Lauren Johnston, Marketing Placement student at ICE working at a recruitment fair in Nottingham

Lauren Johnston


Student Placement

Applying for the role

I found it really helpful visiting the employability team before applying for this role. Not only did they help ensure my CV would stand out but also helped to clarify how best to respond to certain interview questions.

The first interview I attended was a chance to discuss the role and meet the marketing team. I was asked questions related to my CV and about my interest in the job role.

Having passed the first interview stage, I was then told to prepare a presentation for my next interview. This involved conducting research into the industry and providing feedback on how I thought ICE could overcome challenges within the industries which they operate within. This was challenging however it did give me the chance to demonstrate my skills to the team.

Finding my feet

Lauren from Marketing celebrating her birthday with the ICE teamMy first two weeks included an induction period alongside the current placement student. This gave me a large amount of one-on-one time, which enabled me to learn my role and the different tasks I would need to take responsibility for during my time with the company.

Shadowing team members gave me a great insight that has helped me throughout my placement year. Additionally, my predecessor compiled a handbook containing loads of hints and tips, which I’m constantly referring back to.

ICE is dedicated to giving all new employees a thorough induction which includes spending time with every department within the company. This was great for giving me an understanding of the manufacturing industry and has allowed me to plan appropriate campaigns.

After just one week with the company we all went to Yorkshire for a two day staff ‘training’ event, which included fun outdoor activities and an evening meal and drinks. This in combination with ICE being such a friendly and welcoming company made me feel right at home, allowing me to get stuck into my role straight away.

 Getting stuck in

The ICE Marketing team attending an eventAs the exhibition ICE attends yearly (PPMA Total at the NEC) took place a few months after the placement start date, I was busy straight away. This was great as it meant I was constantly kept on my toes and learnt everything I needed to know straight away. Despite the whole team being busy everyone was more than willing to take time out to help me if I struggled with anything and made sure I was fully confident completing any tasks.

This position has a broad range of roles which is brilliant for giving me a greater idea of what I may want to specialise in after I graduate. Examples of the tasks I complete are; composing email campaigns and tracking the results to report back to the relevant people within the business, tracking digital statistics and involvement in internal comms, including proposing ideas for employee perks. A great thing about working in a smaller team is that I can get involved in every aspect of what we do. The Marketing Manager is eager for me to have a large level of involvement in anything I have extra interest in which is really helpful in terms of me building experience in areas I may want to move into in the future.

 My advice to you

Go with your gut feeling. If you think a company is not right for you it probably isn’t. A placement year is really important for building experience and learning how to conduct yourself in the workplace, so being in a company that encourages your learning is vital. Remember you will be doing this job for a year, so you want to be doing something that you enjoy and find to be worthwhile.

Lauren Johnston at PPMA Total 2016Don’t limit yourself

Like myself, you will probably be inclined to only apply for global business to consumer companies. There’s no problem with this however I’ve come to learn that it will probably be very hard for a larger company to provide as much support as I have received. In terms of working for a business to business company I believe this is a great way to start your marketing career. As it is much harder to push sales to business’, where no emotions are involved and everything is based on cost, we have to work even harder with our marketing efforts to produce results. This level of working will now be my benchmark for the rest of my career.

Background research

There’s nothing worse than going to an interview without doing any background research into the company and the market it operates in. If you go into an interview with an understanding of the company including their customers, their products and services you will be able to fully engage with the interviewer and hopefully impress them with your knowledge.


Employers know that placement students have no or very little experience and will be more than prepared to provide extra help and support so don’t let any aspect of the job role put you off.

If you are interested in joining us on your placement year, please click here

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