Cassandra Lee – Student Placement Profile

Name: Cassandra Lee
Nationality: Malaysian
Course: BSc Marketing and Management

Why did you choose to do a commercial placement?

I chose to do a placement year mainly because I knew that doing one would give me the edge I needed once I graduated and started looking for jobs. It also gave me the opportunity to ‘test out the waters’ and figure out if a career in marketing is something that I actually wanted to pursue or if I was even cut out for it.

What company did you work for and what was your position?

I spent my year on placement with Newcastle University Business School as their Marketing and Communications Intern. I worked across a number of smaller teams which included the recruitment team, student experience, and internal communications. I also worked with the Placements Officer to promote placements to our students.

Describe the nature of the work you were involved in. Projects were you involved in? Level of responsibility?

I would say that in my role, I’ve been heavily involved in initiatives that enhance the student experience in the Business School. As part of this I help in managing the Business Schools social media accounts and this has included creating social media content and managing our online communities.

I also provide support at Business School events whether that be marketing support or on-the-day support. More recently, I also organised the Student Celebration Evening with the help of the other two interns in the Business School. We were given full responsibility over the planning of this event from start to finish and I’m proud to say that the evening was a success!

I believe that I’ve been given a very high level of responsibility in my role due to the trust that I’ve built with my team members over time. As a result of this, I’ve also been involved in managing the staff blog which acts as an internal communication tool within the Business School, which is something that wasn’t part of my job description at the start of my placement.

How has this placement helped your own development?

I can definitely say that this placement has immensely developed my ability to strike up conversations with people that I’ve never met before. I’m also more comfortable speaking to large groups of people and giving presentations in front of a crowd.

My managers have also been extremely supportive of my personal development and have even sent me for an SEO training course to develop my knowledge in this area. I can’t be more thankful for the opportunities that this will open up for me in the future and I’m eternally grateful to the Business School for supporting my personal development.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about undertaking a commercial placement?

As Nike would say: just do it! It’s an experience of a lifetime that you shouldn’t miss out on and you won’t know what opportunities it’ll open up for you until take on the challenge. I’m coming away from this placement year with invaluable work experience and a part-time role in the Careers Service for my final year. If it wasn’t for the practical experience I’ve gained during my placement year, which I used as examples in my interview, I doubt I would have been successful in obtaining the part-time role. If adding experience to your CV isn’t reason enough to do a placement year, believe me that taking a year out from studying and earning some income should be!

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