Work shadowing. Sounds a bit creepy, doesn’t it? Actually, it turns out it’s less about silently following someone around and seeing what they get up to all day, and more about getting really involved and a proper insight into what a role actually involves.
That’s exactly what Karla did when she was selected for the chance to shadow Colin, O2′s Head of SEO (that’s search engine optimisation, to you and I).
We caught up with Karla to find out what she got up to and why she thinks shadowing is such an important experience…
“I’m currently doing an apprenticeship in digital marketing,” Karla told us. “In marketing, experience is vital! I applied for a day shadowing the head of SEO at O2, Colin Woon.
“The opportunity involved spending a day with Colin; attending his meetings, seeing his work spaces and getting a rough idea what his day-to-day looks like, which is very varied! I learnt a lot about the atmosphere in different workplaces and work environments, how agencies work together, and, of course, how SEO works. My favourite part of the day was the first meeting. I got to attend O2′s Digital Monthly Review. It was great to see how all the different media channels work together. Lunch was another highlight… steak as part of the work day? Yes please!
“O2 was a nice mix of formal and casual. It was professional but comfortable and I was made welcome by everyone I came across. Colin was great! He made me feel so welcome as soon as I met him and throughout the day he made sure I was getting the most out of the opportunity and explained what his job entails. Even in his meetings, he made sure I understood what the team were speaking about which I really appreciated. Colin was so friendly and hilarious and seemed genuinely interested in what I’m doing as much as I was interested in his job!
“My aspirations for the future are to succeed as far as I can in a career in marketing and the opportunity definitely sealed the deal that this is the career I want to work in. It also helped me get an idea of what to expect and the different types of roles available.”
So would Karla recommend applying for a shadowing opportunity to others?
“Definitely!” she told us. “Shadowing and work experience lets you see what a job will consist of so you can really decide if it’s for you or not. It’s a great way to meet people and gain some contacts, as well as gain some great knowledge and skills. It’s what you make of it, so definitely apply and if you’re successful, listen and learn, ask questions and most importantly, enjoy it!”
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