Course studied: BA (Hons) Creative Writing and Film and Screen Studies
Graduating year: 2020
Placement: Catalogue Marketing Intern (Home Entertainment) at Warner Bros
Professional Placement Year
Why did you choose to undertake a PPY?
I chose the PPY as an opportunity to gain experience in a new field. My placement is in marketing, and as a film / creative writing student this isn't something that's necessarily taught. I've expanded my skill-set and made myself more employable.
What does your role entail?
Eight weeks after a film is released on home entertainment, it becomes part of the Warner Bros catalogue. My role is to assist the team in creating promotions and using tactical marketing to get the most out of our product. As an intern, I'm trusted with a lot of responsibility – I get the chance to develop ideas and see them implemented in store or online.
Describe a typical day on your placement
Every day varies, but on a weekly basis I keep up to date with date changes of WB and competitor titles, and strategically map out the year, looking for catalogue opportunities. I assist the team in preparing for promotions; reviewing creative artwork; creating title lists; discussing our expected setup with sales and considering the financial impact; working with the social teams to promote our titles and so much more.
How did you find and secure your placement?
I applied via the Warner Bros careers website. I had to answer several questions in the application process online, and submit a CV and covering letter. I then received an invitation to an assessment day, which was split into two sections. The first section was an introduction to the company and the role (which the previous intern presented). We were then given a group task where the managers observed, we then presented back our ideas to everyone. After this, there was a lunch break with a chance to ask questions and mingle. After lunch, over half were sent home and the rest of us had individual interviews.
What have been the best and most challenging aspects of your placement?
Moving from university to a full-time job was very challenging. What I thought was a lot of work at uni is nothing in comparison! I had to learn how to organise and prioritise my workload very quickly. The best part about the internship was how much my opinion was valued and how much influence I could have within a promotion. By the end of the year, I could look back and see so many of my ideas implemented. It's a real collaborative effort in the company; it's something that WB definitely value.
How has your placement been beneficial?
I've learnt so many transferable skills throughout my placement: how to manage and prioritise workload, tactical marketing skills, Excel, research, public speaking and problem solving. As well as these work-specific skills, I've developed my interpersonal skills and learnt how to present myself in meetings, work events and the office.
How did the Professional Placement Year support your career aspirations?
This year opened up the possibilities for my future career. Not only did this role teach me how to be a successful marketer, it also taught me skills that I can take with me into any role I have in the future. Without it, I'd have struggled to think about what I want to do after university. It's also a great trial run in a role you're interested in.
Do you have any advice for students considering a Professional Placement Year?
I'd definitely recommend it! The experience is invaluable. I'd get looking early on, but some roles aren't advertised until a bit later, so stay on top of it. Spend your time on your application – if you really want it, it'll shine through in your application. Also make use of the Careers team and get them to look over your application… they might spot a silly mistake you've accidentally missed!