At Harvest we are proud of our team and we are even prouder to recruit placement students for a year to help strengthen their profession in the digital marketing industry.
So September last year we hired two wonderful students to work in our SEO department to experience first-hand what it feels like to work in the industry. Now as they prepare to leave Harvest and continue their studies, we sat down as we wanted to know their thoughts for the year.
Deji Gbakinro and Rasida Begum both attend Brunel University and are currently studying Business Management and will be graduating in 2016.
How did you hear about the placement scheme for Harvest?
Deji Gbankinro – Brunel University have an internal system where all the latest jobs are posted and that is where we saw the Harvest job description.
Rasida Begum– After reading the job description and researching into the company I thought it would be a good place for me to work.
What experience if any, did you have in digital before joining?
RB– I have been running my blog for 3 years now but other than that I had no digital experience. I would not steer away from interning at Harvest Digital if you have no digital experience because from the get-go you are taught how to complete tasks and the support structure is brilliant.
DG– Social media? If that counts then yes! I knew bits and pieces about digital before joining Harvest, it’s always been an area that has interested me and so I saw this opportunity as a great way to invest in myself. I’ve always been tech savvy and so this was a way for me to see how much I really knew (which in fact was quite small compared to what I thought I knew) and a way to learn valuable skills that I could keep for life.
How were the first few months working at Harvest?
RB– It was exciting and overwhelming. The most difficult part is adapting to the new routine but as time progresses early mornings and travelling everyday will seem like the norm. Also, the first few months are crucial because this is where you learn about the foundations of your work. My advice would be to always think ahead and use your initiative as digital marketing; especially SEO, is a fast paced industry so you have to be prepared to change your methods to suit your client’s best interest.
DG – It was scary at first, diving into the world of SEO. There’s a lot to know and hearing the stories of companies that got it wrong really opened my eyes but working with professionals who know what they’re doing really does help. Any questions I had were answered and if they didn’t know the answer, they made sure they asked the right people until they knew
Can you list your day to day tasks? And explain what it detailed?
RB- My day to day tasks varied as we worked from a task sheet which was created every month and tasks were allocated dependent on which client you were working on. . Another task was outreach and this was one of my high priority tasks. Outreach is when you create great shareable content and contact relevant influencers and websites to share the content if they deem it suitable.
DG – No two days are the same at Harvest, and with our multiple clients it can get really exciting with what your day brings in a month. For example, in the month I know that I need to complete a few task like:
- Backlink Analysis
- Competitors Analysis
- Monthly Reports
What type of challenges can occur when working in SEO?
RB- SEO is heavily based on predictions and with spontaneous algorithm updates it was challenging at times to know what the best next step was. But with our skill-set and tactics we were always able to solve a problem or come up with an alternative that would benefit the client.
DG– We work in such a dynamic team that have such skill sets in the department that have both strong technical background and in producing content and managing the social side. The mix of skills worked great and there was a great balance between the two.
How have you found your team?
RB- Everyone in the team has been lovely! They were always supportive and caring. I felt at ease when asking questions or sharing any concerns I had. We were very fortunate enough to work with such kind and hardworking people and not only does this apply to my team but everyone in the office.
DG – The team have been great from the start, they helped me settle in at the beginning and made it welcoming. Over the months as we all grew closer and became more familiar with ourselves, it helped us work together better and know how each person in the team worked. The weaknesses found in others were the strengths found in the other team members and so we worked very closely in planning, preparing and the execution of ideas. Most of the lessons and things I have learned have come down to the great team I have. We all get along with each other well and so it isn’t a burden coming in to work the next day.
From working at Harvest what stood out to you during your placement?
RB -People – The Harvesters are all very friendly people, we were welcomed from day 1 and the atmosphere in the company is very positive. This helps you work much better as you become comfortable with the people around you.
DG – Progression – Investing in yourself is always something we must do and Harvest clearly invests in their staff regularly. There’s always some sort of training available so that you can better your skills in other departments that you may not even be working in.
RB – Passion – The drive to succeed has been very good while being at Harvest; constantly have meetings on how we can improve the results for our clients and make our work much better. If we need to think of a new approach we work together to bring ideas to the table and bounce off each other to make things happen.
How has working in SEO helped you with any outside projects?
DG – Mentally I have started automatically analysing SEO on websites I visit and creating an audit “They’re missing the h1 tag” “They’d probably rank much better if they simply…” This has almost become natural to me, I do it without thinking at times and is helpful when I’m visiting a friends website, I can give them some quick advice on making their website much better. Going back to university, what I have learned here will be very useful as one of the modules in my final year will be on the digital marketing industry and so the information I have learned throughout this year will definitely come in handy come next year
RB – after being introduced to SEO I decided to apply my knowledge and skill-set to my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog ‘twostyles.co.uk’. Since then the design, user experience and ranking has significantly improved and I consistently regulate this using Google Search Console and Google Analytics and other tools. Also with the support of SEO and social and the Creative team I was able to solve any hiccups along the way (thanks!). Without the knowledge and the skills I learnt from working in SEO it would have made it much more difficult to transform my blog to what it is now.
Too learn more about placements in Harvest please contact firstname.lastname@example.org