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How my placement year helped me win Miss Buckinghamshire

By Rachel Pitman on Wed 10 June 2015 in Placement Blog

Sounds crazy right?

How can doing a placement help you win a Beauty Pageant. Here’s how.

Looking back at my first day back in August seems light years away. I was nervous, lacked confidence in my ability and was terrified about putting my ideas forward.

Our first month of placement consisted of a training schedule. From learning the software to learning how to speak to customers on the phone. Telemarketing skills are something many companies look past when it comes to training placements, but it was probably one of the most important skills I have ever learnt. How to talk to all types of people (and customers) in diverse situations, understanding people.

After finishing our first month and our training programme, I was just getting to grips with the ‘working world ‘when I started in my role of ‘Social Media and Marketing Assistant’. Nerves set in again, wondering if I would be able to do everything that it required.

One of the first big tasks our manager, Vicki gave us was to plan a Christmas social media campaign. After presenting my idea to her she told me to ‘go for it’. Bearing in mind I had never planned or implemented a campaign of this size, it was a daunting task. But with the support of her belief in us, the campaign was a success and I was inspired to continue putting my ideas out there. Vicki continued to give us tasks which she believed we could achieve, even if I wasn’t as convinced. I’m sure I talk for each of this year’s placements when I say that this 100% grew our confidence.

My role also requires me to set up a lot of eMail campaigns and support our customers with their own eMail campaigns. Fiona who was my lead Manager for this, taught me with patience which made it a lot easier to learn and is something I remember now when helping our customers with the same thing.

Of course, I have had my downfalls too (don’t mention mince pies!), but when these have happened, instead of being criticised or moaned at, it was a ‘you can do it’. This taught me  diligence.

After finding out I had made the finals of Miss Buckinghamshire, our team were more than supportive. From Faf, our UX Designer designing and creating my Eco Oufit, attending the final and being an all-round incredible mentor, to Aylin, our telemarketer actually lending me the dress I wore on the night!

Stuart, our Sales Director knew I wasn’t confident with presenting and gave me every opportunity to turn this weakness into a strength.

When it came to the night of the finals and I had to speak in front of a room full of unfamiliar faces; 9 months after starting placement, instead of the nerves I would have once experienced, I was completely calm.

The next morning our Managing Director even came in to congratulate me – not something many MDs would make to the time to do I’m sure.

I cannot stress the importance of an inspiring, supporting boss and team when on your placement year. Lucky enough we have it here at ProspectSoft!

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