04 Mar Samantha Ling
Work location : London, UK
Job title: Marketing Administrator
Company: The CWC Group
Degree: BSc (Hons) Business & Management (Marketing)
I left school in Singapore in 2006, worked part time in a service retail position for a few months and then left the country to come to London to further my studies. My grades were not very good, so I never made it to university back in Singapore. Instead I took a fast track course through a Business and Management Diploma with LIBT which partners with Brunel, and then followed up with a degree in BSc Hon Business & Management in Brunel. I graduated from Brunel University in 2010 with a first class honours and am now working for an energy and infrastructure intel company handling marketing and media planning with industry publications for events worldwide as a marketing administrator
What my job involves
Handling marketing and media planning with industry publications for events worldwide, negotiating contract agreements and planning marketing with media partners
What I did to get the job
I applied online and in person, and posted my CV on several jobsites. I contacted recruiters with my CV and also worked in my spare time within a marketing capacity to help gain leverage for experience within marketing. During my holidays I never did really work, but I did take up a full time placement in my sandwich year which I found very useful. I also volunteered to take Japanese students around London and acted as an English Language facilitator for the students. After I graduated I started a small online venture and managed marketing and communications for the site from working in the UK.
What I gained from the UK experience
It not only contributed to my experience in the working environment, it gave me an insight into the career path I wished to take. After working for my placement organisation, I realised that I quite enjoyed working within the conference and events industry hence my current job. Volunteering and other activities helped me with my communication and interaction skills and also have broaden my view on life overseas. It has also helped me build my skill set in terms of marketing and communication. My friends in the UK definitely helped with my morale especially when everyone was out and down without a job, having friends in the same disposition as you and there for moral support was more than welcomed. In terms of my studies even, I wouldn’t have been able to have completed my studies and gain my first class if I hadn’t had the contacts I gained from my placement year. I got to know the PA to the chief executive of Visit Britain and managed to get contacts to someone in marketing in Visit London to do my dissertation. Being thrown in the deep end and having to be able to adapt and understand culturally how the work environment and social environments work in the UK has really helped me.
My top tips for international students
- Don’t give up, try all avenues and keep yourself occupied with doing something on the side related to your degree/career path. It helps that you have experience and that you know what you are aiming for especially in this period where everything is uncertain.
- You will also need to show that you can apply yourself in your field as most companies are looking for people who understand fully in theory and in practice what the job is about.
- And most of all know how to adapt. It can be challenging to work in a totally different and unfamiliar environment, but if you know how to adapt and work yourself into that culture and environment without holding yourself back because you’re afraid to do so, you will be able to fully show that you are capable of working in that environment.