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As a newly ex-student who has come to the slow realisation that they have no interest in following up a career in a degree they have just spent £50,000 on, I can safely say the future is a scary place. After job-hunting for 6 months and getting no further with decision making about my future, I attended a Careers Day at Leeds Beckett University. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah and Sophie, the Account Manager and Client Services Director of Zelst, a Harrogate based Digital Marketing Agency.

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Fast forward a couple of months and a week of intense learning, in a field I have literally zero knowledge in, begins. After a quick tour of the office and a few minutes fussing over the playful office dog, Pongo, I sit down at my computer with one huge question on my mind; what is Digital Marketing and why have I been let in the building?

Luckily enough, the extremely accommodating Managing Director Peter had prepared a day of SEO training for me. Although it was a jump in the deep end, this was exactly what was needed to give me an idea of what a Creative Marketing Agency does.

After a morning of Keyword research, Page Optimisation and extreme paranoia about coming across like a complete idiot, I felt like I started to get the hang of it. By the end of the day I was extremely interested in finding out more from Peter. It was a shame that by this point the day focusing on this department had come to an end as I feel I could have benefited from learning more.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent with the Outreach and Social Media manager, Saf. As a millennial who has grown up in the age of Social Media, I have years of experience in sharing videos of dogs making funny noises and baby’s falling over, so obviously I had these days mastered. Fortunately, my tasks for the days included an Ideation meeting, Outreach tasks and creating Social Media Strategies, and less yawning animals than I might have believed.

I have always been aware of the power and influence of Social Media, but to see how it can be manipulated for a positive effect on a business was fascinating. By Wednesday afternoon I found myself thinking of new ideas surrounding how to help businesses expand their social media influence and really enjoying showing a bit of creativity. Saf was very helpful and happy to explain the benefits of Outreach and helped me create a link building campaign involving contacting professionals, writers, and bloggers.

I found myself returning to the more technical side of marketing on the Thursday with a morning of Keyword Research and an introduction of Pay-Per-Click Ads from the PPC Specialist Charlie. I went from having no knowledge of Google Ads in the morning to creating my own by the afternoon, which is a testament to his teaching. Although I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this more technical, statistics driven side to Digital Marketing, I ended up finding it extremely interesting and really relished the opportunity to create my own Ads.

Friday morning started with a failed sprint for a missed train, a few tears at a bruised knee (acquired during the sprint), and a meeting with Technology in Motion, a company who create helmets for babies with Plagiocephaly. Seeing this communication between the Digital Marketing Company and its client was eye opening and I really enjoyed seeing the correlation between the hard work of Zelst and the clear effect it had on the client’s visibility and conversion rates.

As the week regretfully comes to its conclusion, I can look back and safely say I have dusted the cobwebs that come from finishing a degree and learning nothing new in the past 6 months. The Zelst team have been absolutely brilliant teachers and have gone out of their way to not only accommodate me, but teach me what they do and set me tasks to help me absorb the information. I didn’t feel in the way at all and was made to feel like a member of the team from day one. I came in with a blank mind and a curiosity about Digital Marketing and I am leaving with a genuine desire to continue down this path, with the encouragement and guidance of Zelst. Thank you, Peter, Sarah, Saf, Carl, Sophie, Charlie, Amaya, Alex and Pongo!