My Placement At Samsung

My name is Danny Kent, I’m a 4th year BSc Marketing student who completed a placement year in European PR & Communications at Samsung Electronics.

My placement year was a rich and diverse insight into the operations of a multinational brand. Having completed a lengthy application process including steps such as online tests, digital interviews and assessment centres, I began with an induction week where I learned everything about Samsung; its products, history, culture and systems. With the extensive help of the placements office, I had done plenty of prior research for both my application and also to get placement-ready, but this added another layer of useful knowledge for me to begin working with.

 

Samsung’s fast-paced culture was emphasised strongly by everyone I spoke to before starting, and it was just so from start to finish on placement year. Within my first month, I was already heavily involved in the launch and reporting of a major flagship mobile: Galaxy Note10. Almost immediately after, we had major tradeshows and campaigns to complete before the end of the year, including a major tech tradeshow, IFA, in Berlin in September as well as an anniversary campaign, SpaceSelfie in October. This busy schedule is indicative of Samsung’s leading role in global business, and of the technology industry itself in its constantly evolving landscape.

In terms of direct experience, I was so fortunate in that Samsung’s interns are an integral part of their team structures and so are treated as genuine employees. This meant I had more responsibility than I ever imagined before starting and was provided with so many opportunities. Highlights for me include leading the organisation of over 300 journalists and media representatives in exclusive pre-briefings of the Galaxy S20 in Munich, Germany; arranging and conducting interviews with leading fashion media outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair for Cara Delevigne (an amazing day in London at the Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras) and also working directly with film crews on independent campaigns such as Galaxy Note10 sustain, where we worked with an artist called Hey Reilly to deliver a project called ‘Mobile Masterpieces’.

A few months into my placement experience, my line manager departed and the team was a manager short for quite some time. From then on, I reported into a new manager but I really feel that this moment was a big checkpoint in my year in industry because I needed to step up to help the team further in managing our busy schedule with a reduced team size. This increased involvement and responsibility was integral to the growth and development I feel so lucky to have had in my time at Samsung. The launch of S20 in Munich (February 2020) felt like the first big step in this process, being the first major flagship campaign I had taken a leading role in. Our calendar from then on was packed with events and work I was really excited for: media trips to HQ in Korea, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Fuorisalone in Milan and IFA in Berlin. Unfortunately, the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic would curtail all of these trips and throw us into an unprecedented period for businesses, and see me working from home for virtually the entirety of my remaining months at the company.

 

With hindsight, despite the frustrations and uncertainty at the time, the shift to entirely digital working through the pandemic gave me experience in how to adapt and overcome swiftly in times of hardship and uncertainty, as well as how to work remotely. We delivered our first ever virtual launch and pre-briefings of the Galaxy Note20, and also an augmented reality event called ‘Life Unstoppable’, where we worked with digital agencies to build a graphical smart-home space showcasing our integrated cross-category portfolio. Given that I started in the summer of 2019 and finished in September 2020, I suppose I can look back on my placement year as having given me the best of both worlds, and I feel prepared for both styles of working when I return to the workplace.

 

Looking more into the actual skills I developed, my placement really helped me grow as an individual, providing a solid foundation for developing professional skills. The difference in my confidence between starting and finishing was enormous. I now feel comfortable speaking in front of large numbers of people, having done so on a weekly basis to our PR managers across Europe and also taking advantage of free presentation training days provided by Samsung. That increased confidence meant I threw myself into more opportunities such as briefing journalists/analysts on new devices, writing press releases and creative asset development with agencies. Such skills, I believe, directly translated into improved performance in my final year of study; I stuck to my established working routine and was able to apply experience from Samsung often as a valid case study in a few assignments. This undoubtedly helped me to achieve First Class Honours, something I was not on track for with my second-year grades.

 

Most importantly, I have secured a graduate role back in the PR team at Samsung, starting in September 2021. This has been an immense weight off of my shoulders throughout my finals, making me feel much more relaxed in the knowledge that I have a clear next step in my life. The familiarity of returning to Samsung makes the prospect of transitioning full-time into the professional world much less daunting, and my existing experience in the PR role fills me with optimism that I can really kick on and achieve a lot over the next two years. My aspiration is to gain promotion to a Junior Manager role at the end of my graduate scheme, and I hope to stay at Samsung for a number of years.

 

As my time at Southampton University draws to a close, I feel immensely grateful. I would never have had an opportunity to work at a company like this without the guidance and support from the placements office and my supervisor Rochelle. I truly believe they are the university’s strongest and most influential department in terms of advancing students’ skills and supporting them in building a platform for the chapters of their lives beyond university. These 4 years have been an adventure I’ll never forget, and now I look towards the future with a similar excitement to the one I had when I started my uni story in 2017.

 

 

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Working from Home on Placement – Why should you still take that opportunity?

Working from Home on Placement – Why should you still take that opportunity?

I would first like to outline that I won’t be able to draw a comparison between working from home and working in an office as will most likely finish my placement without having ever stepped foot into the Hewlett Packard Enterprise office.

I am currently working for HPE as a Business Development Support Intern. My experience with working from home has been very positive, despite it being different to what I had hoped for. One thing that should not discourage you from choosing a placement year from home is taking on the role. You will get so much support and everyone will be really understanding that you are not going to know everything when you first arrive. They give you time and very good communication (especially now I am remote working) to ensure I know everything to play my part.

There are pros and cons of working from home during your placement year, the most immediate negative aspect you will notice is the reduced social life should you choose to live back at home for money saving purposes. But if you decided to live with your friends, you will have a more sociable time, but remember you’ll be working full time 9-5! However, the biggest benefit to working from home during your placement (if you are fortunate enough to live with your parents) is that you will have very good income with very little expenditure. You will save so much money for whatever purpose you want; holidays, next year’s rent or general saving is an incredible benefit you wouldn’t otherwise get. But ultimately, you can live anywhere with an internet connection which is cool if there’s anywhere in particular you have always wanted to live. You can still get a student loan to help with rent if needed too.

Thankfully I have still been able to develop my skills & experience whilst WFH. I have still been progressing my communication to a more corporate, professional level with day to day interaction, my confidence has been boosted as I must still give presentations to large groups even if it’s on Teams. Additionally, I have still been developing my PDP (personal development plan) with my manager and Early Careers Lead where I highlight my objectives and which areas of experience I want to develop and they give me the right channels and space to do so. Nothing much is different about developing your skills whilst WFH as you’ll still be conducting day-to-day business and you are still allowed to look into other areas of the business for broadening your abilities.

There is a lot of things to weigh up so I have made some bullets below to start you off thinking. One thing I would take away from this is that it’s still worth it to undertake a remote working placement.

Pros Cons
Great experience and skill development in a business environment. Missing university social life
Saving good money (if living at home) Not meeting other interns in person
Living more comfortably than at university Potential difficulty with accommodation
Less pressure than in an office Living with family for a long time gets boring
Online work social calls to keep connected and keep it fun  

 

If you have any other things to consider then speak to the Placement Office, they are great with any questions you have & have helped me a lot throughout the process to please utilise them!

 

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Time To Talk Day 2021

4th February 2021 was Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day is an initiative set up by Time to Change to encourage people to talk about mental health and to help reduce the stigma around mental health. To find out more about this great initiative visit their website which is filled with useful resources and ways to get involved.

This year the SBS Placement Team supported the campaign by hosting a team coffee and chat to discuss mental health.

Life during a global pandemic has increased pressure on all of us and it is more important than ever to look after our mental health and wellbeing.

How do the SBS Placement Team look after their wellbeing?

“I find taking regular exercise and spending time outside are really beneficial for my wellbeing. I particularly like running but when it’s not possible to go out I enjoy doing online yoga classes. I believe it is really important to make time for activities that you enjoy, although we can’t do a lot of these at the moment I am spending time reading, connecting with friends and family and baking” Libby, SBS Placement Team.

“I have found setting three goals for the day has really helped me to keep some routine during lockdown especially. These can seem small – like taking a walk, washing my hair, or even just clearing my emails – but they really help with celebrating the small successes throughout the year of coronavirus. My most recent venture is to get together with friends through online murder mystery, escape rooms and the TikTok trending, PowerPoint evenings.” Chloe, SBS Placement Team.

“Keeping a routine has been key for my wellbeing, especially whilst working from home.  I ensure that I take regular breaks away from my screen and get a good walk done every day if I can.  Nintendo Switch has been a life saver in the evenings, especially the dancing game and the puzzle games, so much fun!  Regular face time with family and friends also helps”.  Rochelle, SBS Placement Team.

Further support

If you need more support with your mental health then there are a range of places to go for support.

Enabling services are here to support you, their website provides information on the support they can offer.

All UoS students can access the online platform Togetherall. Togetherall provides a community, courses and resources to support mental health.

NHS Mental Health Support

 

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My Placement So Far: Rainbow Designs

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all are doing well! As I have recently completed five months of my placement, I just thought of sharing a bit about my journey so far. Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Dibyayan and I am currently undertaking my placement as a Business Analyst at Rainbow Designs. I study Accounting and Finance and will be returning to the university this autumn to complete my final year.

I will now be sharing the benefits of undertaking a year in employment whilst still enjoying the aspects of being a student. I have structured my suggestions in a Q&A format that you will find below. Hope you all find it useful!

  • My experience of finding a placement:

Here you will notice a good few mistakes I made so that you can avoid them! Now, I started looking for a placement in October 2020 and had only applied to about five companies until March 2021. I had received the confirmation of being invited to the final stage of two of the five companies in December and was quite confident that I will at least make it to one of them. February comes and I get rejected. Fast-forward a few weeks to March and I get rejected again. Boom, I am now stuck in the middle of a pandemic with 0 applications and a dwindling hope. Essentially, I underestimated the competitive nature of the assessment centres. You can probably guess what I did then – Sent about 50 applications to any company that I could still find online. It is safe to say that if not for the Business School’s Placement Team and my advisor, I wouldn’t be writing this today.

So, be ambitious but be more strategic than I was. Open up to more options as there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ place to begin any career.

  • My experience during placement:

 

Firstly, I have been very lucky to have a great manager. I genuinely believe the experience of any person at work is strongly determined by his/her supervisor. To have someone who trusts you to get something done, and is also willing to teach you better ways to work is invaluable. Secondly, the culture of any company is why you want to work for them. I am glad to say that I work with some of the nicest people I have ever met.

 

My role as a Business Analyst allows me to work cross-functionally with multiple teams across our business. The cliché of being more than a number is not just a statement here. I am trusted to deliver various reports that could impact our profitability, operations and brand awareness.  An aspect that I was pleasantly surprised about was that I had regular access to the senior leadership team of our business. Starting from our principal shareholder to the senior level managers, they are all happy to answer my questions. Regardless of what my future full-time career might be, the experiences that I gathered here will play a key part in my success.

 

  • Why should you do a placement:

 

I will list the most important points below since there are so many!

  • You get to gain a good understanding of the real world of work. You demonstrate and get answers to:
  • How to work well in a team?
  • How to meet deadlines?
  • How to communicate in a business environment?

Most importantly, you get an answer to, “Do I want to do this/something similar, for the rest of my life?” If you ask me, this alone is enough to do a placement.

  • You get a competitive edge in the graduate job market – A good degree, some part-time experience whilst at university, and also a good few months working in a real company! You’re hired!

 

Oh, did I mention you get paid for all this? Talk about a deal!

I hope this gives you a rough idea of what to expect. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn. Good luck!

 

Kind regards,

Dibyayan

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How to use Microsoft Teams

As we have moved onto virtual delivery for many of our services you may be wondering how to get set up using Microsoft Teams. All  mock interviews, follow up calls as well as our face to face meetings with students will now be delivered this way so it is important that you all know the basics.

We have put together this simple guide of how to use teams to get in contact with your Placement Advisor.

 

How to access your Microsoft Teams account.

Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 programme which you can access with your university login.

  • Load up Microsoft Teams using this link: https://teams.microsoft.com/
  • Login using your university email, (userID+@soton.ac.uk) eg. abc1d18@soton.ac.uk, and password.
  • This will bring up your Microsoft Teams Homepage.
  • Optional: You can download the Microsoft Teams Desktop App for easy access in future.

Using Microsoft Teams to make an appointment.

There are two ways to schedule a meeting with your Placement Advisor using Microsoft Teams. Here is a quick overview of both ways. Alternatively, see this LinkedIn Learning tutorial on how to do this. Remember to use your university email and password for free access to LinkedInLearning courses.

Through your Outlook calendar on your university email.

To do this, open your calendar and click ‘New Appointment’ and fill in the information (date, time, meeting title). Before you send the appointment request, click on the ‘Teams Meeting’ option on the menu bar across the top. This will generate a link to the virtual meeting on team for you and the person(s) invited. Click ‘send’ to invite all parties.

Through the Microsoft Teams calendar.

When in Microsoft Teams, you can open your Outlook calendar by click ‘Calendar’ along the left hand side. Here you can set up a virtual meeting by inviting the relevant person(s) and assigning a date/time/topic for the meeting. This will automatically generate a ‘Teams Meeting’ link for all invitees.

 

If you do have any issues connecting to Microsoft Teams, please contact iSolutions to have this resolved.

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