work placements

This week, we welcomed Laura Powell to the IGNIFI team on a post-grad placement for the next few months. In this blog, we introduce you to Laura and explain why we think it’s important for both young professionals and businesses that our industry begins to reintroduce work placements.

Introducing Laura

For our first venture into work placements in a post-pandemic world, we are introducing Laura Powell to our team to gain some first-hand communication industry experience within our Copywriting and Client Services teams.

Laura is currently a final year PhD student researching rare genetic diseases and also holds a master’s degree in Biomedical Science specialising in cardiovascular health and disease. Alongside her scientific background, Laura has an interest in communication and has taken part in public engagement events such as Genetics Matters: an event run by Newcastle University which aims to communicate scientific research to a wider audience.

Over the next few months, Laura will be working alongside our existing staff, gaining valuable experience in a variety of key disciplines which include research, copywriting, brand marketing, project management (design & digital), proofreading & referencing. She will also be working through Veeva accreditation during her time with us, giving her an additional qualification in addition to the in-house agency experience.

Laura hopes that through working with IGNIFI she will gain further experience writing on a range of therapy areas for a variety of audiences, channels and purposes alongside getting her first taste of working in an agency environment.

“I think that developing my skills in medical copywriting, and gaining a greater appreciation of creative, digital, design and account management at IGNIFI will equip me with a wide range of transferable skills to progress my career further”

Laura Powell

Why now?

Offering work placements and industry experience to those wanting to take the first steps in their career is something that we at IGNIFI have always been passionate about. However, with the unpredictability of the past year, we had to put plans on hold.

Just over a year later, with the global outlook increasingly positive, we are confident and comfortable that our hybrid office/remote working capabilities can offer valuable and varied work experience opportunities to those who are interested.

Going forward, it’s likely that such flexible working policies will become more commonplace as restrictions are lifted. Offering work experience in both environments where possible will expose your placement student to this new way of working and help them to learn the best-practices. This could also help them to decide what type of work is best for them, before they start to look for a permanent position.

Our past experience with work placements has been positive

In the past we have found offering work experience to be extremely worthwhile, introducing us to people who have stayed on to work for IGNIFI as full-time employees and helping others to boost their career opportunities elsewhere.

The hardest part of job-hunting for recent graduates is getting that initial foot in the door – with sometimes hundreds of applicants for each job. Being compared to older workers with years of experience can be a daunting challenge too. Work experience allows students to show us their drive, adaptability and most importantly – how well they fit in with the team. Our Account Manager Liam Murtha is an example of one student who was able to do just that.

Liam originally started his IGNIFI journey on a paid internship with Sunderland University. During his time with us, Liam has built diverse skills, knowledge and experience across a range of human and animal health clients and has since worked his way up the ranks from an intern to an Account Executive, to an Account Manager in just three years. This demonstrates Liam’s grit and determination and how IGNIFI recognise and reward effort and commitment with opportunities for development and progression within the business.

Why we need to find a way for placements to work

In a competitive job market that is only set to get more challenging for the next round of graduates, work placements provide the opportunity for real-world experience when degrees alone are increasingly not enough.

Beyond this, we are at a pivotal moment time where companies are tentatively introducing flexible working policies. While this could be seen as a stressful time to start introducing new staff – it also creates a great learning opportunity for new workers to get to grips with more virtual methods of collaboration alongside existing members of the team.

It is important that over this next year, businesses work together with universities to find a way to enable placements to go ahead, giving students a leg up in one of the most challenging times to be jobhunting while preparing them for the new way of working.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity in the fast-paced healthcare marketing industry, whether it be digital, design, account management and beyond, visit our careers page to submit a CV or see our current vacancies

Posted by John Horn
Operations Director

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