Crown MD Nicky Havelaar explains the value of work experience to the world of Marketing Communications, before we hear from final year English student Occy Carr about her time at Crown
Nicky: "When hearing the words ‘work experience,’ thoughts will range from "OMG, what are we going to do with them?" on the employer side to "they won't know what to do with me so they'll give me some menial tasks to keep me busy" on the part of your new starter. Taking on a work experience person shouldn't be seen as a chore, but as an opportunity to showcase our industry. I see work experience offers as an opportunity to advertise our industry to those young people who would not normally know about it, but have the talent we so desperately need to keep our work valued and respected as a strategic component part for the success of any company.
Take Occy's blog - she admits to her expectations of work experience to be very low due to past experiences. Following a short stint with us, her perception has changed and she is aware and inspired by marketing communications and the variety of challenges and experiences it offers.
Unlike vocational studies such as Events, Occy's studies (English) do not normally encourage an internship into business. So the only way she is going to know about our industry and the huge variety of opportunities it is able to offer young talent is by being offered a short stint of work experience. We should make the most of this opportunity. People are our assets and we should do everything to attract the very best talent out there.
Communications are key to a successful business. Planning impactful and engaging programmes requires talented people from all different walks of life. We need to ensure that we showcase our industry and offer young people like Occy a truly exciting alternative to a career in advertising or PR."
Occy: “I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to a week of work experience immediately after finishing exams. This was largely due to my preconceptions and past experiences of what work experience involves: largely envelope-stuffing, mundane filing and making cups of tea. My week at Crown could not have been more different. I was amazed not only at how welcoming everyone was but how willing they were to put aside time to explain their role within the company to me. I have previously spent time with an advertising agency but knew very little about the worlds of marketing and communications. As well as the one-to-one discussions, I was allowed to sit in on meetings ranging from management to finance, giving me a real understanding of what Crown is all about.
The more creative aspect was what I found really appealing. I learnt about campaigns such as the LOCOG Games Maker Orientation Events and Sony World Photography Awards. The team explained to me a current brief they are working on and I was given the opportunity to help research a venue for another event.
I didn’t expect to be interested in the Production side of things. I had never thought about the planning that goes into preparing a space for a business meeting or AGM before and thought the way Crown assist the senior teams is amazing. Admittedly, this interest in building an event could have been sparked by the fact I was allowed to shadow a recce to Wembley Stadium, somewhere I had never visited before.
I also carried out various research projects, which gave me a greater understanding of the nature of client requirements and made me feel like I was involved in the planning process rather than just watching it. I felt Crown’s new website taught me a lot. It gave a comprehensive explanation of the agency’s values and skills, something that seems to be vital within this sector.
I’ve learnt a lot this week. Admittedly, some of the topics discussed at the financial and management meetings went a little over my head but they gave me a more rounded view of the company and the world of business as a whole. I feel my week at Crown has not only been thoroughly enjoyable but has given me valuable insight for any future work experience, internships or career. It was clear to me from the time they spent on me that they really value their people.”