Max Allen, a final year BA (Hons) Marketing student speaks about his 13-month sandwich placement at global organisation Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Max was based in the UK and was given the opportunity as part of his placement to lead a team that turned their quarterly budget of $16,000 to $400,000.
“At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, I was a Software Marketing and Communications Executive. My role involved uploading business leads and following them up with calls. I would also create collateral such as web pages, banners and digital prints to use when attending regular or virtual events, with the aim of capturing leads. After proving my worth to the company, I was given a business unit to manage called Big Data Platform.
The platform is a software tool designed with an algorithm, which converts information into something that’s more accessible and understandable. I received a quarterly budget of $16,000 which myself and my team turned into $400,000 (our target). This was a massive achievement – I never expected to achieve something of this scale on work placement. The level of trust I was given was incredible and I left the business having gained experience of managing a team.
What I loved about my role was interacting with customers. Wanting to engage more with potential clients, I volunteered to go to the Netherlands for four days to help with a cyber-security event. This involved working on the job 24/7 at an expo. I created collateral e-mails beforehand, shipped banners over and set up the event. At the expo, I completed lead capture forms. I then arranged one-to-one meetings to see what solutions Hewlett Packard Enterprise could offer. One evening there was a dinner at a model village in the Netherlands, I helped organise. This was an incredible experience and something I was extremely proud to be a part of. Following the trip, I was given responsibility to head up all of the leads in Northern Europe.
I can’t recommend doing a sandwich placement enough. By gaining work experience alongside your degree, that’s when you’ll truly become a marketer. Text book is different to practice. By having the theory and the experience, you’ll be onto a win-win. I’m still in communication with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and I’m hoping to join their marketing team once I’ve graduated. By networking and making the most of every opportunity during your placement, you really are giving yourself the best chance of securing a job after the course. You’re also giving yourself leverage to negotiate a better package when successfully landing a role.”