In my latest blog post we’re welcoming back a familiar face! Ryan Gerrard has previously graced Made in Salford when he met student blogger Ryan to talk about his experience studying MSc Digital Marketing at Salford Business School. As part of his master’s degree, Ryan took on a 6 month placement at Hopewiser and now works within their marketing department. I was lucky enough to be invited to Hopewiser’s Head Office to talk with Ryan and Marketing Manager Diane about the company, and find out what Ryan did to impress.
Hello Diane. Tell us more about Hopewiser.
Hopewiser is a software company which predominantly focuses on address and data cleansing. You can verify your address using our technology, which would mean that when you put in your address at the checkout, it could be Hopewiser’s software that identifies where you live and ensures the delivery is correct. Data cleansing can be used by businesses who are looking to send information to large audiences. The chances are, when the business comes to sending their information, some of those on the mailing list may have moved house or unfortunately died. This is when our software will ensure that information isn’t sent to those addresses. Our clients range from very small businesses, to large corporate organisations such as Royal Bank of Scotland and those in the public sector. We’re a small team of around 40 or so, which is great because we’re all friendly with each other, almost like a family unit.
What are your goals for people who join you on a placement?
It really does depend on the job. Ryan has been the first we’ve had in seven years; however, we’ve had multiple people join us who are recent graduates or who were interns who’ve worked within the company. Many of these have stayed with us, which is fantastic. The goals set for Ryan were specific to his job and personal development, but overall he’s achieved greater than we had planned – which is amazing.
Did Ryan’s approach to work impress you?
Yes, I think the speed with which Ryan was able to settle in, understand our products and then very quickly market these was phenomenal. He’s amazing at making our product sound so interesting, and this sometimes isn’t the case with various types of software. The fact that I didn’t have to micromanage Ryan, and that we can comfortably work with one meeting a week really shows that he’s become one of our team.
Do you have any words of advice for someone looking to impress on an internship?
Firstly, when you come for your interview, make sure you’ve done your homework. Know about the company and interpret how their background could be applied to the role. Once you actually get to the company, be prompt, don’t be late, and try to work out the ethos of the company as quickly as you can, so that settling in will be an enjoyable experience.
Ryan, could you tell us about your time with Hopewiser so far?
I started with the company back in May as part of my MSc Digital Marketing degree. Students on the course are required to undertake a six month placement as part of the Business Innovation project. I came to Hopewiser to implement a business-to-business marketing campaign. Within the first six weeks, my placement turned into a job offer, which I graciously accepted. Everyone was so welcoming, so it’s been fantastic to join such a lovely company. I share a really strong professional relationship with all the staff, while being able to talk about more light-hearted, personal topics in the same breath.
Has taking on a master’s helped you, and has it been stressful?
It has helped me in so many ways. While I loved studying journalism and had a genuine passion for it, I discovered in my third year that I’d prefer to go down the PR and marketing route, after doing a PR module in my first year. I could use all of my transferable skills from Broadcast Journalism, to further my knowledge and also get another degree under my belt.
Initially it was stressful, I won’t lie to you. I remember going from GCSEs to A-Levels and the teachers saying the workload doubles, and that was the case going from undergraduate to postgraduate study. The deadlines are immensely close together, and I really did think that maybe it wasn’t for me, however when I got my first grade back, and it was a distinction, I quickly changed my mind.
How has working with Hopewiser benefited your studies?
It’s helped me leaps and bounds to focus and learn on the job. I’m naturally quite a driven person, I have a healthy work ethic that I get from my parents, and am very thankful for that. Also I am one of those people who always has to be learning something, and whilst Hopewiser is a niche market, it’s been fascinating learning about that market.
Would you recommend a master’s?
I would really recommend a master’s if you’re considering what direction to take your career, or maybe you want to try something new. The skills that you learn from the unique experience are phenomenal, and have helped me develop personally and professionally. It helped me identify my own targets and life goals, as well as teaching me that if you work hard for something, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t achieve it.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I don’t know whether I’ve got a particular company I’d like to work for, but I’d love to be a Director of Marketing. To be able to lead a team and pass on the knowledge that I’ll have hopefully built by then would be a real privilege.