Postgraduate placement success story: Suzhen Ye

Guest BloggerFurther Study, Postgraduate, Postgraduate Placements

Suzhen Ye, a student from China, is currently studying MSc Strategic Marketing Management here at Aston. She also recently secured a postgraduate placement with First Plus Education – congratulations, Suzhen! We asked her to tell us a bit more about how she found the role and how she remained motivated during the search.

What role have you secured and with which organisation?

Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.

How did you find this placement?

Through a WeChat recruitment poster and a recommendation from a previous Aston MSc student who already worked there.

How long did it take you to find your placement?

Around two to three months, and I sent off more than 10 applications.

How did you stay motivated throughout the search?

I would talk with friends to get a peer perspective and consulted with a careers consultant for professional advice. I know finding a favourite job is a long process and know my strengths and weaknesses as well. Both the preparatory work and the interview experience will pave the way for the company that is the right fit for you.

What about this organisation or role stood out to you?

I’m studying strategic marketing management and the main task of my new role is about several branches of marketing work: community operations, content operations and KOC operations. I can listen to the company’s marketing department meeting and understand the current marketing strategy deployment.

The company will provide us with training every week to ensure that we apply theoretical knowledge to practice and complete tasks. Even though there is no internship salary, through the internship project I am meeting many other colleagues from different universities and different degree subjects – I’ve now become good friends with them and learned a lot from different people about their courses.

What was it like doing a virtual assessment/interview?

There was some tension, but it was much better than doing it face-to-face. Notes can be prepared on your computer which is useful, but the interview environment needs to be quiet and clean.

Will you be working remotely?

Yes, it is remote working. We meet at least once a week through Zoom, in addition to other chat tools, such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Whether it is through voice or video, everyone is required to fully understand the relevant materials before the meeting, mainly to discuss key issues and Q&A at the meeting to improve the efficiency of it.

What are you most looking forward to about your placement?

What I am most looking forward to is the exhibition work. I studied event management during my undergraduate period. Another interesting thing is the work of the tour guide, especially to introduce foreign cultures to local people, which can be connected with different cultures. I worked as a part-time tour guide in the UK from May to July last year which was a useful experience.

Do you have any tips for other students currently looking for work experience or placements?

I recommend to make applications (to around 10-20 companies) purposefully after determining your career direction. This will not only allow you more time to prepare for each company’s interview, but also increases the probability of success.