De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student Emily Finlayson wanted to pursue digital marketing and decided the best way to kickstart her career was to undertake a Frontrunners placement.
During her first year, the 20-year-old from Leicester heard how the scheme can provide students with paid internships within the university across various professional and academic departments.
So, when she found a social media position as part of the Frontrunners initiative, she was keen to jump on board to develop her skills.
It proved to be a well-thought-out decision as Emily worked across various channels for the Business and Law faculty’s placement department, which included taking the lead on a campaign aimed at encouraging students to find placements over the Christmas period.
This experience led to Emily finding her own placement, securing a year’s work experience within the marketing communications team at technology and engineering giants Bosch.
She said: “By working through Frontrunners, I was able to put the theory I was learning during my Marketing degree to good use in the real world. I was also able to use tools like Hootsuite and Canva to schedule social media posts and create professional-looking graphics – it was such an eye-opening experience.
“I was trusted with creating a Christmas campaign, which I dubbed the ‘Festive Fortnight’ and it included tips from previous placement students and the DMU Works team for how current students can find more work experience. I created and scheduled all the posts across Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn – it was great to have that responsibility.
“The entire department was really supportive of me and my personal development as a student as well as an employee. The team gave me advice that really motivated me to keep persevering at times when applications became more challenging.
“And because I was part of the placement team, I was promoting students who were able to secure work experience through the faculty. So, when I managed to secure my role at Bosch, I got to promote my own success!”
Emily moved down to Uxbridge in North London to take up the position as a trade marketing and communications assistant with Bosch, based in Denham.
As her placement year with the German technology and engineering powerhouse comes to an end, she is looking back with pride on a job well done, particularly managing the creation of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket UK’s Facebook page, which sits among the highlights of her time there.
Emily said: “Working for a global brand is a big opportunity and it’s great to know my work is helping to modernise Bosch and potentially reach new audiences, particularly the car sales side, which is a little less well known compared to the appliances side of the business.
“I was responsible for helping to select and manage a digital agency to help manage the page. I organise weekly meetings and we talk about what messaging works as well as where to use paid promotion.
“There are a lot of brand guidelines and certain product placements to adhere to, so it’s important to keep everything consistent, from the corporate colours to specific product messaging. It’s a varied role that keeps me on my toes.
“I think without that Frontrunner basing, it would have been much more difficult to secure a role here.”
Emily has already shown off her pedigree as a digital marketeer, having reached the finals and received the Highly Commended award at the national marketing competition, CIM The Pitch.
Teaming up with fellow student Alicia Dorey Garcia-Verona, the pair spent weeks researching Gen Z, analysing trends and coming up with ways for Samsung to engage with younger buyers.
“Working with such big brands has really opened my eyes. There’s a Bosch scheme I’d like to take part in during my final year, but I would also be keen to work within an agency and get more experience of that side of digital marketing,” she said.
The Frontrunners internships are paid placement opportunities within DMU. Each year, up to 100 students can gain a place in the scheme, working for up to six months within different areas of the university.
The scheme has a proven track record of helping students develop the skills needed to impress employers as Emily can attest to.
“During my time at Frontrunners, I took part in training, for example, LinkedIn Learning courses and the Maths Learning Centre Workshop,” she said. “These training activities gave me an insight into relevant topics that helped me with my internship and skills development for future employment.
“The scheme is designed to work around your schedule, with hours that are best alongside your existing commitments. For example, I was able to do the internship while balancing university assignments and society commitments.”
Posted on Thursday 21st April 2022