Work experience with Coca-Cola proves the real thing

As Charlotte Baker found out, a decent placement can be an inspirational experience – and can make a huge difference when you start applying for jobs

Tuesday 15 December 2015 13:23
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Gaining valuable work experience in “the real world” can make all the difference to students looking to get their first job, and for marketing student Charlotte Baker, that experience proved to be as real as it gets – with global brand giant Coca-Cola.

Charlotte, aged 22 and in her final year at the University of the West of England in Bristol, spent her third year placement on an internship in Coca-Cola’s digital-media department as they developed and rolled out their Instagram account.

“Spending 11 months in their Wimpole Street UK headquarters was an incredible opportunity,” she says, “and I was given all the help I needed from my university to win the internship – including showing me how to sharpen my CV and improve my interview technique.

“It also worked in my favour that I had spent the previous summer working for an Ogilvy & Mather subsidiary, Blue Hive.”

For Charlotte, studying marketing was always on the cards, as both her father and uncle work in the advertising world. “It’s been in the front of my mind as a future career for a long time,” she says. “Listening to them talking about the ad campaigns they’ve been involved with really inspired me.

“At Coca-Cola, one of my responsibilities was managing the community on the @cocacolaeu Instagram account. I would track what the public were posting on Instagram and then “re-gram” the ones that stood out and matched well with the brand’s values.”

“We work hard with our students to secure valuable placements and give them that edge,” says Hannah Newmarch, head of employer partnership services at UWE Bristol. “In an industry where ever-greater resources are being devoted to online media, Charlotte’s experience will really give her a head start when she finishes her degree.”

“The time I spent at Coca-Cola was invaluable,” adds Charlotte. “I was able to put theory into practice and it gave me so much confidence – which I didn’t really have before.

“I’m still learning new things, as well as looking at my options when I graduate,” she says, “and at the moment I’m torn between working in an agency or on the client side for a big brand.”

Away from her studies, Charlotte has distinguished herself by rowing for her university, while making the very most of her time as a student, enjoying the social life that Bristol is famous for.

“Bristol has so much to offer – it’s edgy and there’s always something going on at the weekend. I chose UWE Bristol to study marketing because the course looked really good, and that has certainly proved to be the case; but living here has been a great experience, too.”

This content was written and controlled by the University of the West of England

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