My placement with Rawnet
As my year of practical work experience at Rawnet draws to an end, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on my time here and provide some insights into graduate placement and intern possibilities in general.
I’ve got a lot to say about this place, so if you want the short story: Rawnet is a great place to work, and my placement here has been an invaluable experience (no, I’m not working on commission)! But if you want the long story, I’ve answered a few questions that sums up my time here nicely.
What attracted me to Rawnet?
After completing multiple business and marketing related modules at uni, it became clear to me that I have a keen interest in digital. I enjoy the dynamic work, variety of campaigns and wanted to explore this outside of the classroom.
I came across Rawnet’s vast portfolio of clients, and my desire to work here grew. I knew I would be working on some fantastic projects and gaining valuable experience learning about B2B and B2C clients.
I reached out to Gyles Marshall, Head of Commercial, and we spoke about the role available to me. After a relaxed interview and a little introduction to the office, we had a start date set, and my working life would soon begin.
The Rawnet company culture and agency life were vital for me when identifying where I wanted to work. I looked to be in an environment where I could make the most out of my placement by having fun and enjoying myself while learning.
What did I enjoy most about my placement with Rawnet?
My placement was made more enjoyable by working in a team of like-minded people in a friendly environment. Despite their seniority, everyone was approachable, and I could always rely on them for help and guidance. This helped me whilst working remotely, as I would have struggled to communicate with people if this wasn’t the case.
I enjoyed the social aspects of agency life. When I managed to commute in, the office was always a lively and casual environment. The PlayStation, pool table and Sonos system made it a great place to be, despite some questionable music tastes (sorry guys…). When the pubs were open, we could usually field a group to go for some beers after work, and we managed to make the most out of the Christmas staff party following the correct covid restrictions.
What are some of the key projects I’ve worked on?
The term intern is often thrown around with different meanings, many associating it with making the coffee and colour-coding the filing system. My experience at Rawnet has been quite the opposite. From day one I was given autonomy to own and run projects, allowing me to get my hands dirty with a wide range of tasks, holding many different responsibilities. I enjoyed this as it gave me a broad perspective of the digital marketing role, as well as insights into the sales and strategy side of the agency.
Working closely with Gyles & Nick, we carried out some key projects, including but not limited to:
- Content creation - I’ve learned that regular content creation is essential when working for an agency. Staying front of mind is vital for new business generation, and providing your clients and prospects with thought-provoking content is a top priority. During my time here, I’ve had the responsibility to create blogs and articles for our website and social media, helping me learn about the topic whilst expressing our opinions. I’ve also managed to work closely with the design team, helping to create brand awareness content in our 5 Ds video and client showreel.
- Webinar campaign - Towards the back-end of last year, I was involved in the rollout of the ‘Art of the Brief’ webinar campaign that we showcased on zoom. I needed to coordinate the use of creatives on LinkedIn to aid sign-ups, help with the event’s structure, and optimise lead generation by creating and adding the hand-out to our website to assist with follow-ups.
- Strategy tool creation- The most challenging task of my job was project managing our ‘Strategic Growth Tool’, from writing the content, launch and then follow-up. The tool was developed to provide businesses with a gap analysis of their current marketing efforts and provide solutions and recommendations for the areas that need attention. It was really interesting to work alongside the team to build these solutions and help drive traffic to the tool. If you're interested in learning more about the tool, visit the page here.
- LinkedIn campaigns- One of the most valuable parts of my job was managing our LinkedIn campaigns. It was informative working with the strategy team to understand consumer behaviours on LinkedIn and learning how to optimise our campaigns to maximise lead gen. Over my time at Rawnet, we ran multiple campaigns for events, resources and tools, each with different target demographics and ad styles.
- The website- One of my favourite jobs was constantly adding content, creating new landing pages and making improvements to the website. Doing this gave me a comprehensive experience of Concrete5 CMS and an insight into the CRO of websites. A big responsibility was writing case studies and insights to build in the site, giving me a detailed look into how we apply our process. I also learn how to build landing pages using Unbounce, learning about the design and variants of the pages.
- Set up automations- I managed to familiarise myself with Active Campaign and Dot Digital marketing automation services, which I then used to create follow-up emails for our tools and events.
What’s the most valuable thing I’ve learnt?
Since the beginning of my placement, I’ve been familiarising myself with core digital marketing skills, such as learning how to run a website, set up automations and create paid campaigns. Despite this, I think the most valuable thing I’ve learnt is that a people-first culture is an essential aspect of any agency business.
Having a strong sense of belonging within the team has helped me develop my skills despite working from home. It has played a massive part in the overall enjoyment factor of the job, helping to increase my productivity and motivation. Who knows what the future offices will look like, so going into the uncertainty with a strong company culture is more of a necessity than a desire.
Experiencing strong company culture was valuable because I now understand the places that I’d like to work in the future. It has opened my eyes to business that can operate on other factors other than their work output.
Oh, and I’ve also learnt how to code bullet points in HTML.
Advice for future students and why a placement is important?
My advice to any students or recent graduates reading this blog is that a placement is invaluable. The skills and understanding that I have gained will take me above and beyond my academic studies, and I’ll transfer this into any roles I embark on in my future career.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects and partake in situations and scenarios that lecturers would never teach in the classroom. There is only so much you can learn at university. Having the chance to grow within an organisation and gain experience in real-life situations I’ve felt is more beneficial.
However, a placement isn’t just about the work you do and the skills you gain. You have the chance to get a foothold into your organisation and industry by building some meaningful relationships with your colleagues. At Rawnet, I feel like I’ve never been overlooked and treated like ‘the intern’. I had essential responsibilities, and the rest of the team treated me like so. I had the opportunities to build some great relationships that I can hopefully maintain for the future; with the current job climate and competitive environment, who knows where these strong relationships may lead me.
With more and more people going to university, the harsh truth is that a degree may not be enough to land you a great grad role anymore. Lucky for me, and anyone who embarked on a placement, they can add the invaluable experience and skills to their CV, pushing them ahead of the competition. I would feel more confident going into a job interview, knowing I can answer many of their questions because of everything I’ve learnt from a year in industry already.