My Digital Marketing Internship at Pico
This year I began my career in marketing. After graduating from university, I was fortunate to land a digital marketing internship with Pico and have subsequently joined the company permanently. Here I share some thoughts on how I found that transition and the skills I have learned during my time with Pico.
Leaving school, I actually studied accountancy at Glasgow Caledonian University. I was good at it, but I never particularly enjoyed it although I was always aware that the knowledge it offered was invaluable when it came to understanding the fundamental basics of how businesses operate. I feel that that ultimately gave me a unique perspective when I transitioned into marketing.
I was about halfway through my 4-year degree when I realized that it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue post-university. I enjoyed the strategic modules of the course – measuring and adding value to companies, but the more traditional accounting aspects I didn’t find particularly engaging. It was too objective. There wasn’t much room for exercising your own personal judgment or being able to develop your own philosophy when it came to how you fulfilled the role of an accountant. Most of that was prescribed by professional bodies or the law.
I did stick in and eventually got my degree, but really I left not exactly knowing what my next steps would be. I spent a year working in retail, considering my options with the thought of doing a post-graduate degree in a different discipline.
I was sitting in the pub one day when a pal suggested marketing. I did some research and it appeared a good fit, not only for the type of work I could see myself doing in the future but it also made use, to some extent, of my accountancy degree.
So, I went back to GCU and enrolled in their MSc Marketing program. I had never done marketing before so I was slightly unsure about how I’d cope with a 1-year intensive course. The first thing that surprised me was that many had already studied marketing as their undergraduate degree or were presently in marketing jobs.
The course itself was fairly broad. Having now worked strictly in digital marketing, I believe it really ought to have been a degree in itself. I did enjoy it, however, and it reassured me I’d made the right decision to change track. Having completed the first 12-week trimester, we reached roughly half-way of the second when the COVID pandemic hit and we were restricted to working from home. Some struggled with that adjustment, but personally speaking, I don’t feel it had any impact on my own ability to do the work. In fact, it was probably a useful experience given the current trends of working arrangements.
When I graduated this time I was confident about what I wanted to do. The idea of working for an agency always appealed to me due to the variety of work it offered. I suspect that is a very common sentiment, and we were always told at university that generally you’d have to work in-house somewhere to learn your trade before moving into the agency side of marketing.
Being furloughed from my work, I used a lot of the free time I had doing some of the Google Digital Garage courses to try and fill the gap in my skills and knowledge in terms of the practical elements I hadn’t had a chance to experience.
That was when I became aware of the opportunity of an internship at Pico. It came through my university’s careers service, and it couldn’t have been listed long when I sent in my application.
I didn’t hesitate. Straight away it resonated with me and it also presented an exciting opportunity to work with colleagues in the USA. Following a couple of interviews, I was intrigued to hear the plans to grow the company, particularly with the launch of the UK office and the innovative micro-teams structure that had been implemented.
The initial 12-week period allowed me the opportunity to expand my skillset and see at close quarters the practical skills and tools that I’d need to excel in the marketing industry. I even had the chance to sample two different elements of digital marketing – paid search and SEO.
The temporary nature of an internship also allows the opportunity to make sure that you are a good fit for the company, and vice-versa. It’s also ideal for facilitating the transition from education to employment and strikes the right balance in continuing the learning process and beginning to apply your skills and knowledge practically. That is the principal reason why I’d recommend students to look at internship opportunities.
I knew soon in that I’d be interested in staying at Pico beyond the internship if the opportunity was there. I had already learned so much, and most importantly found the work interesting and rewarding. The team were extremely welcoming and always made themselves available should I need any help or was unsure about anything. I also feel that I’m getting more and more responsibility and am now able to contribute increasingly to the company.
That’s always vital when settling into a new place of work but even more so when you’re coming from university. I was delighted when the opportunity to join the company permanently came along, and in the time since then I have only felt myself progress and gaining new skills by working with a very talented team. I now work in SEO, admittedly something that I had never experienced until I joined Pico, but I’ve enjoyed discovering a new sphere and the ever-changing terrain always keeps it exciting and engaging.
For anybody graduating, I’d thoroughly recommend using internships as a way of getting a first foot on the ladder when beginning a career in digital marketing. The learning process never stops in digital marketing, but it does help bridge the gap from education and brings you up to speed in terms of the practical skills required.
I continue to learn and explore the world of SEO. I look forward in anticipation of what the future holds for both myself and Pico.