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International Marketing and Business student gaining great experience at AOL

A student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has landed a placement working with one of the world’s largest media companies.

Brennan Cross, who studies International Marketing and Business, is spending a year as an account co-ordinator with AOL, which owns the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and has a global portfolio of media brand and advertising packages.

INSET brennan

He is working with AOL Publishing Services, the advertising side of the business, helping companies gain exposure on popular internet sites.

He said: “AOL makes me feel relaxed and welcome in an intense work environment. The best thing about AOL is the people. It’s a young work force and so we have a lot in common, making things easier.

“It’s great to see the tasks I’m doing having a positive impact on the business.”

AOL operates in 22 markets all over the world with more than 700 million customers. AOL has the third largest online service in the world only behind Facebook and Google.

As a business student, Brennan was given the chance to spent his placement year with global companies including BMW, IBM and Volkswagen, thanks to the dedicated placement team.

He admits the switch from student life to work has been an adjustment, adding: “Entering the real world has been a reality check. Joining the rat race in London and the commute takes some getting used to. Going from student life to work life is a wakeup call!”

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Brennan advises anyone taking up a placement to get involved in as many social events as possible at the company they are working for, to develop contacts and learn about the firm’s ethos.

Since joining AOL, Brennan is involved in company socials every Thursday, industry networking events, playing in a five-a-side football team and says he tries to meet as many new people as possible.  


Brennan said: “Going out into the world in an industry unknown is daunting, it is important to ask lots of questions and is a steep learning curve as afterwards it will start to feel much more manageable.”

He said his success at AOL was down to David Gordon, his second-year lecturer for International Marketing, who offered him great support.

David talked Brennan through interview preparation, tricks of the trade and helped him prepare for company assessment days. Brennan said: “David’s guidance was invaluable and certainly a contributing factor to me receiving these offers.”

David Gordon has spent years working in the marketing industry, employing graduates in the private sector before coming to work at DMU. He said: “I know what the industry is looking for and was able to assist Brennan to apply. I have had great feedback from AOL relating to Brennan’s placement.”

Posted on Thursday 2nd February 2017

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