Case Study – Eelinn – Marketing Executive

We spoke to Eelinn Vanquaethem, who graduated from City, University of London with a degree in Journalism. She now works as a Marketing Executive Intern at Envirobuild, a sustainable building material supplier who have recently also added garden furniture to their collections, making it a very exciting time to have joined the team. 

Why did you sign up to Inspiring Interns?

I was actively looking for a job when my graduation was approaching and the fact that Inspiring Interns would provide me with a video CV really encouraged me to sign up to them. I thought a video would definitely set my job application apart from others. 

How did you find the process? 

The whole experience was very quick. I managed to book a time for my CV interview really quickly after I was contacted by someone from Inspiring Interns. Going to their office was also very helpful and quick as I managed to film the video, put down my information, salary expectations and apply for a few jobs already as well within 30 minutes. 

Once I signed up, it didn’t take long until I was approached about a job interview. I received the best help for this and I truly believe that I’d never have been prepared so well if it wasn’t for Inspiring and Claire.

She sent me all the potential questions my potential employer could ask and also gave me great tips on questions I could ask them. The day before my interview, she also gave me a call and did a quick mock interview. I had never felt so prepared for a job interview as I did for that one. 

I think especially the preparation for my job interview has been the highlight of my experience with Inspiring. 

What was your job hunting experience like before you came to Inspiring?

I had been looking for jobs for over a month before Inspiring Interns and often people, other agencies, companies would take a very long time to get back to me or would not get back to me at all. Inspiring Interns kept me informed every step of the way. 

How long did it take you to find a job with Inspiring and how many interviews did you have to go for first?

Once I joined Inspiring it only took one interview to find a job. 

How did you remain resilient when job hunting?

It can be tough to not hear back from people or when organisations get back to you with bad news. But I found that even though I was upset and sometimes a bit bitter, it really helped to remain friendly and ask for feedback on my application or interview. It gave me a lot of great tips and I could see my application and my interviews getting better and better the more I did them. If you fail, just get up and try again. 

I also think people need to talk about a setback or a failed job application with their close friends and family. It really helps to talk about it as it can be very annoying to be rejected. Your parents, siblings, cousins and friends will probably all have been there and they may also have great tips for you. 

How did you decide this was the company for you? 

I have to be honest, and initially, I was a bit taken aback by the industry. I decided to still give the interview my all and doing my research on the company got me excited to start working for them.

They are sustainable and really put the environment first (everyone really should in this day and age). I think the moment I really felt like I wanted to join this company was during the interview itself.

Talking to the founder and the marketing director, it just felt right. It felt very welcoming reflecting the company’s culture. Speaking to them, I could foresee that I’d fit in well with the team and I also felt very confident about the answers I gave which to me reflected that I’d be able to do the job.

When answering the questions, I also remained honest and from this, I could also tell that they’d be happy to teach me all sorts of new skills which excited me. 

What was the interview process like and how did you prepare for it?

See answers to question on my experience with Inspiring and how I decided this was the company for me. 

What is the best bit about working for them?

I learn so much every day! The moment I started, EnviroBuild gave me training upon training but I absolutely love it. I’m now advanced at Excel, developed my InDesign skills even further and getting a grasp on Photoshop.

Putting the training aside, I’m also challenging myself in so many different ways. I love writing and wrote about many things, but never about building materials. Now I’m creating all sorts of content about this and actually finding the industry really exciting. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration that I hadn’t thought about it. 

I also love that I’ve been given quite a bit of responsibility. During internships I did previously, I was always given tasks which would help people but was never given my own project. Now, I’m responsible for the company’s Facebook page (go check it out) and have been given several projects that are entirely my own to develop (of course with the approval of my manager). 

What type of things do you do on a day to day basis?

I do a great variety of things. Some days I’ll be writing PR articles about the environment and sustainable living, other days I’ll be creating posts for our Facebook page. I’ve also created some brochures to give to our customers and have been helping out at shoots to capture our products in the best way possible. I’m now also learning how to edit these for various purposes. 

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

My writing skills are always key. Even for brochures which usually require less writing, it’s important to not make any spelling mistakes and to be concise but clear. I also use photoshop a lot even if it’s just to put a sticker on a promotional picture. 

What new skills have you learnt?

Photoshop, Excel to an advanced level, HTML and CSS coding and just generally developing the skills I already had to a more advanced level

How did you decide this was the role for you? (It’s OK if you didn’t!)

During previous internships, I realised I love the marketing industry. I could still write, which I love and the people within the industry are always supportive; everyone is always helping each other out and keen to learn. 

Did you know this was what you wanted to do when you left University? 

Yes

Starting a new role after university isn’t easy. How have you coped with the bad days?

Talking to family and friends always helps. Everyone has been there or is going through it right now. Especially talking to friends who graduated with me showed me that it takes some time to get used to working life. Even talking to colleagues will show you that and there’s nothing wrong with taking some time to settle in. 

What was the most difficult thing about starting working?

I think mainly trying to fit in. The first few days it’s important to make those social connections and talk to your colleagues. This will then also allow you to ask some questions you may have about the culture and navigate around the company.

Doing internships the work culture is always a bit different and it’s important to copy what other people do, for example, if you see people usually stay a bit longer than the working hours are normally meant to be finished, it’s a good idea to do the same. 

What tips would you give new grads about job hunting?

Keep asking for feedback and don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether this is from friends or family or from a recruiter. 

What tips would you give new grads about interviews?

Relax and don’t panic. This is easier said than done, but if you do your research on the company you should be fine. They also won’t expect you to know everything about them but do try your best to remember the basics. If you have the time, also do your research on the people that will interview you if you know this.

This will allow you to get more of an idea of what their role is within the company and allow you to ask them some questions about their lives. It’s nice to add a bit of a personal touch to your interview this way and it will also help you to find a common ground to connect on. As for the questions about yourself, no one knows you better than you do!

What tips would you give new grads about starting work?

Show up earlier than you normally would, stay a little later and perhaps even bring lunch. Also, try to get to know as many people as possible in the first few days. It’s always nice to know people at work and most of the times people do want to help out the new kid.

Most importantly don’t be afraid to ask questions. You got the job, you probably have the basic skills required to do it (I can assure you that they otherwise wouldn’t have hired you) so if you get stuck don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Anything else that you would want to share with Grads that I may not have thought of?

The most important things to remember are don’t be afraid to ask for help (from friends, family, colleagues, recruiters, etc.) and you know you better than anyone else

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