My first 5 weeks as a marketing intern...

Jed tells us about his marketing summer placement experience

Hi, I’m Jed and I’m an Economics student at the University of Warwick about to go into my final year. I’m currently in the middle of my marketing placement at Centrica, in the Digital Customer Experience team at British Gas Business. As I’m sitting here writing this post on a Friday afternoon, the one overarching thought that comes to mind is just how quickly everything has gone.

First off, I’ll explain a bit about my team. The wider team we form a part of is the Digital team, who run everything about British Gas Business in the digital space, from social media to blog posts and of course, our website. Within the Digital team, Customer Experience are responsible for ensuring that, as a customer, you can interact with our website as easily as possible - so you’re able to get what you want done and get on with what matters to you. To achieve this, a lot of effort is put into optimising your journey through the website. Simply put, making all the useful features easy to find, and generally making the navigation as logical as possible. This might sound like a fairly simple task, but when you consider that a team of 10 is in charge of operating a website upwards of 700 pages, the process becomes much more complex. In the current business environment, online offerings are fundamental in meeting consumer needs, a trend which will only increase as technology improves and more people switch to online as their main form of shopping, making Digital a really exciting part of the business to be involved in.

So, what have I been involved in during my placement so far? My role is slightly atypical in that I don’t really have one major project like a lot of the other students you will hear from. This is because website based projects usually involve bringing in completely new functionality, a process which involves multiple teams and simply isn’t feasible within the 10 weeks. Instead, I’m getting involved with several ongoing projects within the team. One of these is the update of our website’s ‘Help & Advice’ section to make it loads easier to use (and more appealing to the eye!) My involvement so far has been within the groundwork of the project, responsible for migrating all of the existing data so that it can be utilised efficiently as the project progresses. Going forwards, I’ll be responsible for improving the content of the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ to make the website even more helpful to customers, giving me a big responsibility that will culminate in a realisable outcome which I’m really excited about! Elsewhere, I’ve undertaken an analysis of our competitors’ websites and I’ve also been entrusted with delivering the team’s weekly transactional data report, which is shared throughout the whole business. In general, the level of responsibility I’ve been given within my team has far surpassed any of the expectations I had before starting, and there’s still more to come!

Aside from the technical aspects of my placement, I’m based in the Spinneyside contact centre in Leicester, along with 5 other students. I’ve found the location great so far – it’s given me the opportunity to experience life in a new city, and it’s great to be living so close to the city centre. We’re also regularly down in the Windsor or Staines offices for training or catching up with the current graduates, so I’ve been able to get a really good idea of just how diverse the Centrica offices are.

In summary; so far during my placement I’ve been involved with a wide variety of projects, and have welcomed an increasing level of responsibility. If you’re considering applying for a position on the Centrica summer placement in 2015, I hope this gives you a good idea of what to expect, and I would definitely recommend that you do! I’m currently eagerly anticipating what the next half of my placement will bring.