This academic year, the Fusion team has been delighted to welcome a work placement student to our ranks – Marco Pellegrini – who’s taken a hands-on role within our Paid Performance team.
Now coming up to three months in, we asked Marco to write about his time with the company so far, to find out how he’s been finding it and the impressions he’s formed of all things digital marketing.
So, without further ado, we’ll pass over to Marco!
Hello Fusion Blog!
My name’s Marco Pellegrini – I’m a half Italian, half American, and now officially half British twenty-one-year-old, on a placement year as a Digital Executive within the Paid Performance team at Fusion.
I must admit, time has absolutely flown by, and as Christmas approaches I’ve just made it through my second monthiversary in the office without any major shocks – apart from infecting most of the office with a cold!
As I’m progressively easing into the team and settling into the world of paid search, it feels as good a time as any to reflect on how everything’s been so far. For this reason, I’ve decided to write a blogpost, firstly to keep track of my progress, but hopefully to provide value to all students approaching digital marketing, who are considering a placement in an agency to gain the best exposure to this exciting field.
Without any further delays, here’s a bit about my time at Fusion so far and my journey to get here!
Coming to Fusion
I’ll start by saying that though my arrival at Fusion definitely didn’t follow the conventional route, it did end up meeting the ideal conditions I was after in a placement year.
I applied while I was fully immersed in my second year University exams in late May. By that time I had gone through many assessment centres and final interviews all over the UK but never seemed to find a placement that ticked all the boxes. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted my placement role to look like. It should allow me to get hands-on experience of a digital marketer’s tasks and responsibilities, whilst being part of a vibrant, expert and united team, where I wouldn’t just be a number.
Such clear vision of my goals helped me greatly when filtering my job research, leading me to eventually discover digital agencies and their impact behind the scenes that allows most great corporate brands to shine. I soon came to realise the main differences that define working in-house compared to agency-based, with factors such as job variety, specialised expertise and a fast-paced environment proving key in my final decision to pursue an agency-based placement.
Just to knock off all my doubts, I applied for both in-house and agency-based roles to have all the elements for an informed decision. The main difference I noticed in the recruitment phase was the specificity of the interview questions and tasks required to work at an agency, as well as the higher sense of community agencies seemed to have.
Out of several agencies I looked into, Fusion clearly stood out to me due to its independent nature, variety of clients and proprietary software. I applied via a speculative job application through an email, which I only recently realised contained a clear spelling mistake. However, I was still invited to interview – it must surely have been a sign. Needless to say, the interview went great and my initial positive thoughts were reinforced by the relaxed atmosphere of the office and the passion of the team.
About five days later, just before leaving for the summer holidays, I signed my first real job contract for twelve months due to start in September.
Fast forward two months. I’ve just been on my first Fusion night out. I’m officially part of the team. I’ve made it.
I’m working in paid media and literally learning something new every day. Since day one the team has been really helpful and welcoming, allowing me to quickly settle in. And I’m starting to get a clear vision of how work and student life differ. First of all, the hourly – and thus daily – productivity in the office increases by an infinite percentage, although the degree of tiredness at the end of the day remains stable across both work and ‘uni’ life. Feeling tired from a productive day of work – rather than an unproductive day of University – has really boosted my overall mood and has allowed me to make the most of my post-work chill time.
Secondly, studying marketing theories and applying them to case studies at University only gives you an idea of the end product, whilst actually working in marketing – specifically digital every day – has allowed me to understand the process and consistent work that goes into a successful marketing campaign.
Another massive difference I’ve noticed between ‘uni’ and work life is the level of accountability one must hold towards one’s team members – as all my tasks affect the team, the agency’s performance and relationships with clients. There is an extra pressure that pushes me to perform and do well. At uni, apart from group projects, it’s all on me, which makes it easier to handle a misjudgement or result below expectations. Working at Fusion so far has given me the lifestyle shift that I wished to experience, hitting me with how time management, teamwork, attention to detail and task prioritisation aren’t just overused CV terms, but fundamental skills required for success in such a fast-paced environment.
In terms of my expectations of the workplace, I definitely thought it would be quite hectic at times, although the overall atmosphere of the office is more relaxed than I expected. This is absolutely great, as it allows all personalities and working styles to shine with greater lucidity under pressure.
Ultimately, Fusion is amazing as everyone contributes and feels part of the team. Executives have daily contact with team directors, account managers and even the MD, who works on the same floor as everyone else and is directly available for any questions! Not to mention, the insightful weekly catch-ups with the whole team, the seemingly infinite supplies of fresh fruit on a Monday and drinks on a Friday afternoon!
And, what about the actual work I do?
Well, as I mentioned at the start, I’m part of the Paid Performance team and my job mainly consists of managing everyday activity across an array of different clients and corresponding accounts, across Google and Bing. The exposure to almost all clients has thus far given me an invaluable opportunity to gain experience and market awareness in a variety of sectors. I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, from the very busy times to the quieter times, which I make the most of by gradually completing my Google exams and analysing blog articles to keep updated with the latest paid media news and tools.
Several weeks ago, like almost everyone in the Paid Performance team, I was involved in the crazy creation of thousands of ads to go live on Black Friday, which is an event I had only ever experienced from the customer side. The work that goes into the setup of Black Friday promotions from an agency perspective has allowed me to get a full sense of the level of detail and precision that are required behind the scenes for successful campaigns, as well as the enormous amount of discipline that the team showed in completing an incredibly high volume of tasks.
Overall, working at Fusion has made me realise even more how digital marketing is the career I want to pursue, as this is constantly evolving with technology and people’s shifts in needs and lifestyles, which makes it extremely exciting.
Above all else, the possibility to ask questions, network and get advice from an entire team of experts in the field is without a doubt the part I’m enjoying the most about this placement experience, and that will set the foundations for my future growth.
To sum up, I’d like to round this unconventional blogpost off by reiterating my appreciation for the entire Fusion team that have given me this opportunity to pursue my career ambitions at such early age.
My learnings thus far have been both of technical nature and a general skillset to succeed in the workplace. Looking ahead at the remaining nine-and-a-half months I have at Fusion, I am very excited and curious to see how – with confidence and experience – my responsibilities will grow even more. Although I’m really passionate about paid media, by the end of my placement I aim to get in some shadowing days within the SEO, Social and Content teams too, to get a grasp of different aspects of digital and make the most of the team here’s expertise!
With the sincere hope that this piece can prove somewhat helpful for anyone, thanks a lot for reading!
Interested in a placement at Fusion and finding out about digital marketing for yourself? Drop us an email with your CV and a covering letter today, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Marco Pellegrini