This is a guest post from Emily Howard who is studying for the 4 year BSc Management with Marketing (YIB) at Royal Holloway. Emily is doing her placement year with Microsoft UK as a Mid Market Sales Placement student.
1. What are some of the projects you are working on?
At the moment, I'm working on a project named 'Bigger with Bing' that has the ultimate aim of helping small-medium businesses (SMBs) enter and grow in the Bing community. This is solely an intern project, meaning myself and two other interns in my team have the entire responsibility of coming up with a feasible, unique idea that will help nurture small/start-up companies in getting onboard with Bing Ads, and help them to continuously grow from here. We will then pitch this plan to our seniors in the hope to get the ball rolling. This opportunity has given us complete responsibility and trust to execute an entire project by ourselves, and we hope to be impactful not only by expanding the Bing Network, but by actually assisting small businesses to grow in their search engine marketing efforts, and help them to see financial rewards in doing so.
Another project I'm working on involves researching and detecting what's known as 'net new' (brand new) gambling agencies, with the prospect to onboard them onto the Bing Ads platform. My manager has given me the responsibility to 'own' a particular industry, and in turn develop my sales skills by helping them get kick-started with Bing.
2. How are you finding your placement?
I honestly love my placement, largely because of the amount of responsibility I'm given and genuine fun I'm having! It was really nerve-wracking initially applying to such a big company, but knowing the level of opportunities you can gain, I would encourage anybody to apply to do a Year in Business. I have met some truly fantastic people already, and I'm only in my fifth month (although I can't believe how fast time has gone).
To say I'm happy here is an understatement, I've made great connections, owned some fantastic projects, and I'm even off to Milan with my team this week! Of course, there will always be elements to any role that aren't as good as others, but that can be expected, and it won't be long before you're passed over another task that reminds you why it was a great idea to do a Year in Business.
3. What recommendations do you have to 1st and 2nd year students on the YIB programme?
To first years, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to not let the idea that your Year in Business seems far away, keep you from staying on track and searching for the right company for you. Take note whilst you're in your studies of what really stands out to you, and whether you would enjoy a role in that particular sector - I knew after studying my marketing modules in my first year I wanted to go into that department, and I'm glad I chose it.
To second years, start applying early!! Ratemyplacement.co.uk will be your best friend, it's such a good resource for finding vacancies and monitoring opening and closing dates for applications (I would also apply to lots of companies - don't limit yourself!). And finally, use the YIB department to help you when it comes to writing applications. I used Emma Baker when I wanted to edit my CV so that it would be tailored to all these large companies individually - if you're looking to impress these firms then the YIB team can help you do that!