began moving around the office, experiencing what all the different staff did on a daily basis, ranging from development of websites, to changing the copy of ads on Google so they appeal to a better range of users.

Straight away… a world of unknown knowledge was thrust upon me.
I’m pretty sure people were making up words just to try and totally throw me, things like conversion rates for websites, and link building to improve search results from Google, I felt a little lost all of a sudden!!
I thought that being young and part of the ‘digital generation’ entitled me to automatic knowledge of everything technological…. ‘I know nothing’

Over a few days I gained the confidence to speak out and ask questions, and over the coming weeks I began to understand exactly what Zeal Media is all about!

-Skip 4 Weeks-

So in the past 4 weeks I’ve being here at Zeal, I’ve learnt loads, but also experienced how hard these guys work as well!
Understanding how social media can be effectively used to grow a business and attract people to it,
Learning how strict Google is when it comes to ranking results on its search engine, and how the creation of affiliate sites can help drive up the sales of a product or service on a parent site.

At the same time, I’ve being writing content for websites, representing clients to potential advertisers and much more… much more than I thought I would be trusted doing.
Understandably I’ve started to think, I need to figure out what I want to do now, and start to educate myself and specialise in it as a career… otherwise I might finish Uni without the knowledge or skills to do anything.
These guys know there subject, and give them a stage and they’ll talk for hours, their passionate about what they do, and it’s pretty obvious when it comes to the work they produce!

­­­Coming to the end…

So 4 weeks in, and a notebook full of scribbles and information, 3 stolen ballpoint pens and a few ideas for a website or two.
I’d like to think that this placement with such a brilliant agency has being one of the most useful things I’ve done in terms of a career. At the end of the day I feel like I’ve learnt more about the ‘industry’ and what people expect of each other who work in it.

To be honest… I think I caught the Zeal!

Kris Wright is a student at Leeds Trinity University, currently on placement with Zeal Media.

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