Sion Platts-Kilburn, Marketing Intern at Welocalize, recently won the North West of England regional title of Student Employee of the Year, awarded from the National Association of Student Employment Services in the UK. He went on to finish runner up in the national category out of 720 candidates and traveled to London this month to receive his award. In this blog, he talks about his time as an intern, based at Welocalize’s UK Headquarters in Tarporley, Cheshire.
Quite honestly, my knowledge of the localization and translation industry prior to beginning my placement at Welocalize in May 2014 was embarrassingly basic. As a university geography student “by trade” and with a keen interest in communications and the media, I wasn’t sure how I was going to blend my skill set into the organization. Sitting here towards the end of my placement, I can say that there has been a significant crossover and I am absolutely delighted with my overall experience at Welocalize.
During my three months at Welocalize, I have worked solely with the Global Marketing and Sales Support Team, experiencing everything from corporate communications to market research and lead generation and engaging with people over in Europe, USA and Asia.
The first half of my placement was focused on marketing communications and learning more about how to execute a global marketing strategy. For me, this meant blogs, using social media in a B2B context and PR. Firstly, I would liken this skill to that of an artist – it’s subtle yet highly skilled with the end result requiring engagement or a desired reaction from an targeted audience. My entire attitude towards social and corporate communications changed because of this role. For example, composing 140 characters that are meaningful, informative, concise, entertaining and relevant is a thought provoking challenge and requires an aptitude far beyond the personal ramblings that usually frequent social media. This is teamed with the fact your content can be read by anyone who has an Internet connection and Twitter account (255 million people). From my overall experience, learning to write in a proficient, educated manner has been the greatest reward and most enjoyable accomplishment.
In the second half of my placement, I was more focused on in database management and I was pleased at how relevant my geography background became for this project. The task of collating, sourcing and processing thousands of pieces of data requires the same analytical mindset that you would find in digital mapping or old-fashioned cartography. Both tasks are essentially puzzles. Granted, there are differences, however the core principles of being thorough, detailed and structured are applicable to each. I particularly enjoyed this project because of its tangible nature.
Working in communications engaged my creative abilities; however, the work that the Global Marketing Team carry out has quantifiable and revenue generating outputs that require similar logical processes that I could relate to from my academic studies. There is a clear crossover between academic, technical and professional research and the team at Welocalize consciously sought to ensure that the work that I was given would support my abilities going forward.
There are so many more facets to this placement that I haven’t even touched upon. Not only do I feel that I have enhanced my professional skill set during my placement, I could easily sit and write another blog regarding the personal connections and experiences that I have made at Welocalize. The entire organization is actively dedicated to the development of its employees and in particular, at investing in its junior members and intern students – even the geography ones.