In February 2021, Eleanor Gratton joined IGNIFI as an Account Executive Intern. After a hugely successful year, Ellie has become an essential part of our Client Services Team and has recently been promoted to Account Manager. In this blog, we catch up with Ellie and find out more about the skills she gained during her internship and how this has boosted the start of her career.

Looking back at Ellie’s year as an intern

What attracted you to this internship position initially?

When completing my Biomedical Sciences degree, I realised that I didn’t want to work in a clinical environment, but I was still really interested in incorporating healthcare and pharmaceutical brands into my career. The combination of healthcare and marketing is what really appealed to me, which I developed a passion for by gaining experience in both healthcare and marketing areas from my degree and relevant work experience whilst at university. During my time studying at Newcastle University, I fell in love with the North East and knew that I wanted to stay in this area if possible after graduating. Therefore, the internship seemed like the perfect fit, both industry and location-wise.

Tell us more about your role in the Client Services Team and your responsibilities

I am responsible for helping to progress client projects and ensuring all deadlines are met and are within budget. This involves supporting the Client Services team in delivering a first-class service and the best possible solutions for our clients. My role also involves regularly liaising with account contacts and ensuring their requests are dealt with in a timely, effective, and professional manner.

Some of my other responsibilities include supporting Key Account Managers and Account Managers with the production of clear and accurate specifications, briefs, quotations, proposals, job tickets & purchase orders for all services (via our MIS system) and offering administrative support as requested across the Client Services Team (including proof reading).

What development opportunities were available to you?

IGNIFI have supported my development from day one, and were open to discussions about helping fund any opportunities even during my interview. I’m currently undertaking The Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in Professional Marketing, which is an equivalent to an undergraduate degree, and I have just passed my first assignment (out of three) with a high merit. The course has been invaluable in giving me the chance to apply marketing theory I’ve learnt to the everyday tasks as part of my role.

Which projects have you found the most rewarding and what has challenged you the most?

The most rewarding projects tend to also be the most challenging! Most recently I have been coordinating a photoshoot with infants (including a casting). This has introduced me to the world of child modelling, which is very cute but also complex, with a lot more logistical aspects and requirements to consider than you might initially think. Seeing my contribution to advertising campaigns, from strategic and creative starting points, all the way through to detailed digital and print assets, is always really interesting – as well as tackling any bumps along the way! Every day and every project is different so I’m constantly learning and onboarding new skills and information.

Ellie's promotion to Account Manager

Behind the scenes at the infant photoshoot for one of our clients

How have you found your time at IGNIFI so far?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far at IGNIFI. I can’t believe I’ve been here a year already, but it also feels like I’ve always been here. The team has been kind and welcoming from the start and are always on hand to answer any questions or queries. Every morning we have a quick team call, but I also really enjoy our longer monthly team meeting where we all discuss the various projects and accounts we have been working on and share any knowledge or experience from recent projects across the whole team.

Do you have any advice for those considering an internship?

When looking for a graduate role, always be proactive and contact companies you want to work for with a covering letter and your CV. You never know if they might have a graduate role available that they haven’t advertised for yet, and your application will stand out, as approaching an employer indicates you are passionate about working for them specifically.

Ellie’s progression over the year

Despite an unconventional start, joining the business in the middle of the pandemic while we were all still working from home, Ellie settled into the team exceptionally well. She’s naturally a very quick learner and had previous experience gained from working for six months as a marketing assistant at NHS Foundation Trust that boosted her confidence and understanding of the work.

Before long, Ellie was trusted with greater responsibilities and introduced to some of our key clients, where she also made a very good impression.

Over the past year, Ellie has been given the opportunity to take on more responsibility for one of our key clients and has flourished. She has added an invaluable extra resource to our team within which she is now well established.

Once settled into IGNIFI and introduced/onboarded with our key clients, Ellie very quickly began to demonstrate the level of responsibility and confidence befitting of an Account Manager (whilst also knowing when to consult with senior members of the team). The decision to promote Ellie was therefore very straightforward, recognising the level she was already achieving both internally and externally with our clients.

Our experience with the internship scheme

Ellie is the latest team member to demonstrate success with the Sunderland University Graduate Internship Scheme , joining existing team members Digital Designer Lucy Rimmer and Account Manager Liam Murtha who entered the business via this path before going on to forge a career with IGNIFI.

We highly recommend the Graduate Internship Scheme. It is an ideal way to support bringing new talent into our business to further train and develop. Graduates can bring a real drive and enthusiasm to learn – something which can lift, challenge, and motivate those they are working with.

We’re currently recruiting for a Senior Account Manager to join our Client Services Team in addition to a number of other roles at IGNIFI. If you’re looking for a new opportunity in the fast-paced healthcare marketing industry, visit our careers page for our latest vacancies or to send in a CV.

Posted by John Horn
Operations Director

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