Katrina Crouch, a final year BA English student, was selected to complete her placement at Cosimo Art as a Content Marketing Lead. She shares her journey from application to completion highlighting the benefits of the Professional Skills Module.
Exploring the University of Birmingham Placement Bank, Katrina’s sights were set on marketing positions or something that challenged her creative skills. The Content Marketing Lead role at Cosimo involved key marketing competencies’ which she was eager to develop, including SEO teaching as well as an artistic aspect pulling on her interests.
Placement opportunities at Birmingham are available to all students who wish to apply. Katrina approached the application by "reading about the company followed by the placement brief for the role on canvas.” Recognising the skills she already had and requirements for the role, she went on to produce a new CV that emphasises her existing experience relevant to the role. The Placement Officer gave guidance and feedback for improvements to best showcase her achievements.
Once she had received the opportunity at Cosimo, Katrina’s role largely entailed creating marketing content, including weekly Instagram feed templates and copywriting blog posts. She also constructed a marketing plan early in her placement suggesting how the business could increase online traffic to both the website and its Instagram page, encouraging new clients to join.
Upon reflection the position helped her gain an understanding of the hiring process, insight into every business operation and recognising areas of improvement. In addition, the role developed skills in SEO, copywriting, marketing and design – adaptable and valuable skills for the future.
“Above all, it boosted my confidence by undertaking independent tasks but also through receiving advice and feedback. Through writing regular blog posts, I developed a stronger writing voice and gained confidence in my work.”
The reflective element of the module has been well-received by students and proven useful in identifying personal strengths, weaknesses, and development. The ‘reflective log’ acts as a reminder and point of reference of the challenges students have overcome and key talking areas for future opportunities. Some of Katrina’s top tips for future students of the module is 1) think of what you want to gain from the experience, and 2) ask for help and advice when applying from Placement Officers.
“I enjoy studying English at the University of Birmingham as I value the depth of knowledge discussed in lectures and seminars, and the wide range of modules on offer to choose from. Apart from the placement module available, there is a mix of academics and work experience on the course. I have really enjoyed the mix of modules this year, as I have been able to study topics I find truly interesting!”
Photographs: Victoria Beddoes
Text: Yasmin Farrington