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Sophie Lester on Work Experience 04 March 2019

Sophie Lester, 16, from Pingle Academy in Swadlincote made good use of her half-term break to take up the offer of some valuable work experience with ARC – hoping to get a front line taste of her interests in events, marketing and HR.

Happy to swap studies for getting my career underway

I have my GCSEs in sight later this year but I identified quite early on that I didn’t want to continue in full-time education, preferring instead to explore whether an apprenticeship in events, marketing, HR or business might be a good option for me to enter the workplace and start earning.

I had a head start having worked part-time for a couple of years but was looking for more experience to add to my CV. Having done some research, my mum Emma approached Jayne Greenman, HR Director for Arena Racing Company, and a family friend. We knew about ARC through attending race meetings at Uttoxeter Racecourse. As a business ARC is able to offer insight into a broad range of career options and provide some working experience to help young people along the way.

I had been to Uttoxeter Racecourse previously with my parents and enjoyed the atmosphere and watching the horse racing, but hadn’t realised that the option was open to do some work experience with ARC.
During the week 18th – 22nd February, I was lucky enough to get to help out at both Wolverhampton and Uttoxeter Racecourses.

Practical Experience with the central team

I spent a day in ARC’s central marketing and digital team in Wolverhampton learning about website design & user experience (UX); content and SEO; agile processes and how ARC builds their websites. I then completed a practical task reviewing ARC’s websites and providing constructive feedback to a member of the team. Following this, I spent time receiving an overview from the Customer Relationship Management team and looked at ARC’s various systems and campaign management.

Data cleansing & GDPR may sound boring, but I now know why it’s so important. I then prepared a presentation on Biteable about what I had learned and presented this back to the team – no pressure then!

As part of my learning about the Events & Venue Hire part of the business, it was great to receive a full site tour from an Events Manager and to learn about creating, selling, preparing for and delivering events on site.

Sophie presenting back to the team

Planning for the future

Mid-way through the week, I received the fantastic news that I had been offered a digital marketing apprenticeship for a business close to home! This meant that Jayne was then able to tailor the remainder of my week to focus on those areas. I completed online training courses in GDPR, social media use and Health & Safety.

I then prepared a job description for my new role, as well as understanding more about recruitment and day-to-day work requirements. I reviewed my new employer’s website and social media sites, applying what I had learned to be ready to give constructive feedback when I start. I also did some research on the internet about prospective apprenticeship training providers and using email as a work tool.

Finally, I accompanied the Head of Sales & Marketing at Uttoxeter looking at the practical application of marketing within the business.

I learned about the different aspects of business and different careers available, especially getting a great insight into marketing and HR roles. I would love to be a Marketing Manager in the future and had an amazing week with ARC!

“We at ARC are delighted to be able to open our doors to young people through multiple events such as Racing to School days, careers open days, BHA Graduate placements and work experience,” said HR Director Jayne Greenman.
“We want young people to see the breadth of career options available to them through Racecourses & Stadia and they are often surprised by the number of our departments and their variety. I am especially pleased to support young people such as Sophie, in shaping their future careers and helping them to gain valuable work experience – there’s no replacement for seeing first-hand what business is all about.”

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