"I've developed a greater understanding of how marketing fits into the wider business objectives and how it can play an integral role in driving revenue and both internal and external engagement."

For recent graduates, when it comes to applying for their first professional job, it is those with hands-on relevant experience that stand out. At Ocorian, we know that can be a daunting task for fresh graduates and why, as part of our commitment to giving youth a chance, we provide a year-long, paid placement in our London marketing team.

Last July (2018), we were delighted to welcome Brooke Kelly, a third year Business Management and Marketing student at Brunel University. As she leaves us to complete her final year, Brooke reflected on her year with us...

Brooke, with your year-long tenure coming to an end, how are you feeling?

I'm extremely sad to be leaving Ocorian, although I now feel better equipped to take on my next challenge and further my career. The past 12 months have been a highly valuable and enjoyable experience from both a professional and personal perspective. It's been an incredible opportunity to learn from marketing professionals and to make great friends along the way. That said, I'm looking forward to student life for one more year!

How have you found your experience at Ocorian and the adjustment to a full-time working life?

My time at Ocorian has been an all-round positive experience; there were many challenges over the course of the year which have tested me but also aided my development and ability to deal with the full-time working life.

Being thrown into the 9-5 life from university was a shock to the system, though after a few early nights I was into the swing of things and, believe it or not, walking into the office each morning with a smile on my face.

What would you say are the key things you have learnt from the placement?

I've broadened my knowledge of marketing practices and initiatives and experienced how they actually play out when implemented. I've developed a greater understanding of how marketing fits into the wider business objectives and how it can play an integral role in driving revenue and both internal and external engagement.

The corporate environment has also been a key learning opportunity. Before long, I'd learnt the nuances of email etiquette (and the differences between 'regards' and 'kind regards') as well as office norms and how to interact with colleagues and senior members of staff.

Has the internship given you an idea of where to take your career post-university?

This year has definitely reinforced my desire to work in marketing. More specifically, I would love to have an opportunity to have a greater influence over brand and messaging, either in an agency or in-house role.

What has been the biggest aid for you during the year and do you have any advice for Charles Davies (our new intern) as he begins life as the new Marketing Assistant

I've had immense support and guidance from the marketing team this year, they've all been more than happy to take time out to help me grow and develop. My manager, Jacqui Henderson has been integral to my success at Ocorian as she invested a lot of time to make me feel welcome and comfortable with tasks at the start and throughout my placement. While this no-doubt tried her patience, it set me in good stead for the year.

My advice to Charles would be to take any and all opportunities that arise to broaden his skillset and knowledge - and to take advantage of working and socialising with experienced professionals.

"It's been an absolute pleasure working with Brooke this year and seeing her grow both personally and professionally," commented Kate Martin, Ocorian's Head of Communications.

"The purpose of the placement is to give a young person their first taste of a commercial office environment; to help them learn both the hard skills and soft skills required in a modern workplace and to gain exposure to different aspects of business practice.

"Brooke's skills have certainly flourished over the last twelve months. She's become a central member of my global brand communications team: negotiating with suppliers and helping to develop our brand and campaign materials. I have no doubt that she will go on to achieve great things!"

We currently have a number of open vacancies across several of our global offices including London, Jersey and Mauritius. You can view those job opportunities here.