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The Kickstart Scheme at Mackman

August 31, 2021.
Office worker typing on keyboard on white background

As we approach the end of summer, we are saying goodbye to our Content and Communications Interns, Joe and Holly. They began their journey with us on the Kickstart Scheme in March, and during their six-month internship, they have gained a variety of skills and experiences in the marketing industry. They have been a valuable addition to the team at Mackman, and we wish them every success in their future, be it in marketing or elsewhere. To mark their departure, our interns each wrote a short piece describing their experience on the Kickstart Scheme and what they will take away with them in their future careers.

Joe Richardson
Holly Hammond

JOE

Starting my time at Mackman

Before joining Mackman, I had spent the last 18 months more or so unemployed, struggling to find my first graduate-level role. My experience during those 18 months was bleak and one I share with a great number of fresh graduates across the UK trying to make a start in today’s jobs market. I had applied to hundreds of roles and attended a number of interviews before I came across Mackman’s job advertisement about the Kickstart Scheme. I already had lots of experience in research and writing through my degree, so Mackman’s Content & Comms Kickstarter internship felt like the perfect start for me to gain much needed professional-level experience and insight into the world of marketing.

After sending off my application to their Content & Comms Kickstarter internship opportunity, I received a speedy reply from Paul Mackman and instantly felt pretty hopeful that this was someone finally willing to give me a chance. Following a period of a few months where some issues with the Government’s Kickstart Scheme were being dealt with, I received an invitation to an interview, during which I met Nicki and Eleanor over Teams. The interview process was friendly and relaxed, something I really appreciated as someone who struggles a lot with anxiety. After a short introductory interview via Teams, I was invited into the office to undertake some written tests and was lucky enough to receive an offer the next day. The entire process made me feel valued and appreciated for the first time from an employment perspective. The sincere welcome I received from Paul, Nicki, Eleanor and the rest of the team has reinforced this feeling and I’m immensely grateful to everyone for giving me that.

What have I learnt?

Being new to the whole marketing scene prior to starting my term at Mackman, I was given sufficient time to learn the ropes, gaining a working knowledge of the programs we use here as well as an understanding of how a marketing agency works. My time here has felt like one big traineeship, with opportunities to learn being ever-present. When I’m not learning a new piece of software or being introduced to the fundamentals of a new area of marketing, my daily tasks as a content and communications intern have usually included some form of written work. These can include anything from the creation of a blog post or case study for use on the Mackman website, to the writing of copy or a news article for a client’s webpage. However it has been talking to people across the company which has provided the most education for me and this is mainly due to the fact that everyone here is very sociable and full of knowledge which they are willing to share.  

One area of my role I have particularly enjoyed has been the blog writing. Blog posts were nothing new for me since I wrote a number during my time at university and had already some understanding of WordPress from my attempts to resume the practice post-graduation. However writing blog posts for Mackman has served as one of the most educational aspects for me. Most of what I have learned regarding different areas of marketing has come from the research I undertook for each blog topic, which commonly covered different aspects and issues within marketing. In addition to this and my newfound understanding of SEO, I have also gained a full working knowledge of WordPress which is useful considering how many companies use it.

Would I recommend this role to others?

I would definitely recommend this role on the Kickstart Scheme to others in my situation and anyone with an interest in marketing, looking for their first step on the career ladder. For many graduates it can feel nigh on impossible to get any meaningful experience and Mackman are offering precisely that.  It’s an opportunity to learn a variety of skills which can be used in the vast majority of sectors and gain experience working in a fast-paced agency environment. It’s a great place to work for anyone coming straight out of University. In addition to my experience here, something that has really impressed me about the agency and something any new interns will benefit from is their commitment to the local community. I have been involved in a number of projects which have been delivered on a pro-bono basis for organisation like The Bridge Project, of which Paul Mackman is also the Chair of Trustees. It’s refreshing to know you are working for a company which is having a positive impact upon the local community.

HOLLY

Starting my time at Mackman

Before starting at Mackman, I was only months out of university following a turbulent end to my Journalism degree due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this meant that I didn’t get to share meaningful farewells, but I wanted to make the most of the situation and scout out opportunities to continue pursuing writing content. I had developed an interest in marketing and the content creation that came alongside that throughout my degree and was eager to explore it further. My concern was that I had limited experience in writing in a marketing style as it was different compared to what I was used to, so I wanted to gain experience in this field to know if it was something I’d want to pursue. Then I encountered Mackman’s Content Intern role on the Kickstart Scheme! Mackman ticked all of the boxes from the start, it is a local and established agency without a looming corporate feel.

What have I learnt?

What I have particularly enjoyed about my time at Mackman is that no two days are the same, and the work is proactive and hands on. My time has mainly consisted of writing blog articles, creating content for social media and assisting with the content team on client projects. As well as hands on experience, I have undertaken additional training courses such as Google Digital Garage and SEMrush’s Content Marketing & SEO Fundamentals, alongside webinars to help me develop my skills. I feel that my understanding of writing for personas and different audiences and being able to adapt my writing style for different tones and formalities has become stronger, which I feel are useful skills to take with me. Eleanor in particular has been incredibly welcoming and amazing at training me, supporting me and keeping me busy, so that I have always had something to be working on. I have also been able to collaborate with members of other departments, especially the Studio on arranging graphics and visual content. The staff at Mackman have been great at making me feel welcome and as part of the team from day one. During the internship, I have never been sitting around doing nothing or carrying out cliché intern tasks like making tea or coffee all day, I’ve been able to be involved with projects and completing tasks to develop my skills. I feel like this has made the internship really beneficial, so that I can carry across these useful skills into my next career endeavours.

Would I recommend this role to others?

I would recommend this internship on the Kickstarter Scheme at Mackman as it's a great way to get a flavour for marketing and develop your skills across a range of areas within content and communications. I felt like everything I learned during my time here was valuable and has helped me understand what I want to undertake going forwards. It was a great way for me to gain hands on experience whereas you wouldn’t necessarily get this through university alone. The internship has made me feel more cemented in wanting to delve into content writing moving forwards, whereas before, I didn’t know if it was going to be right for me.


Find out more about our Kickstart vacancies and other roles available at Mackman on our recruitment page, or email customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk for more information.

Nicki Ramsbottom

Nicki Ramsbottom

Head of Marketing

As the Head of Marketing at Mackman, Nicki is responsible for all marketing activity for the Mackman brands as well as for our clients. She also works closely with clients on their strategic development and will often run workshops with key stakeholders throughout their project.

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