Inspiring our future marketers: a day in the life of STM AGENCY

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STM Agency


29 Apr 2024

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Here at STM Agency, we’re committed to nurturing the future talent of our industry in every way we can. As well as creating an apprenticeship programme, post-grad placements and more opportunities for young professionals in our agency, we regularly work with Lancaster University – and recently invited a team of their Marketing students to spend the day with us and get a real taste of agency life. 

Marketing Me: welcoming the winners 

As part of our ongoing partnership with Lancaster University, they reached out to our Head of People Catherine Macdonald to sit on the panel for their ‘Marketing Me’ initiative – an internal challenge designed to give their students real-life experience of working on a campaign. The participants worked in teams to tackle a live brief from a company looking to enhance its branding strategy, and while everyone presented some fantastic work, Catherine and her fellow panel members eventually managed to choose the winning team. And their prize? The chance to spend the day with us at STM Agency and get hands-on experience working in an agency. Catherine explained why she thinks events and partnerships like this are so important:  

“I believe university collaborations are essential for nurturing the next generation of talent and strategically growing our team. These links create a unique opportunity for us to cultivate a talent pipeline whilst offering insights into our industry and showcasing the vibrant culture at our agency.”   

Stepping into agency life

The six winning students came along to the STM Agency studio on Thursday 8th February, and it was an action-packed day for everyone involved. First of all, they spent the morning meeting members of all our specialist teams – getting an overview of the agency and developing an understanding of the lifecycle of a project. This included introductions to Creative, Production and Client Services, as well as their first look at a brief. Then, they had the opportunity to step onto set and see a client shoot in action. And after lunch, it was time to put everything they’d learned into practice.  
Splitting into two teams, our budding marketers were given a brief to create a Valentine’s Day campaign for a client in the pet care sector – considering everything from assets and straplines to platforms and performance. After just a couple of hours work, they presented theirs back to representatives from all different areas of the agency – and we were blown away by the ingenuity the teams put into their work. They’d thought about all the vital elements needed when responding to a client brief and proved they all have a bright future in the industry. Some of their ideas were so good, we might even borrow them ourselves!  

What’s even better though, is the great experience they took from their day with us – as we can see from student Morgan Exley’s brilliant LinkedIn post.  

Student LinkedIn Post-1Had an incredible time immersing myself in the world of agency life with STM Agency at their insight day in Manchester yesterday! 
The opportunity to connect with each team provided a deep dive into the 360-degree process — from shaping client briefs to creating content and nurturing client relationships. The discussion around AI was particularly fascinating, showcasing its potential to streamline tedious tasks for the creative team. Seeing AI in action during a client photoshoot showcased the real-world advantages of embracing this technology professionally. 
A huge shoutout to the entire team for curating such a fantastic and inspiring day! 🌟  

The students were accompanied by Senior Teaching Associate Lee Francis, who was equally impressed by the effort our team put into making the day valuable.  

“It really was an action-packed 9-5 day – a perfect blend of show and tell from key staff members, combined with live practical examples. We were made to feel very welcome and the students enjoyed the insider tips and range of discussions around AI, digital technology and daily agency life.” 

Lee also spoke about the importance of days like this for students, which is why we hope to host more similar events in the future.  

“This ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse is hugely formative for students in connecting their current studies with the realities of their future careers. We certainly hope to continue the partnership with STM Agency long into the future. Aside from being fun, it enhances student employability and strengthens our department’s integration with current industry trends, practitioners and technology.”  

Growing our own: more initiatives to support successful careers in marketing 

The ‘Marketing Me’ challenge and day-at-the-agency prize were hugely valuable activities for our team and the Lancaster University students – but it’s not the only way we’re working to support future talent and young professionals. Continuing our work with universities, we’re taking part in a number of guest lecture spots at different institutions across the North-West, creating opportunities to feed into the curriculum and help graduates get industry-ready.  

And within our team, we’ve created a dedicated Apprenticeship programme – recently welcoming brand-new apprentices in Finance, Client Services and UX Design, as well as our Lancaster placement student Aanchal who’ll be spending the year working with the Content team. It’s all part of our ‘Grown your Own’ approach – nurturing new talent from within to keep our industry thriving. Just click here to read more about all these initiatives in our recent article.  

Our agency day, university links and apprenticeship programmes are designed to give the talent of tomorrow the practical experience they need. And as our Head of People Catherine McDonald explains, it’s an initiative that’s beneficial for both the students and our agency.  

“Establishing strong relationships with universities is really important to us here at STM Agency. It's where innovation meets education, allowing us to help bridge that gap between academia and industry to shape the marketers of tomorrow.  

Supporting the next generation of marketing talent is not just a commitment, it's an investment in our future success.”  

We’re inspiring people to discover different disciplines, helping them learn from the experts and encouraging them to pursue a bright career in our industry.   

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