My name is Matt, I’m a Business & Management student at De Montfort University and I am currently on my placement at Nickelodeon as the European retail sales intern. During my first two years at university I joined a few societies including Ski & Board, Cocktail and Poker which I joined the committee for in my second year. I have also helped with running charity events, come third in a course wide competition, The Fox’s Lair, and helped out with other extracurricular activities. All of these things have helped me develop my work skills and were great talking points during interviews whilst looking for my placement.
My role at Nickelodeon is to help handle retail accounts for the consumer products departments across Europe. My team creates products for brands such as SpongeBob, South Park, Paw Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which then get sold to retailers. My role is to help arrange promotions, provide support for European teams & retailers and help the UK team in their day to day activities. It’s a great role and it has helped to teach me about the licensing industry, something I had no idea about before I started my placement but am now looking to keep within after university.
I started my placement search as soon as I started my second year. I had already updated my CV and started to apply as soon as intern roles opened up. Although I applied to a lot of roles, I made sure to only apply to roles that I had a genuine interest in. Although I did have a few interviews during the year I didn’t get much feedback and I found myself getting more and more concerned as my friends started to get their placements. One thing I would say to anyone applying is to not worry about others and get yourself worked up as there are plenty of placements out there. I didn’t actually get my placement until late August when I was on holiday. I applied just before I left for New York and was asked to do an interview whilst on holiday. I managed to arrange to do my interview over Skype, but I also had to do a presentation. Thankfully, I had good internet at my hotel so was able to do a great interview and presentation over skype. This is something that actually helped me as it showed my ability to adapt to an awkward situation. I was offered my role the following day.
My main advice would be not to worry about if other people have their placement and to keep focusing on you. People, including myself, can get placements late in the year so it’s important not to get too concerned if you don’t have a placement when other people have. Just keep applying and ensure you sell yourself to employers.
In saying this, there were still a couple of times I thought that it was becoming a hopeless search. It’s important to keep looking forward and keep motivated. Just remember, the later in the year it gets, the less people there are applying which puts the odds in your favour!
I have noticed a few changes in myself during my placement year. I have learnt so much, but I have also become more confident and learnt about how to adapt to new situations. My placement is the first office job I have had so it has been a steep learning curve but I have loved every moment of it.
Whilst on placement, I have been getting involved with all kinds of different activities ranging from training to social nights with my work colleagues. As I work within the licensing industry, I do attend a lot of events such as trade shows, brand days and networking events which are great and have helped me to learn a lot more about the industry.
I think we can all agree Matt is having a fantastic time at Nickelodeon! Keep at it, keep applying, keep coming in to the Placement Office and you too could be working in a cool orange office sometime soon!