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1) What made you decide to do your university course?

At A-Level I studied Business, Psychology and Art & Design. I enjoyed all three and I was therefore naturally drawn towards marketing. I then went to the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) open day where I heard more about the Marketing Management programme and realised it was the course for me.

2) Why did you decide to do Agency Life?

During my first year of university I was told about the second-year units we had available to us on our course. For one of the units I was asked to choose if I would prefer to go down the internship route (Agency Life) or a class-based route. After looking into both, I decided the internship route would be the most beneficial for me. If I could secure myself a placement, I would be able to receive hands-on experience for one day a week for six months, which I would never gain in the university lecture halls or classrooms!

3) Why did you choose I-COM?

I applied to I-COM as I decided I wanted to go into digital marketing after attending my seminar and lectures in digital media and marketing platforms in my first year. I was then invited to an interview once I-COM had seen my application.

When I came for my interview I remember walking in and feeling very welcomed in their lovely open modern offices. I was greeted by the two friendly faces of Mindy and James, who then interviewed me. After the interview I knew I wanted to work at I-COM and I hoped they wanted to work with me too. The work they said I would be doing was exactly what I was interested in; content for social media, SEO, PPC and more. As well as this I gathered I-COM was a well respected and brilliant agency to work for.

4) What have been the best bits about working at I-COM?

Throughout my time at I-COM I have been given an array of tasks to complete such as producing social media content, blog posts, press releases as well as collecting client data to help kick off a marketing campaign for I-COM itself. Whilst at I-COM I have also passed my Google Adwords exam, getting 96%.

The best thing about I-COM is working with inspirational and friendly colleagues and gaining a lot of experience from them. My favorite task I completed was a project on Accessoryo, where I created a three-month social media marketing strategy and came up with innovative ideas of what they could do on each social media platform to get customers talking and engaging with the company. I had to come up with one main campaign idea as well as other small ideas throughout the month.

5) What have been the biggest challenges while working at I-COM?

My biggest challenge at I-COM was to pass my Google Adwords exam. I spent a few weeks revising for the test and had to learn a lot. Jane, head of PPC at I-COM and one of the Agency Life managers, was there in case I needed to ask anything whilst revising. Once I was ready, I then took the exam which, even though I was nervous, I still managed to pass. Although this was a big challenge, it was one I achieved. Now I have a qualification that I can use in my future career.

6) What skills do you think you have developed since working at I-COM?

Throughout my time at I-COM I have developed many valuable skills, which I would never have picked up just sitting in a classroom. I have practised writing creative content for blogs and social media. I have also learnt how to put a social media strategy together step by step, including activities to pursue throughout each month to help create a social ‘buzz’ around a client. This would then build on a brand's reputation and image and also generate shares, retweets, likes and followers, which are important for many reasons.

7) What have you learnt about life at an agency?

My time here has been extremely valuable. I-COM have offered me an amazing experience that anyone should grab if offered. Life at an agency is never boring as you are always working with different clients, on different tasks, on different marketing platforms each day. Clients come from a range of industries, allowing you to get stuck into a whole range of tasks.

8) What are your plans for the future?

I'm currently looking for a placement for my third year of university. I would have found it very difficult to get invitations to interviews and assessment centers if it had not been for my experience at I-COM, because I would not have had the skills and understanding that companies ask for on applying.

I would like to do a digital marketing placement, as my time at I-COM has confirmed that is the direction for me. After that I hope to go into my final year at university and then into a graduate job, again in digital marketing to gain even more experience. I then hope to see more of the world once I have enough money.

9) What are your top tips for anyone planning on doing Agency Life next year?

Do it! It is so worthwhile, not just for because of the experience you gain in your chosen field, but for your self-confidence too. All you need is the drive and commitment to stand out from the competition and the willingness to gain new experiences. If you have that your time at Agency life will just fly by. I just cannot stress how worthwhile the experience is; especially as the job market is so tough to get into at this moment in time.

Charli Leckenby Rye