From an early age, I have valued using my imagination as a device to make my work different and unique. It is with the invaluable time that I spent at Ice Blue, a Marketing and Design company based in Cradley Heath (www.iceblue.co.uk) that I had the opportunity to let my creativity loose in the world of marketing and see the excitement and range of activities in this industry. I feel it relevant to add that until working with Ice Blue, I was somewhat stubborn in that I had said to myself 'I want to be a journalist' and had put my career aims into strict tramlines. It was only when I went to Ice Blue that I realised that being a journalist or an author are only two careers that branch from writing and marketing gives you the chance to learn how to write for a variety of audiences, and........ write creatively!
Throughout the course of my time there, Ice Blue gave me a range of tasks that enabled me to see marketing in all its forms and colours. As you will have probably guessed, my heart lies in writing and after expressing this to my colleagues, I was soon writing press releases, letters, invitations, blog entries- the list is endless! Being a ridiculous perfectionist with anything I do, I always end up going excessively over word limits just so that my work has absolutely everything. However, I soon learned that press releases have strict word limits and I therefore had to reduce the word count. Oh, it did pain me to bite the bullet and remove my 'flowery' language, but from understanding my audiences, I was able to tailor my writing to them and remove the majority of the unnecessary 'waffle.'
With work experience, the truth is that so many people are scared of asking for things or help in the fear that they will be irritating busy co-workers and ultimately get told off. Employers value interest, creativity and pro-activity, meaning that in most circumstances, they will welcome the opportunity to impart some of their wisdom onto you, and equally will love seeing you show a genuine enthusiasm for what you do. "Ask and you shall receive" is a mantra that definitely applied to me at Ice Blue. It is no secret that I am no technological Einstein and felt that I was somewhat lacking in even basic design skills. When I admitted this to the team and asked to do some design work, they were happy to help and I was eventually designing newsletters and postcards for a company that were later sent out to be printed. I spent nearly a week developing these skills in design and I loved being able to do something so enjoyable whilst gaining important skills for the future.
I affirm that work experience is extremely valuable for young people in terms of self development and finding your unique selling point. I know that at first, it may seem intimidating and scary, but I can assure you that with the right attitude and hard work, you will fit into the company in no time. In addition, I recognise that many young people will have a great number of hobbies to put down on their CV, however, work experience is equally, if not more valuable to a CV as it shows enthusiasm and dedication to your future, as well as showing your abilities and competency in a working environment.
There is no doubt that a work experience placement will soon show you whether you are suited to the industry you are interested in and for me, my time at Ice Blue gave me a strong insight into what Marketing entails and has stretched not only my knowledge of marketing, but also my writing ability. Above all, my work experience allowed me to work with such genuinely lovely and inspiring people that showed great enthusiasm in aiding me in my personal development and finding where I want a career to take me.
Whilst work experience does require you to work hard, think of it as making a solid investment in your future that you know will help you later on in your life. In just three weeks, Ice Blue showed me the exciting opportunities that marketing has to offer and it is without a doubt that Ice Blue have ignited the fire in my enthusiasm for a career in marketing and writing!