"Now I am confident to graduate from university, enter the job market and start the next chapter of my life."
BSc Management and Marketing student Ekaterina Shcheneva felt disheartened when applying to graduate roles. With a dream to work in Digital Marketing in the Fashion Industry, she was faced with job applications asking for work experience. To build her CV, Katya applied to become a Marketing and Student Recruitment Frontrunner within the Essex Business School Marketing team. After the 10-week placement, Katya says the experience has transformed her outlook on her future.
She states “Now I am confident to graduate from university, enter the job market and start the next chapter of my life.”
Don’t underestimate jobs on campus.
At 21 years old, I had never worked in marketing before. Everywhere I looked, employers were asking for experience, even for internships. It felt awful. I was lost and thought there was no chance of getting a job. How could I gain experience if no one would give me a chance? Then, I came across a marketing and recruitment frontrunner role listed on CareerHub. I saved the job, as I really liked the description of it. It sounded exciting, but I thought I could not get it, as the job search had made me feel useless. Then, it was the last day before the application deadline, and I applied without hope. Little did I know that this decision would change my life.
Before being invited to the interview, I had to write a short introduction about myself.
Despite my nerves, I felt confident in my skills and knowledge of Essex Business School. The day after the interview day, I received confirmation that I could start working as a frontrunner! I cannot describe the emotions that I had, as it was going to be my first job!
I was nervous but excited to meet the team on my first day. I was greeted by my supervisor, Emily, who introduced me to everyone. They were a friendly and welcoming group of professionals who introduced me to their work and explained the projects they were working on.
As a Marketing Frontrunner, I was responsible for various tasks such as competitor analysis, social media, and assisting in applicant days. Doing a competitor analysis was one of my favourite tasks. It allowed me to learn more about the university's competitors, their strategies, and the potential opportunities that could enhance our brand.
Social media was also an essential part of my job. I created and scheduled content for our social media platforms, including Instagram and TikTok. One of the most memorable videos that went viral on LinkedIn and Instagram was the reel where we gave flowers to the beautiful women of Essex Business School for International Women’s Day. The video got thousands of views on Instagram and was reposted on LinkedIn multiple times!
Watch the TikTok here.
One of the most exciting parts of my internship was assisting in Applicant Days. It was a great experience to be a part of the team that helped prospective students and their parents navigate the application process.
Experience of coaching
My graduation was approaching, and I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life. I did not have a particular goal in life apart from finishing my coursework before deadlines. Moreover, I had no idea what I would do after graduation. I had a chance to have a coach who helped me throughout my journey to figure out my goals. Now I am confident to graduate from university, enter the job market and start the next chapter of my life.
Tips for future frontrunners:
My time as a Marketing Frontrunner ended. My internship was only for a few months, from January to the end of March. But here are some tips for anyone who might want to become a frontrunner!
Always ask questions: Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues questions. They will be more than happy to help you, and it will also help you learn.
Building connections with people inside and outside of your department can help you learn more about the industry and gain new opportunities.
Aside from the work experience, I also had the opportunity to attend several workshops and training sessions for staff that helped me develop my skills further. Before working as a frontrunner, I had no idea university staff receive training, and let me tell you, those sessions are so interesting; you can really gain a lot from attending them. Also, you can meet other university staff and hear about their work experience, which is amazing!
For future marketing frontrunners, I recommend taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Be open to learning new things, ask questions, and never be afraid to take the initiative, most importantly, never ever underestimate yourself!
Future after graduation
I was worried that I did not have experience working in marketing before becoming a frontrunner, and I was scared I could not get a job after graduation. After completing my Frontrunner’s programme, I receive many offers on LinkedIn for a marketing job as I have valid experience. Now, I attend career events and marketing workshops in London, where I network with business founders and people from my field. I also enjoy my life with a big relief that I already have experience.