“I always planned to take a Year in Industry, as experience is so essential for your CV when you’re a student. My first placement went wrong, because I’d inadvertently opted for a voluntary one which didn’t offer a salary – I hadn’t realised what I’d done until the last moment!
Picking myself up, I scoured the other options available with help from the Employability Team and saw the Charlton Athletic logo on the list. I was never a football fanatic, but Charlton were close to my heart. They’re the most local club to my hometown of Orpington and my mum’s favourite! The team were beyond helpful, walking me through every step of the application process and enabling me with the confidence to sell myself in interview.
The first part of the interview was a Zoom call which then saw me move on to the final stages – a formal presentation. We had to think on our feet and I was so relieved when the topic of data intelligence came up – something I’d just learned in depth during my course. The presentation went really well, and a few weeks later I was offered the placement.
Since September, I have been working in the Marketing department. Day-to-day I analyse data and ticket sales and run reports on various initiatives and campaigns. One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on is our half season ticket campaign which was given to me as a project. I did some research, came up with the campaign and creatives and presented it to our commercial director. It was really exciting to see it go live.
I work closely with our communications team, too. I have helped them to film video campaigns and gone to the training ground for behind-the-scenes footage.
The biggest surprise is the sheer amount of responsibly I have been given. My Marketing Manager left in November, and I had to step up. For a few months I had to hold the fort, which was challenging but exciting!
Skills I have picked up so far on my placement are really centred around being in an office, learning how to act and also working as a team. I also believe my skills in data, Excel and creative marketing concepts have really expanded.
The student I was in September and the one I am now, are two different people. The amount of experience I have had and things I can talk about, it has gone above and beyond what I expected.
If anyone is weighing up whether to apply for a Year in Industry, I would say 100 per cent do it. I now have so much to show in future interviews and job applications, it puts me in a much better position. I also think it helps to get out and experience working life and build the confidence to apply the theory you are learning in a real-life setting.”
David Johnson, Consultant at Charlton Athletic says: “Erin has a fantastic work ethic – she focuses on her work with maturity beyond her years which in turn breeds trust with her colleagues. She is quick and accurate with deliverables – in particular the speed and accuracy of the communications she prepares. Erin has fitted in well and is well liked and respected by the wider team. She has a can do attitude and a desire to help, taking on tasks with enthusiasm. The opportunity to train people up and, if they impress, the potential to offer them work again when they finish university for us as a business, is fantastic. Taking on a student in this way was a no brainer for Charlton.”
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