Ellen lands digital communications role after impressing on placement


An Advertising and Marketing Communications graduate is excited to be back with the company where she spent her placement year.

Ellen Attwood was sponsored during her final year by Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland, resulting in her being offered a job at their head office in Coventry before she graduated from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with a First this summer.

Ellen main

The 22-year-old has now started her role as a Digital Community Executive and is grateful to DMU for providing her with the opportunity to do an "invaluable" placement year.

"I'm happy to be back," she said. "My job in the Brand and Digital Communications team involves developing and interacting with online communities via social media, the website and other digital channels, both day to day and as part of wider campaigns."

It was DMU's focus on employability, as well as the city centre campus, that attracted Ellen, who grew up in Guildford, to study at DMU. "The modules seemed to incorporate real-world examples and experience," she said.

Taught by lecturers "with great industry knowledge" her course didn't disappoint. Ellen said: "The best first-year module was Enterprise and Entrepreneurship as we got to take part in the Fox's Lair and pitch a business idea to local entrepreneurs."

"In my final year I did Brand Portfolio, in which we created our own brand based on a gap in the market. We did primary research around our product concept, pitched the idea, created a marketing strategy for brand launch and worked out a budget.

"I learnt a lot and will definitely be able to use this experience in the future."


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Ellen spent her third year in industry with Saint-Gobain, having found the communications intern vacancy through the placement team. The company, which designs, manufactures and distributes construction materials and solutions, has so far welcomed seven students to the team in its four years of recruiting from DMU.

"I worked on strategic communications projects such as the employer brand, an internal app and corporate social responsibility," said Ellen.

"I ran a project called the Entrepreneurship Foundation, which looked to help small-medium enterprises in the construction industry to grow their business through training and mentorship. I also gained events management experience by helping to organise and run an employee roadshow that included 12 sites over two months, hosting 2,300-plus colleagues."

She would recommend a placement to all students. Ellen added: "Although the recruitment process is hard, finding a graduate job when you're in your third year is harder because you're so busy.

"I would definitely recommend trying to obtain a placement year, as it can act as year-long interview and you can come out of it with a job, which is much less stressful!"

Posted on Friday 6th October 2017

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