For any students, I would definitely recommend taking a placement year as the role has massively helped in improving my coding abilities and front-end skills. Through learning how to build emails and web banners, I have needed to use HTML and CSS everyday and so have greatly improved my understanding of both these languages. Seeing how emails are put together by the creative team has helped me learn about good design practice and that attention to detail is really important to get things right.
Through this I have been able to work on campaigns for clients in Dubai and Australia, and understanding the challenges that occur when working with people in different time zones. If any issues arise, instant communication with them is not always possible and so clearly explaining any problems and being organised is really important. There is also the need for cultural considerations, in particular, with clients in Dubai, where we often have to provide emails in both English and Arabic to respect the different languages spoken there. Arabic is read from right to left which means that HTML has to be altered to display text in the opposite direction, and Photoshop settings have to be changed to display copy on images correctly. Initially, I found this difficult to get my head around but being able to build a project in a different language is something I wouldn’t otherwise have considered.
It has also been a chance to understand how an agency works and the processes involved. Before starting at Flourish, I didn’t know what an account manager was or what ‘WIP’ meant, but the experience has given me a better understanding of the industry and the working world. I have seen the value placed on teamwork and how the agency works well together as one team in order to produce work they can be proud of. The relaxed office atmosphere along with the weekly Friday drinks and the office parties made me quickly feel part of that team.
Aside from work, I have really enjoyed having time over the weekends to explore more of Bristol and Bath. Having not grown up in Bristol, it was nice to go out and try new restaurants when going for team lunches/meals. The office bake-off has also got to be a highlight, when we all looked forward to what treats the next person would bring in to brighten up a Monday.
I’m really grateful for the opportunity to have worked at Flourish and have learnt so much over the past year. Thank you to everyone for making me feel welcome from day one, for all the help and support, and for all the cups of tea 🙂
Aw Kelly, thanks for the kind words! And from everyone here at Flourish, we wish you the best as you enter your final year at UWE.