I’m in my third year of International Business, Finance and Economics (IBFE) and I’m currently doing a 12 month finance placement at a global media company in Hammersmith, London.
I started my placement two weeks after finishing my second year exams, which didn’t give me much of a summer holiday but it meant that I could have a two week handover with the previous intern which ended up being very helpful! In my role I work with 11 territories within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to provide an overview of media distribution. Throughout the year, as a regional team, we provide templates to the territories for forecast and close, consolidate the data and track the performance. We create reports for new films and TV shows as well as tracking overall store performances in the territories. As well as this there are lots of one off projects such as seasonal film promotions.
Before starting my placement I didn’t have any knowledge about media distribution but, after lots of help, my team and I now have a better understanding and I am able to apply skills I’ve learned in my course to complete my work. This gives me a chance to work more independently and to a higher standard. I find the work interesting because it gives me a chance to report on current and future films and see how the company operates between a number of countries.
Moving to London has been one of the hardest parts of my placement year so far. I had become fairly settled in Manchester and I enjoyed both the people and the city. London is so much bigger and busier than Manchester. I found my two flat mates on a Facebook page set up by the company, which meant we could find accommodation fairly quickly. Luckily we only live one tube stop from work (which i would definitely recommend!), so I travel for less than 20 minutes each way and avoid the center of London during rush hour. As a placement student you can also apply for a student Oyster Card, which makes travel much cheaper! Rent is a lot more expensive than Manchester, so I’d recommend living outside of central London and sharing with a couple of other interns. Although the week is busy, weekends are great for exploring the rest of London and everything it has to offer; shopping, musicals, tourist attractions and museums.
Outside of my day to day work I’ve tried to make the most of everything else the company has to offer. Through opportunities at work I’ve helped in the companies volunteering programme, attended advanced screenings of new films (one was also attended by Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams!), been to sample sales run by the consumer products department, a showcase of a new artist and celebrated specials days in the office with popular characters, special events and competitions around the office.
Applying for my placement was fairly straight forward. I used the careers services at the university to help me prepare my CV and cover letter and then I applied to four companies, all of which were well known brands, and this was the first to get back to me with an interview. There weren’t any online tests, although I did some for my other applications. This was my first interview so I was fairly nervous, but I arrived on the day and everyone was very friendly. The day consisted of a group exercise, an excel test, office tour and individual interview. The whole day was enjoyable and reflected the company well. I thought the day had gone well but I didn’t know if I had done enough to stand out from the other candidates. My interview was on a Friday and luckily I got a phone call on Monday to offer me the placement!
Although leaving Manchester and settling in was hard, I’m nearly half way now and I’m really starting to enjoy my placement, the work I’m doing and getting the chance to see the sort of role I may have after I finish my degree. The particular company I’m with is able to provide opportunities outside of work to make my placement year even more enjoyable! I know that when applying for graduate jobs the experience I’ve gained throughout my placement year will be invaluable and it’s definitely something I would recommend!