In the fourth year of high school, we do a month of internship in a company. We often choose to go where it’s more convenient, maybe because one of our parents, a close friend, or a relative works there, because it’s easy to reach by bike from where we live. There are multiple reasons we choose where to do our internship. We don’t choose what we want to do during this month though. Some people are lucky and they get to do very interesting things, some others have to do the archives, have to insert data, and they don’t have the chance to use what they have studied during the year. I did my internship in the sales department of a local company, which produces springs. I had fun, and I really enjoyed that experience, but I didn’t deepen my knowledge of what I’m really interested in, which is marketing. In school, we just started talking about it so I had little to no knowledge about it, but it’s a field I really wanted to learn more about.
This is why when my aunt asked me if I wanted to go and do work experience with her I immediately accepted.
When we think about banks, companies, and brands, we don’t realise how many people work on thinking about how they want to make a product, the target they want to reach, how to place it on the market and so on.
This summer I had the opportunity to participate in a week of work experience in the NatWest and Coutts marketing department. I got insights from a few other realities such as Deloitte, a British multinational that provides consultancy, audits, financial and risk advisory and The&Partnership.
During that period I had the chance to learn a lot about how a bank works when promoting their products and services.
One of the first things I could learn is that NatWest uses an agile methodology, a project management framework that breaks projects down into several dynamic phases, commonly known as sprints. Each department is divided into scrums or squads, and they all focus on different things, but their main objective is always to offer continual improvement.
I was enabled to attend so many meetings, covering different aspects and then I realised that there is so much behind the services banks offer, from investing, to deposits, to insurance…
Marketing is such a vast branch to work for because there are so many things to do to promote and reach the right target of clients. You can concentrate on campaigns, on data analysis, on the digital aspect, on organising events but everything all of this couldn’t be done without teamwork and relying on external companies.
NatWest relies on a few different companies and agencies, that work in entirely different sectors. Thankfully I had the opportunity to visit two of these.
I participated in a meeting in Deloitte offices, where they discussed the gender wealth gap, Mass affluent and Hybrid Wealth, which are all elements that will alter campaigns.
During that meeting, I understood that a lot of things influence people’s decisions and banks have to update their campaigns to meet their customers’ needs.
Another type of company a bank might rely on is an agency. I was given a tour of The&Partnership London, a marketing agency that produces some of the most famous ads we see, like Toyota, Mars, and Google. I had the pleasure of having a fantastic chat with one of the Senior Account Directors who follows mainly Toyota. He told me about the agency’s history, and how AI is influencing digital marketing, and he told me about his experience. He was born and raised in Gorizia, Italy, studied in Milan, and somehow ended up in London, working for one of the biggest marketing agencies. The main thing I learnt from him is to always go beyond our limits.
In a week I met so many people, I talked to a lot of them about how they got to where they are, and some of them had studied English Literature, some Business, some had just finished university, and some had been in the industry for more than 20 years and what they love about their job is how challenging and creative it is.
This is to say never stop learning, take all the opportunities you get, and great things never come from your comfort zone. I was quite sceptical about going to do work experience, in a bank in another country, but thinking back, I would have regretted not going to London and taking on this experience.
Go out there, and start challenging your present self for your future self, you won’t regret a single moment of it.