Keystone Posts by Suzanne Charboneau

After five years of Keystone, and with the team working from a bigger office, we’ve been able to offer work experience for the first time. This week, we’ve been joined by Phoebe, a first year student at a local Sixth Form – and here she shares more on her Keystone week…. 

Hi, I’m Phoebe, a first year Sixth Form student with a passion for business especially marketing. I am currently studying economics, maths and business but I’ve always had an interest in the more creative side of business and that’s where marketing comes in. Marketing has always interested me as it allows me to be creative and use my imagination but still demonstrate a professional business side.

I’m currently coming towards the end of a fascinating work experience week so I thought that I would share my experience and give you an insight to the fabulous and friendly team that is Keystone.

All things Keystone: 
This week has been packed full of exciting and useful involvement in the daily operations of Keystone that have allowed me to understand the complexity of the marketing industry in greater detail. I started the week by being thrown into the deep end, managing my own project and helping assist the team in dealing with their clients. Managing my own project gave me the chance to understand the process of brainstorming and researching and the importance it has in the marketing mechanism. It also allowed to me to feel a sense of importance within the company as I was dealing with clients and helping to deal with their concerns, something you don’t often get to experience when doing work experience.

Later on in the week, I was lucky enough to be taken out to an event to experience the importance of networking when you’re a small business. The Peterbourgh Biscuit event is a chance for small business within the local area to find other likeminded businesses who they may be able to potentially work with. It allowed me to get an insight into networking and to see how extensive and varied the marketing industry is.

I finished up the week completing research about clients and helping Keystone carry out business development research as well as being given the opportunity to learn all about the software Keystone use to assist them when dealing with clients.

Throughout my week here at Keystone, I’ve broadened my knowledge in both the marketing and business area and even surprised myself at some of the things I learnt.  One of the key messages that Hayley wanted me to take away from the week was the importance of planning or brainstorming – something I would never have considered in so much depth. She talked to me about how many of Keystone’s clients know what they want and what they want to achieve but have no idea how to get their and that is where planning comes in. Planning or brainstorming allows Keystone to help clients fully understand what they want to achieve from the end result and how they want to get there. This message is one that I am sure I will be able to apply to my studies and use throughout my career journey. I’ve also discovered I have an interest in the research side of marketing much more than I thought I would. I’ve always been a very creative person but after completing a number of research tasks I’ve discovered that I find it enjoyable to gather information and begin to form judgments and views surrounding the clients marketing usage.

What I will take away from this experience
Alongside the important messages that Hayley and the rest of the Keystone team have taught me, I have picked up a number of crucial skills which I will take away and hopefully use throughout my studies. I have learnt important skills relating to communication and how to ensure that a business is maintaining a level of communication, essential skills regarding business professionalism and how to network as a small business, and most importantly tips and hints about how to make the most out of marketing.

The marketing bug
After spending a week heavily involved in the inside working of Keystone Marketing, I’m glad to say I’ve picked up the marketing bug. Hayley and the rest of the Keystone team have shown me the importance of successful marketing and it’s fair to say I’m invested. I love the idea of marketing being a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that makes a business boom and I’m keen to become a key part in helping a business complete their own puzzle. This week has opened my eyes and made me look at marketing in a whole new light as well as showing me how varied it can be. From website designs to publishers to social media analysis, marketing offers such a wide range of roles for people to get involved in and for me, I’m keen to explore them all.

Work Experience – why it’s important? 
When my sixth form first told me that I was to take part in work experience I was very hesitant to get involved. The idea of going into a business which I had little knowledge and no expertise in scared me, but after spending a week with Keystone, I’m proud to say I’ve become an advocate for work experience. It’s allowed me to get an insight into a professional work place and what it’s like to work in an environment where you have to become independent and take control. In my opinion and belief, work experience should become a compulsory task for students especially Sixth Form students. As Sixth Form students approach the end of their school journey, work experience would allow them to find more out about the area or industry they are looking to work in and may even allow them to gather advice from workers already in the industry regarding how best to get into the industry and how to make a name for themselves.

What’s next for me? 
I’ve learnt a lot this week and been given so much amazing advice which I’m keen to use in both my studies and my career. I am interested in gaining more experience in other areas surrounding marketing such as event management or journalism in order to expand my knowledge and hopefully start to build myself a portfolio. Marketing is definitely an area I’m passionate about exploring further, and I’m excited about what the future may bring for me. So watch out because Phoebe Gallant may become a name you start hearing more in the years to come!