A Blog from an Intern
In the summer of 2014 I had graduated from university and had my first year of full time employment working as a teaching assistant at a local school. I had no real idea what I wanted to do. I knew I enjoyed studying human behaviour and carrying out research, however Marketing and Insight wasn’t a career that I had really taken into account as something that may well fit my personality. With this, I was still very excited to give this role at Talon a try, as either way, I would know from 3 weeks of work experience whether I can put a tick or a cross next to marketing as a career path.
Prior to joining Talon I had exchanged a number of emails with the Director of Insight and Marketing. He had explained to me what Talon can offer their interns, which already was more than previous internships had offered me. I had had a history of placements that I hadn’t really benefitted from. The ‘typical’ work experience whereby it all seemed like a surprise to everyone that I was there: no IT account set up, no jobs lined up for me to do, and only menial jobs that needed no skill or effort to do. Safe to say I hadn’t really had a proper work experience that I had enjoyed.
This could not have been further from my experience at Talon, who were prepared, trusting and committed to helping me learn and develop. Upon arriving at the office at 10am Monday morning, by 10:05am I was greeted, offered a drink, set up on my own laptop with my own account, email and jobs for the coming weeks. Nick took the time to tailor my work to meet what I wanted to get out of the placement, which was the perfect start.
First impressions were that this was a company that were dedicated to their work, and were a very strong team. The office was relaxed, people looked happy, like they were actually enjoying being at work. It looked like a place that I could really feel comfortable and work at my best. I was even welcomed in front of the whole team at the weekly forum, something that really made me feel like I was a part of their team.
Being a novice to marketing I was by no means an expert on key terminology, presentation and the general Talon way of doing things. This certainly was not an issue as everyone is always very happy to help and answer the questions you have. It certainly was a case of ‘no question is a stupid question’ at Talon. Throughout my weeks here I always had a number of mentors that looked out for me. They made sure I was up to speed with everything and that my work was of a high quality.
Working for Nick was particularly helpful, and I found his management invaluable in my development. Not only did I find his organisation very helpful, but also his level of trust in me, which is something that I hadn’t seen before in previous placements. Nick always wants the best from me, and when something isn’t quite there, he will tell me, and he will tell me what he wants. This for me is incredibly rewarding, especially when you get to the end of a project and you have produced something of the highest quality.
At Talon they promote good quality work, however what they also promote a real sense of teamwork. People took time out of their day to try and get to know me, which really brought us together. On my second day I was taken out for lunch with a number of colleagues, which really helps you get to know who you are working with on another level. They would become your friends as well as your workmates. This all created a relaxed atmosphere, where I could not have felt more at ease.
The broad spectrum of tasks really tested my skills and really helped me develop in a number of areas of marketing and insight. I have also been tested with having to decide what projects to prioritise, and order when I need to get each one done by – a good balance between working under time pressure and working on a project with no due date.
All in all this has given me a good idea of what is involved in marketing and insight in the media sector. There are also a number of key reasons that Talon made this experience really productive and valuable:
- Firstly they were prepared for me to be there. They were happy to see me and it was no trouble getting me set up on a laptop, and they had already prepared a number of jobs for me.
- Secondly there was a real team ethic at Talon that I absolutely loved. Everyone was really friendly, and took time to get to know me. They took me into their team, and ensured that I always had someone to talk to and learn from. You also see that everyone cares about the company and are working towards a collective goal
- Thirdly, everyone is very keen to help. Even people outside of my team wanted to teach me the ins and outs of advertising. This has been really useful, as it accelerated my learning through getting a broader understanding of marketing.
- Fourthly, trust. I was trusted with work that involved clients and was given jobs that were genuinely important to Talon. This is something that I have found to be rare when having work experience.
- Finally, Talon is very social. Creating a relaxed atmosphere in the office. Everyone gets together once a week and there are a number of social days out. I had a couple of lunches with my team that really helped bring me closer to the people I am working with.
Prior to this placement, as mentioned I didn’t have a clue of what I want to do as a career. This experience with Talon has given me something I really want to work towards, and a sector that genuinely excites me. I have really enjoyed my internship here, and would really like to thank everyone for all the help they have given me over the last three weeks.
– by David Leach.
David interned in the Marketing and Insight department during the summer of 2015.