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Robert De Niro, eat your heart out.

This January, we had the lovely Mia, a student at the University of Brighton with us for one month of paid work experience (we don’t play those unpaid internship games).  We love giving people the opportunity to learn, we even built an internal employee incentive around this called Don’t Forget to Learn.

It was really important for us to understand the experience of this placement for Mia so we could ensure we offer best in class in the future and so we asked her to diary her four weeks at TFR, this is what she had to say on her time with us. If you are looking for an internship or work experience in marketing and communications, you can get in touch with the team: talent@tfr.agency  

De Niro and Hathaway should be fired for 'The Intern'

Week One:

As a second-year student at the University of Brighton, my course requires me to undertake a 4-week work placement within a creative environment, to get a flavour for the industry I am currently studying. My course is titled ‘Media Industry and Innovation’, and from my first week at The Fitting Room, that word “innovation” has really come into play. 

Creating hype, demand, and legacy are at the core of everything TFR do, and the passion that the team have shown for their work in the short time I have been there has really shined through. The agency is changing the game for marketing, taking matters into their own hands and being unafraid in their campaign strategies. TFR want marketing to be fun, and their drive and energy for pushing our culture forward is infectious. 

With an initiative titled ‘Don’t Forget to Learn’, the team essentially finish their work on a Friday at 1pm and go out to learn something new that could help bring fresh ideas to the table. Learn whatever you want, just make sure you’re enjoying it. So far, what I’ve learned is that agency life at The Fitting Room is never quiet! Having only ever worked in hospitality, this experience is completely out of my comfort zone, and I’ve had to adapt pretty quickly to office life. Commuting into London and working from home is new terrain for me, but I’m slowly finding my feet. My daily run-down of the trending topics of the day has been pretty well-received, and is something that I’ve really enjoyed doing over the week. 

As for fitting in at The Fitting Room, everyone has been really supportive and open in welcoming me and making me feel like part of the team. There hasn’t been a day that I’ve felt forgotten about or “just a student” (as I introduced myself as on Monday), and I am really looking forward to the next three weeks…even if the feeling of imposter syndrome hasn’t completely worn off yet! 

a group of people posing for a photo

Week Two:

My second week at The Fitting Room saw me going outside of my comfort zone. It was assigned to me to phone up some media houses about a pizza drop to assist in the launch of a client at the agency, and while this task sounds simple, for someone with no marketing experience (nor any reason to have previously spoken to a media house) it was something I had to take in my stride. “It’s not as scary as it sounds!” and “Nothing is that deep” have been some words of wisdom spoken to me this week, and both of which are things I have to keep reminding myself when it feels like pressure is building. 

This week I feel as if I’ve had a lot more face-to-face time with the team at TFR, and this has helped me to feel even more like part of the team, even if I am only here for a few weeks. For my university assignment, I have to do a lot of reflecting on working practices and how I have observed these throughout my placement in a working environment. This has been particularly helpful for this element! I also had the opportunity to interview my placement supervisor at TFR about her progress within the industry, how this career came about for her, and some of her achievements while working in marketing. This was a really refreshing opportunity, as it reinforces the idea that a good work ethic is always something to carry with you, and good role models within your company go a long way. In addition to this, it was interesting to hear someone speaking so highly of their workplace. There is always a real sense of community within the office, and I have found that particularly helpful considering this is brand new territory for me. 

This week, TFR’s clients BOXPARK and Turtle Bay won awards for their campaigns run by the agency. The morning after attending the awards, the team were all really excited to hear the news and there was a real unapologetic pride about their work. This is, again, really refreshing to see as it shows me just how much the team care for their work and their clients alike.  

This week for Don’t Forget to Learn, I am going pottery painting! It is something I have never done before, and I’m really excited to tap into my artistic side and see how whatever I create turns out once it has been in the kiln! 

I have really enjoyed creating daily run-downs of the trending topics in the morning, especially as it gives me the chance to catch up with everything going on outside of the office. Something I have always struggled with is not taking my work home with me, even in hospitality. Full time work has definitely been an adaptation to this struggle, but I am slowly getting used to more stable working hours and free weekends! 

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Week Three:

This week I feel like I’ve really made some progress in my multitasking skills, and being able to generally manage many different tasks at once. I feel as if I have struggled with prioritising tasks during my time at TFR, but I think I am learning how to identify what needs doing the most the more time I spend on projects and with different team members. Going into this completely blind was definitely a struggle, but as the days go by the skills needed for this kind of work I do think I am gaining, though maybe at a slower rate than most! 

A lot of my tasks this week relied on research and inputting things into spreadsheets. While I’m not sure I’ll ever spend as much time on Google Drive again as I have this week, all these skills are really valuable tools to develop, and will definitely help me in the future. I have felt as though TFR really try to nurture their staff’s skillsets, and tasks have been assigned to me with my degree and attributes in mind, which has made me feel really welcome and valued. I mentioned in this week’s Monday meeting that I have enjoyed doing the insights for briefs and that this I something I think I contribute well to TFR, as it uses skills I already have and doesn’t rely on me needing content support or supervision, and is really relevant to the work I do towards my degree.

This week I had to battle a separate issue of commuting with the rail strikes and amended timetables, and I’m grateful to be doing a placement with a company that has been understanding of this and flexible with my workspace – especially as I go from my placement straight back into uni life, and battle even more strikes there! 

The Intern (2015) - IMDb

Week Four:

My final week has been anything but quiet. On my first day, the word “chaos” was thrown around a lot, and it is definitely the perfect way to describe my time at TFR!  

From beginning to end it has been a learning curve, but I have really enjoyed the ride and all the different wins, stresses and opportunities it has bought to the table for me. I had to adapt pretty quickly to office life, and this has been something I have actually really enjoyed – it’s completely different to any kind of shift work I’ve been used to, and the free weekends have been a blessing! 

Being a student, free time is definitely something I have an excess of and have taken for granted at times, but getting into a proper routine and setting healthy habits for myself around commuting, having breakfast, and getting enough sleep have really helped me navigate my changing routine. I have also enjoyed having the structured hours as this has given me a much different outlook to free time – suddenly my days off aren’t random weekdays and I could actually plan ahead. I will definitely miss having this structure going back to uni, but it has been really valuable learning that this is something I would like to have in future careers. 

Creating hype, demand and legacy has been a really rewarding experience, and I think seeing it through from the planning to the pitch for one of the UK’s largest restaurant groups was a great experience (although for me, a very intense one!). It was described it as my ‘The Intern moment’ and that’s definitely the perfect way to put it. Regardless, I really enjoyed seeing how everything comes together, listening to the pitch and seeing the client response. It put everything into perspective for me and answered a lot of the questions I had; What has female comedy got to do with hospitality? TFR will tell you. 

I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive team for my placement, and I never felt as if I was being left behind. I’m sure Danielle and Daisy will be glad to not be answering my never-ending questions or approving my emails anymore, but I would just like to say a big thank you to both of them especially for helping me throughout!  

I know this won’t be the last I hear of TFR, and I can’t wait to hear what they get up to in the future.  

1 year ago