Placement Insights – Henley student shows entrepreneurial mindset

Henley BA Business and Management student Cameron Fairbank

Cameron Fairbank, a second year BA Business and Management student, recently undertook some work experience with Volume Global, a leading digital marketing agency based in Wokingham.

As a result of his time there he has been offered a summer internship with the company. In this article we share Cameron’s insights into his own experience and how this can help prospective students thinking about doing a placement.

Gaining sector experience and knowledge

A key thing Cameron wanted to get from his time with Volume Global was more experience and knowledge in the specific sector they operate in to help his career plans. It’s important to not waste a placement opportunity with a company that you haven’t really researched or a sector that you are not really enthusiastic about what they do. Therefore, Cameron knew he had to do a lot of research and understand Volume Global’s clients and media types, which included animations, virtual reality and infographics.

Who are Volume Global?

Volume Global is a leading and innovative digital marketing agency, working with major brands such as Oracle and Virgin. It is based in the Thames Valley and has close ties with Henley Business School, which means not only are Volume Global committed to supporting Henley students through their placement programs, but also in actively being involved with the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship initiatives.

Their CEO is Chris Sykes and Chris has been a guest speaker on the Understanding Sales module, a panelist for Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship’s Putting Innovation at the Heart of Your Business Strategy speakers’ panel and a key speaker at the Brittelstand Symposium 2018 on the AI and Data Economy panel.

How did Cameron find this opportunity?

Cameron’s opportunity to spend some time with Volume Global began when he interviewed Chris Sykes as part of his Understanding Sales module and wrote a report. Cameron then used the interview time to express his interest in obtaining a placement with the company. This paid off as he was then offered an informal interview, which then became a four-week internship with the Volume Innovate Client Services department.
Cameron’s story reinforces how important networking is! Our other Henley blogs stress the importance of networking both in person and virtually.

Cameron’s top tips

  1. Do your research – it is so important to know what company you are applying to and what they do. Cameron was lucky enough to get to interview the CEO as part of a project but without having first properly understood the company, he wouldn’t have been able to gain a placement from just this interview
  2. Be confident because first impressions mean everything. It can be hard to “get the ball rolling”, so it is important to make a good first impression if you are also able to get involved with any companies for university projects
  3. Be aware of what you are learning because you will be able to see massive growth in your research ability and professional conduct. Its about personal development as much as it is about professional development
  4. Do it! Cameron says: “I would recommend other students to also conduct placements if they have an interest in gaining some unique experience before entering the working world”

How did he do?

Happily, Cameron received great feedback from both his mentor at Volume Global, Simon Bhattacharjee, and the CEO of Volume Innovate, Lynsey Barron.

Simon said, “it’s been a pleasure to work with Cameron” and then went onto discuss how Cameron was able to get in depth knowledge of how they work with their clients, strategy development and commercial decision making that underpins how to make successful agency engagement with some senior stakeholders.

Lynsey said that the whole company “could see Cameron’s passion and work ethic so looked to find an opportunity for him with the company”.

Doors opening

Cameron was able to use his networking skills to gain this placement, and then was able to make such a good impression for himself that the company would be invested in hiring him in the future. Lynsey even added that “Cameron will join a future pool of talent, so should he be looking for a role after university we’d consider his application with the knowledge that he’s been with us before”.

Your next steps

If you want to know more about placement opportunities or the logistics of applying and doing a placement then why not book a meeting with one of the Henley Career Consultants as they will be able to direct you.

You can also use the power of Google and see what informative sites are out there and see what other students have to say. Try this article from Top Universities discussing the pros and cons of taking a placement, or this blog from Rate My Placement.

Remember this Blog! We have a good selection of articles that can help give you an insight of placements from the prospective of students. Take a look at this blog from James who worked as a Communications Coordinator at the University of Reading, or this blog from Junyi who worked at a Recruitment Agency in China. If these blogs spark your interest have a look at this Q&A from the Henley Careers Team which breaks down exactly where to look for placements, things to avoid in applying and the experience it can provide you.