We caught up with Anna Maclaren about what a typical day looks like as a Marketing Graduate Trainee at The University of Aberdeen
How did you get to where you are today?
After leaving school I spent days scanning pages (and pages, might I add), looking for something that might spark my interest just enough to make me want to continue in Education. Then, there it was, ‘HND Advertisement and PR’! This was a slightly random choice as I’d never even considered a business subject previously. But luckily I discovered something that I am now very passionate about! Once I had completed my HND I was very keen to move straight into employment but decided it would be beneficial to gain my degree, so I moved on to study BA(Hons) Public Relations at Robert Gordon University with direct 3rd year entry.
As part of my 3rd year, I got the opportunity to carry out a placement with an SME Executive Search firm who were just starting up. Once my placement was complete I continued in this role on a part-time basis whilst completing my studies. This gave me a fantastic opportunity to move into the full-time role of Marketing Coordinator once I graduated in 2019. I learned so much during my time there as I built the brand and marketing strategy from scratch. This opportunity allowed me to use my initiative and develop a future-oriented outlook in a fast-paced industry.
At the beginning of this year (2020), my role within this company was made redundant. This was slightly disheartening but I decided to use it as an opportunity to move forward with my career. Through networking on LinkedIn, applying for jobs, and attending a few interviews within 4 weeks I had secured a new and exciting position.
This great new opportunity was to be a Marketing Graduate Trainee at The University of Aberdeen. Now in the post, I find it very exciting to be part of a large marketing team with an incredible amount of knowledge that I am able to learn from. It is also a fantastic chance to market a very established institution.
Tell us about a typical day in your role
I have yet to experience a ‘normal’ day in my role as I started this position during lockdown. Getting to grips with a new role completely virtually has been a memorable experience.
Currently, a typical day will involve 9:30 AM Marketing team catch up with the University Marketing team. Running through what is going on and sharing information between schools.
Following on from this 9:45 AM I have a meeting with my own smaller marketing team. This focuses on the schools of Engineering, Geoscience, Social Science, and Natural and Computing Science.
The rest of the day can include anything from writing content for offer holders and enquirer emails and social media campaigns. To meetings with schools to discuss their campaigns and content, replying to social media messages, creating video content, and carrying out market research.
Each day is different, and I very much look forward to when I can move on to the campus and can finally meet my team and the rest of the staff and students at the university face to face!
What are the top skills needed for your role?
Being creative is a lifesaver when creating organic content. Whether it is writing compelling copy, creating an eye-catching graphic, or thinking of new innovative ways to target your audience.
Using your initiative to understand the markets you are working in and being able to plan and develop a suitable content or strategy.
Working independently or as part of a team there are many people you need to be able to keep ‘in the loop’ with what is going on.
Top tips or any advice for students hoping to get into Marketing?
Take every opportunity to network and build relationships! Attend as many events as you can, get to know people as it will pay off as your career develops. Grab as many chances as you can to gain experience. Whether this means volunteering to support community groups/charities or taking up a part-time role whilst you are studying. Finally, don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t work out. Just keep going as I am a firm believer in what you put in you will get back.
If you’d like to share a day in the life of your role, please email us at email@example.com