Why I turned down an overseas trip for an internship at BlueRock Digital
By Nicola Rossdale - March 29, 2019
Nicola Rossdale reflects on what she learnt during her 10-week internship with BlueRock’s Digital Marketing team.
If you’d asked me at the start of my internship what I expected to achieve during my time at BlueRock, I’d likely have answered: “to gain some practical experience”. Now, in the final days of my 10-week internship with BlueRock Digital Marketing, I’ve learnt this answer is only one half of it.
Despite having a Master of Management/Marketing and previous experience working part-time, I’ve realised there are many important nuances to full-time work that can only be grasped through experience.
The daily ‘stand ups’, Friday ‘retrospectives’ and regular ‘Lunch and Learns’ were new concepts to me and something I only became accustomed to after experiencing it week after week.
Likewise, the inimitable BlueRock office and culture, summed up by the giant in-house chess board, golf simulator, themed meeting rooms (there’s one dedicated to Attenborough and another filled with Lego!) and Managing Director Pete’s humour, just can’t be emulated in a classroom.
From the get-go, everyone felt approachable and genuinely interested in getting to know someone new. One moment that stands out was my Digital Marketing teammate offering to teach me the ins and outs of Google Analytics during her lunch break. This was just one of the many instances in which the team went the extra mile, and it reflects the type of culture BlueRock has created.
The tools: organising my (work) life with digital business tools
By collaborating with different teams on a variety of marketing campaigns, I was able to acquire and refine key skills and practical knowledge on the fundamentals of working in the digital space.
Specifically, this involved learning how to use a number of digital business tools that I’d never heard of before. I improved my organisational and project accountability skills using the project management tool ASANA, used Microsoft Teams and Yammer to communicate with different teams, and employed Typeform, Mailchimp, RealtimeBoard and LinkedIn Campaign Manager to create marketing campaigns and surveys.
Having this exposure to a variety of digital tools helped me develop my digital literacy. What this means is that next time I’m faced with unfamiliar software or a new digital tool, I know I’ll be able to pick it up with ease.
The teams: different ways of working lead to the best ideas
The projects assigned to me were varied. Because of this, I was given the opportunity to collaborate with people from all areas of the business, including performance marketers, digital solutions consultants, social media and content experts, SEO and PPC specialists, creatives and data scientists.
These contrasting yet complementary teams showcased different areas of expertise and different approaches to work, which was fascinating to experience. The projects ranged from developing internal inbound strategies with SEM specialists to researching AI-powered marketing automation tools with the Intelligence team.
No team or project was the same, which made coming to work each day exciting.
The tasks: the wonderful world of digital marketing
On my very first day, when I saw the list of projects assigned to me on my ASANA board (which looked colossal at the time), I had a moment of doubt, questioning how I was going to organise my time to work on these coinciding projects.
In retrospect, the list was carefully planned and with support from my mentor, I soon learnt to approach work iteratively. This aligns with BlueRock’s entrepreneurial approach to work, which encourages employees to take initiative, try new things and pursue innovative ideas.
One of the larger inbound campaigns I worked on focused on creating a lead generation LinkedIn ad for BlueRock. The ad offered a Search Engine Optimisation ebook, written by one of BlueRock’s digital specialists, and a free consultation with the BlueRock Digital team.
To create the ad, I first coordinated external market research and internal discussions to identify the customer segment to target. Next, I created a user journey map to identify the best method for engaging with this market. Following input from the Content and Creative teams, the ad went live.
Another project involved working with the Marketing, Solutions and Content teams to develop internal BlueRock and client feedback surveys. After researching several survey platforms, I decided to use Typeform as it had the best user experience.
The feedback received from these surveys was very constructive and will contribute to future strategic planning within the Digital team. Additionally, the internal survey feedback informed the content of a Digital Marketing Collateral Deck that I put together.
My work with the Intelligence team involved researching competitors in the AI advertising platform space. The project was fascinating because of the potential for these platforms to change the face of marketing in the near future. Research activities included creating a product feature matrix and research table, organising international demonstrations of platforms and helping to set up a collaborative space for research notes and discussions in Microsoft Teams.
All of these projects gave me the opportunity to tackle different aspects of marketing, sharpen my knowledge in areas I knew little about, and gain clarity on the types of marketing jobs that are available to me in the future.
I started this internship by turning down an offer to join my friends on a trip overseas. But despite their picturesque Instagram posts, I’m glad I made that decision.
The knowledge I gained from learning how marketing campaigns work, visiting client photo shoots, using digital tools, and ideating with the Digital Marketing team has been incredibly beneficial to my professional development.
But it was the self-motivated, driven and creative people I was surrounded by, and the challenges that came from working in unfamiliar territory, that really demonstrated what it’s like to work in the digital marketing space.
It’s these experiences – the moments that can only be experienced through hands-on work in a professional setting – that will be most valuable as I continue on my professional journey.
If you’re interested in getting your foot in the door and gaining an edge over your peers, BlueRock Digital offers flexible part-time and full-time Internships.
After a short induction period, you’ll get to build real-world skills by contributing to meaningful projects and real outcomes.
With an allocated buddy and mentor to lean on and learn from, you’ll receive comprehensive training and exposure to client-facing opportunities that drive real value for your team.
If you’re interested in applying for an internship or placement at BlueRock Digital, please feel free to let us know!
BlueRock Digital is part of the entrepreneurial advisory firm, BlueRock, a community of professional services businesses working together to find new opportunities to help businesses grow.
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