Work experience with Flamingo Marketing and musings on my “mid-life crisis”
This week I’ve spent time with the lovely team at Flamingo Marketing and have been asked to write about my experience. So, first, a little about my background…
I graduated in audiology nearly four years ago. For those who don’t know, audiology is the branch of healthcare and science relating to hearing and balance; entirely dissimilar to marketing! Although audiology can be fascinating and rewarding, I have wanted to investigate other career options for some time. At 26 years of age, I affectionately refer to this period of uncertainty as my “early mid-life crisis.” After I’d discarded the self-pity that accompanies these phases of insecurity, I reached the following conclusions; I would like a varied, creatively stimulating career, which can provide me with personal and professional development and a collaborative team culture. Subsequently, I found myself increasingly drawn to roles in marketing, public relations and communications.
Being an audiologist has provided me with numerous and valuable transferrable skills; most relevant to PR and marketing, I think, is a focus on overcoming communication hurdles. However, equipped with a science degree, the transition into a ‘media’ related role seemed unlikely. Obtaining a junior role in the field without relevant workplace experience is difficult, and I felt reluctant to invest in further education without seeing the realities of the job first-hand. I began contacting local businesses to request opportunities for work experience. Alice, Account Manager at Flamingo Marketing, promptly replied advising that they would be happy to have me in the office for the week; so, I arrived on the sunny shores of Newquay to learn more!
Flamingo Marketing specialises in the visitor attractions and leisure industry. They work with clients from across the UK, including theme parks, animal attractions, historic houses and world heritage sites. The Flamingo Marketing office is based within an attraction they manage, Pirate’s Quest. Having studied and worked in a clinical setting for some time, the office environment was new and refreshing to me, enhanced by the occasional visit from cheerful Cornish pirates! Focussing on one assigned client, I was supported in trying my hand at various aspects of marketing. I gained experience in search engine optimisation, composing press releases, blog writing, social media planning, website editing with WordPress, and the creation of email marketing campaigns using MailChimp; the week was varied, interesting and incredibly valuable to me.
Flamingo Marketing have a strong, experienced team with a welcoming and helpful attitude, and I’m very grateful for the work experience opportunity; their open culture and willingness to share knowledge will surely help the sector continue to grow and encourage new talent.
If you’re considering a career change or making decisions about your future and education, I would strongly recommend work experience in your desired field; relevant workplace experience will bolster your application and give you reassurance that your chosen field is right for you. Be brave; you’ve got nothing to lose through asking, and companies often appreciate initiative.
Rachael McKie, June 2017
If you’re interested in a work experience placement with Flamingo Marketing, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for available opportunities.