The following is a blog from one of our first Kickstart Students – Aneesha Aslam
Before starting the kickstart scheme, I found myself unsure in terms of what career direction I wanted to take. Having a degree in both digital media and marketing, I knew I wanted to go into a job role that included both aspects but didn’t necessarily know what that role was. The internship enabled me to take a step back and rethink what I was passionate about and which direction I wanted to pursue.
Seems like only yesterday I was logging onto my zoom account for my first call with Denise along with the other 49 interns and yet here we are a year later. I cannot speak highly enough of the whole experience, from start to finish it was thoroughly enjoyable with the 6 months above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined.
A vital aspect of the internship was for Kickstarter to have the opportunity to build up knowledge by attending online webinars and courses, hosted by industry experts and providing key insights across all marketing sectors.
This is when I first came across the “BT’s Skills for Tomorrow” program. This was a collaborative project with digital skills organisations, collecting the best information and courses and then hosted by BT in an easy to digest format. This enabled me to improve my confidence, as well as building my employability skills, with the interactive webinars hosted across multiple platforms, encouraging participants to learn from one-another replicating workplace scenarios.
Prior to these webinars, I was inactive on LinkedIn, I guess it was because I didn’t know how to use the platform to my benefit and make the most out of it. However, after attending several different webinars relating to how to grow your personal brand, I gained the confidence to get out there and not be afraid to network with other people in my industry. Since then, I have tried to be active on LinkedIn daily, posting/sharing articles about stories I care about and linking and commenting on my connection’s posts etc. That was all down to the courses recommended by Denise and everyone at Purpol Marketing.
Purpol Marketing specialises in bid writing and bid management, which was also something that I was able to learn more about over the 6 months. Prior to this, I didn’t know too much about how the process worked. However, with bid writing expert Denise on board, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of different aspects of bid writing and how to go about creating that winning document and the language that was needed. Although I didn’t directly go into this industry once leaving the kickstart scheme, tender writing enabled me to observe the type of language used within the sector and how to adapt and respond to a client’s needs and requirements.
I had participated in an Excel training course which was set up by Denise to help develop Excel skills. Previously, I only had very basic skills before starting the online training. The course was beneficial as even though it was delivered virtually, it was set up as a classroom environment, where work could be checked over and help was offered every step of the way. As well as this, I also completed The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course created by Google Digital Academy. I cannot recommend this free to access course enough for all people who want to gain a further understanding of digital marketing.
During my time at university, I focused on web development and coding in languages such as HTML, CSS, and PHP so, I already had an idea about how websites worked. The kickstart internship kept me motivated as I continued to view online tutorials and improve on my coding knowledge as well as refreshing my memory and previous content. However, I wasn’t familiar with WordPress. Although I had a broad idea of how the platform worked, I had never actually used the online website builder to create valuable content and showcase my work as all I knew was raw code and how to upload it onto a third-party server to host the content. With a combination of my knowledge and Denise’s guidance, I was able to use my skills to review the Purpol Marketing website as well as providing insights and recommendations to improve SEO and drive traffic.
After building my knowledge with the Purpol team, it was time for me to embark on the next step of my career and make use of everything I had learned over the past 6 months. Since leaving the kickstart scheme, I have used my LinkedIn profile to manage multiple company accounts, with a previous role as a social media content manager. Within this role, I focused on marketing strategies to help drive growth and increase ROI for companies across the globe, managing multiple social media channels from Twitter to LinkedIn and Facebook (Meta). So, having a professional account was vital as I was associating me with the company and having a good reputation does matter. However, in my industry it’s also important to be relatable so I find keeping my posts light-hearted is also worthwhile, it’s about finding the right balance.
More recently, I now have the role of “Growth Content Marketing Manager” at SeedLever. The philosophy of SeedLever is simple. We help technology companies build a strong engine of growth, bridging the gap between sales and marketing to bring products to market quicker, create a repeatable, reliable sales process and gain an operational edge over competitors. We specialise in helping B2B software companies build a strong platform for scale by creating a winning growth strategy, enabling sales teams to perform at their best and building strong market intelligence capabilities.
My role within the company includes delivering content marketing strategies, as well as writing, designing and producing various types of content to build brand awareness and generate demand for growing software companies generating ROI. My work is based on improving the value of products and solutions to strengthen the brand narrative and optimise content for social media promotions. I have also continued to build my knowledge around all things WordPress and now use the platform regularly to upload new blog posts, pages, and content for clients.
Coming into the internship, I was keen to keep an open mind and the fact that I was doing the internship along with 49 other people who were in a similar position to myself, made the whole experience a lot easier. We all had something in common and with the help of Denise as a mentor, the 6 months on the kickstart scheme enabled me to get where I am today.
I cannot speak highly enough of the whole experience; it has been such a positive for me and my career as it came at a time when I was fresh out of university and was struggling to find a job and didn’t know what direction I wanted to go in. However, I am now in a position to say that this is no longer the case. Having someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Denise was the best part of the experience. With regular meetings and catch-up sessions, she was a real mentor. I enjoyed the fact that the internship allowed me to have the freedom and was able to enter a driving culture with the social aspect and would recommend the Purpol Marketing kickstart scheme to anyone that may be in a similar position.