My work experience blog

By Charlie Hills, a year 13 student

Charlie Hills

After a week of work experience, I would like to share my thoughts and experiences of working with Cambridge Network, so here I am, writing this blog.

I suppose I’ll start off by answering the question ‘was it what I expected?’

This was initially difficult for me to answer because although I had browsed the Cambridge Network website, I wasn’t quite sure on what I was quite getting into because they offer a lot of services. However, this led me to being more intrigued and interested in what I’d be doing. Prior to my first day of the job, I wasn’t too sure on how appealing a marketing desk job sounded to me, but after the first day, working with just 2 members of the team, I realised that the office culture at Cambridge Network had character, great team morale and it made me realise, working in an office job didn’t necessarily mean silence at a desk all day!

The team had a personality that made the workplace feel very welcoming and comfortable, I feel I had gauged more of an idea of what office jobs are like, which shifted my mindset to being more open to the idea of it.

Throughout the week, I had learnt huge amounts about various fields that I didn’t even know existed and I’m going to say, this is because of the amount of task variation I had been given. I had the opportunity to work one on one with various lovely and inspiring people who all work in different departments. This for me, wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, as I had assumed I would be shadowing employees more, rather than assisting and completing actual tasks for the business. However, this turned out to be what I enjoyed the most, as I feel that I gained knowledge from practical tasks significantly faster.

This links into the next question, “what did I like and not like about the experience”?

I can confidently say that my favorite aspect about this experience was how interactive the work was. Although I did enjoy learning about new areas and trying different tasks such as the marketing statistics task I completed in Excel, (where I created charts using a spreadsheet of data), I found that I still favored the creative marketing tasks, which I have the most personal experience in such as creative design. I believe this is the reasoning to why I found so much enjoyment within the first task I was assigned when arriving on day one.

My first task, set by Sally Bain, the Marketing Manager, was to redesign a poster that was outdated in its messaging and branding. I was given branding guidelines and the content that needed to be included. The purpose of the poster was to outline the benefits of becoming a member of Cambridge Network. I really enjoyed this creative task and received great feedback.

I also really enjoyed the conversation with John Gourd, CEO of the Cambridge Network. It was great to listen to him share his knowledge and explain what he does as a CEO on a day-to-day basis. Along with that I also shared time with Claire Ruskin, the Executive Director and previous CEO of Cambridge Network. During my time with Claire, she took me on a tour around Cambridge and told me all about the industries based in Cambridge as well as her predicted future of Cambridge. It was super interesting learning about how businesses can be so different and the importance of how the local area can affect the business.

It was really interesting learning from the team at Cambridge Network, as I found that a lot of the knowledge they all shared with me, was typically something you would never be able to obtain from an academic course and was really gauged towards real world working environments.

After the entire experience at Cambridge Network, I can confidently say I am even more interested in marketing and would like to pursue a career down that road. I believe by having explored more paths within the marketing world during my experience, I am more knowledgeable, which in turn has made me more confident in my feelings around marketing and more determined in my choice of choosing it as a potential career in the future.