My first few months as a Marketing Grad

Marketing Graduate Nabeel gives an insight into the start of his graduate career

Nabeel Akhtar


The Marketing Graduate Programme starts with a three month placement in a contact centre (aka call centre). The three months in the contact centre were incredibly insightful and beneficial. They allowed me to learn about customers’ needs and expectations, the importance of the contact centre in developing relationships with customers and an understanding of the different products and services we offer. My learnings from the contact centre will prove valuable not only for the remainder of the graduate scheme but also for my career beyond the graduate scheme. I completed my three months in the contact centre in the middle of December and then moved into my first marketing placement, of which there are 3 in total, each 8 months long.

Although I am on the marketing graduate programme, my current placement is more of a commercial role than a marketing one. I think it is important to bear in mind that just because one is on the marketing graduate programme, it doesn't necessarily mean you will always be placed in ‘pure’ marketing roles. The commercial side of the business is fascinating and the knowledge gained here will certainly be valuable in a marketing context.

I am currently based within the Product Development team, in the Energy side of the business, as opposed to the Service & Repair (S&R) side. As an Assistant Product Development Manager, I primarily focus on the launch of our energy tariffs into different channels; so towards the end of the product development cycle as opposed to the beginning, which is about idea generation and concept development. My role is a great first placement because I have exposure to so many different areas of the business: Digital, IS (Information Systems), Legal, Governance, Pricing and Brand to name a few. This wide exposure ensures that from the very beginning I am able to start forming a strong and valuable network, which will stand me in good stead going forwards.

Alongside my primary role there are numerous opportunities to get involved with projects in other areas of the business that I am interested in. For example, I've made it known that I am very interested in Brand and Digital Marketing and in turn this has meant I've met people working on projects in these areas who've made it clear there will be opportunities for me to take advantage of. Everyone is super supportive and really willing to help us graduates get the most out of the graduate programme and that is the best thing about working for Centrica, the people.