Marketing Placement at Aberdeen Football Club

Rachel Hamilton, an RGU placement student at Aberdeen Football Club outside the Pittodrie stadium.

We interviewed Rachel Hamilton, a student of the BA (Hons) Management with Marketing course at RGU. Rachel talks to us about her marketing placement with the Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) and how her course prepared her to work in the industry.

Tell us a bit about your placement role

Picture of the Aberdeen FC Community Trust marketing campaign.

Within Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT), I am responsible for the coordination of our marketing activity. I implement marketing strategies so that we can proactively coordinate content and identify gaps where content needs to be created. Additionally, I support the Trust’s external communication through social media, emails, and website articles to promote our work and various programmes. I also maintain the website and ensure it is up-to-date. I am involved in the planning and implementation of various multi-faceted marketing campaigns. I enjoy being a part of this fast-paced and dynamic environment. Working in a marketing role means that there is something new to do every day. It is great to get involved in many different aspects of the role. I have been able to review my work and adapt my approach to optimise our marketing communication.

How does your role support the running of the organisation?

A picture of the Aberdeen Pittodrie Stadium.

AFCCT works to maximise the potential of our communities by improving their physical and mental wellbeing. The mission of the organisation is to ‘provide support and opportunity to change lives for the better.’ The Trust works across three key pillars: education, football for life and healthy communities. AFCCT use the power of the Aberdeen Football Club brand and passion for football to provide support across the North-East of Scotland. They have been recognised by the UEFA Grassroots Award for Best Professional Football Club (2019).

The Marketing Assistant role is new within AFCCT. Therefore, it has opened new opportunities for the Trust. I am able to provide a clear plan and create opportunities to showcase the work of the organisation, which previously had a low profile. Having an in-house marketing role also means the staff can receive support during the development and promotion of their programmes.

In what ways do you feel your studies have helped you in your placement?

It has been beneficial to see how the theories I learnt in my first and second-year applies within a real business environment. Working at AFCCT in a marketing role has given me large exposure to the business. It has allowed me to reflect on how my academic learning can be implemented in a work setting.

When working on external communication such as emails or the website, I was able to apply my knowledge about structure and tone from the course, to create engaging and brand relevant content. The concepts from my Consumer Behaviour module helped me understand and identify the AFCCT’s target marketing and create content accordingly.

How has this experience benefited you?

Picture of the Aberdeen FC's #StillStandingFree campaign billboard.

This placement experience has allowed me to develop my skillset exponentially. The pandemic has pushed businesses across the world to adapt and create new innovations to survive. Working with the marketing department, I was at the forefront of this change. An example of this is our #StillStandingFree campaign, where the Trust and Club mobilised quickly to address the needs of the community. This campaign recently won the ‘Marketing Magic’ award at the Northern Star Business Awards 2021. Additionally, my placement has provided me with many opportunities, thus pushing me out of my comfort zone. As a result, my confidence has grown. I have had the opportunity to expand my network and work with colleagues from all levels of the business, from coaches to board members. I gained new transferable skills and knowledge that I can apply in the future.

What have you enjoyed most about the placement?

I enjoy working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. I work collaboratively with various teams and that has helped me build my professional network. Being trusted to work independently has allowed me to take ownership of a few projects. This placement has helped me critically evaluate my way of working. I have learnt some of the best practices and strategies from my colleagues, which I have managed to apply at work to ensure my projects are delivered to the highest standard.

Any hints and tips for students who will be undertaking their placement?

Embrace the placement fully and seize every opportunity to learn, grow and develop as much as possible. Do not be afraid to ask questions or learn from others. Appreciate feedback both positive and negative and use it constructively to grow.

Can you tell us about your course experience?

Picture of the social media of Aberdeen Football Club.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Management with Marketing course so far. It provides a great balance of marketing specific learning as well as general business knowledge. Doing a course with such variety has been very beneficial. I have been able to apply a broad range of skills to my placement. With these skills, I was able to get involved with projects that were out with my marketing responsibilities too.

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