My Work Experience with Freestart Plc

My summer working for Freestart Plc has come to an end, but I can look back with fondness at a period that has presented me with a valuable experience.

I’m not going to lie, I got lucky, I dropped on, right place right time, whatever you want to call it. I proved the saying of sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. When Rainford Sixth Form required Year 12 to have a 2-week work placement by July, I thought (in April) that I had plenty of time, but I was wrong. As an inspiring journalist, I enquired at multiple newspapers, even the local rugby team, however was repeatedly turned away for one reason or another.

Just as I was losing hope and grimacing at the thought of working in a library, Freestart gave me a lifeline.

After a conversation that my Grandad had with the manager of St Helens Town, he was informed that his son, incidentally the teams striker, worked at an online marketing company in nearby Wigan. This could be the opportunity I needed! I soon got in touch with David Hunter, marketing director at Freestart who said they’d be willing to take me on a placement, brilliant! He passed me onto Andrew Gillespie, who I vaguely knew from watching the football team. We then exchanged emails and the two-week placement was arranged, for the weeks commencing the 11th and 18th July.

As the time drew nearer, I learnt that my work experience would involve writing blogs and content for client’s websites. This was convenient from a journalism perspective, as over my time at Freestart I have written blogs for clients about mezzanine flooring, adhesive tape, bespoke awards and even portable toilets! This has greatly helped me improve my versatility and has given me the confidence to write articles about anything with a little research and notice in the future, an experience I would not have had anywhere else.

I didn’t have the slightest clue what SEO was when I entered the Freestart office for the first time. As far as I was concerned, I was just there to write, and possibly be a makeshift teaboy! However, this was not the case, I was well taught by my colleges and started to grasp the point of SEO straight away and how important it is towards online marketing of smaller businesses that need to get noticed on Google.
My two-week placement was coming to an end, but I wasn’t looking forward to spending 6 weeks of lounging around the house, I’ve had too many summer holidays of that! Luckily, Freestart offered me an extra 6 weeks of work, this time paid and on full time hours. An offer which I duly accepted. This was a terrific opportunity as I could gain even more valuable experience of the workplace environment as well as remaining in an environment I had quickly started to enjoy being in.

Even if I had to endure waking up at 7 o’clock instead of having those precious lie ins, Sixth Form has taught me that early starts aren’t the end of the world and I knew it would be very much worth it in the long term!
Everyone in the SEO department was welcoming straight away, which made me settle in very quickly so I didn’t feel an outcast for long. The laid back yet hardworking atmosphere in the office made for the perfect working environment. At 17 years old, I felt like I would not be able to settle in easily in the office, however this wasn’t the case at all. The atmosphere was always positive, which allowed me to meet honest and hardworking people such as Andy, Ste, Alex, Sam, Hannah and Rob amongst many others.

My time at Freestart was entering its final stages, and the online marketing company had to look for replacements, as my role as Content Writer couldn’t carry on any further as I have bigger fish to fry as my A Levels are right around the corner. I helped the company to teach my replacement tricks of the trade as he “shadowed” me for 2 days, which dramatically improved my verbal confidence as well as written. This helped cement the invaluable lessons I have been taught by Freestart that are sure to aid me in both my ability and mental attitude towards Sixth Form next year.

This experience will be one that I will never forget and is sure to help me later on in life.

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