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University of Brighton DM/DMD Social Starter Kit

Navigation: Placement Process/Application Tips | One-Liners | Twitter


Dear First Year Digital Media & Digital Media Development Students,

Firstly, I’m sorry if I scared (or scarred) you with my wild hand gestures, overly enthusiastic tone and rapid rate of speech when talking about my placement experience to you guys – I get a little excited about the position you guys are in right now and the opportunities available to you when it comes to choosing your careers. Although I do feel like a combination of my Mum and a fortune cookie when I say this, and although that is a terribly frightening pairing, these are some words that you need to hear:

A placement is one of the best things you can possibly do to help kickstart your career.

OK – now we’ve gotten that out of the way, onwards!

Placement Search & Application Process Tips

I promise I’ll stop channeling my parents now… Here’s a list of a few more ideas that helped me get through the, intermittently, tough time that was applying for placements to, in the end, land the placement that was right for me.

#1 What Do I Want?

Prizing this question and its answer above all else will help you in both the search for a placement, and the interview process to land said placement. This question will take the panic out of the process – it’s not about what you “could” do as a placement, or what anybody else thinks you’d be suited for – it’s about what you want to get out of giving 10-12 months of your life to a company. So don’t feel bad about not applying to company A because “omg I haven’t applied anywhere yet” if the reason for not applying is that the placements listed so far really haven’t got you going – you apply to placements that excite you and are in an area that you may want to pursue after University.

When it comes to interviews, if you stop thinking about what the company wants, you’ll automagically have a list of questions you actually want answers to at the interview to really get an understanding of if the company is right for you, not just a handful of generic questions that you’ve gathered just because “you have to ask questions at an interview” to make you seem right for the company.

#2 Apply For More Than One Placement 

Now I know I said that you should only apply to placements that excite you. So then, what if there’s only one of those? Well how do you expect to land that dream placement without practicing applying to placements and being interviewed for placements? It’s like me wanting to bake a croquembouche, trying to, failing and being mad that I failed despite not being able to bake I mean wtf. In short: you can’t expect yourself to get your dream placement without practicing the steps that will get you your dream placement, capiche? 

If you get offered the job for one of those placements you didn’t really want, don’t worry: you can say no. It may actually be the case that, once you’ve been through the interview process, you discover that the placement-you-didn’t-really-want is actually now the placement-you-really-really-want and guess what? You would never have known if you didn’t apply to more than one.

#3 It’s Not Just a Job

Well technically a placement is a job, but it’s a whole lot more than that. When you apply to a company you’re not only applying for a list of roles and responsibilities for a year, you’re actually applying for an experience. Aside from “Debugging JavaScript code for internal applications” and “Being a part of the wireframing process in early development” you may also be:

  • Getting really great at table football to the point where you’re beating your boss
  • Sitting in egg chairs suspended from the ceiling and hoping they don’t break leaving you to fall and die
  • Going for lunch at that dirty diner down road with the entire dev team because it’s “2 for £5”
  • etc.

Aspects like these are just as important as the aspects of the job role you’re applying for so be sure not to overlook these.

Let’s run with an example. Say you went for an interview for a front end development role at a company and you discover their office spans 4 floors, is all glass and steel and houses 150 people in suits. Now, this may not be an issue for some of you but what if you’re more of tight knit team, worn leather couches and exposed beams kinda girl/guy, what do you do? I urge you to at least factor this in when making your decision.

Again: you are looking for somewhere to dedicate 5 days a week for 10-12 months of your life. That means a whole lot of time that you can either spend doing what you want to be doing, or doing what you don’t want to be doing and I can tell you that it’ll feel like more than a year if you’re doing the former.

One-Liners to Remember

For those of you that can’t be arsed to read through the paragraphs of text above (I’m not offended don’t worry, tl;dr exists for a reason) here are a few one-liners that kept me going when I was on the hunt for a placement and I hope they’re of some use to you as you hunt for yours:

  • You can do anything when you put your mind to it 
  • Do your best, that’s all anybody can ask for
  • There are plenty more where that came from
  • Right, now I know what I don’t want in a placement
  • Even if you don’t think you’re good enough, apply for the placement
  • Don’t ask about holiday time


What with DM/DMD being melting pot of Digital Marketers, Website Designers, Website Developers and more, we’ve got a pretty busy industry full of thought leaders that we can crack into. Best way to crack into the industry? Twitter. Social media can be a big help when it comes to both keeping on top of your game and getting your name out there so it’s crucial to get yourselves set up on the major networks as soon as you can. As this is a “starter kit” of sorts, I’ll just be looking at the most important one for us: Twitter.

The biggest question I found with Twitter was: who the hell do I follow? So knowing what I do now, I went off and rounded up a bunch of the best Designers, Developers and Digital Marketers to create a couple Twitter lists for you guys to follow.

Who to Follow on Twitter:

If you’re logged into Twitter when you access these lists, you should be able to subscribe to any one of them real easy!

If you’re unsure of Twitter entirely and want some help with this whole “list” business, please click here.

Remember that subscribing to one of these lists doesn’t mean you’re following the folks on there, but if you’d like to follow any of them it’s super easy to do so once you’ve loaded up any one of the lists in your browser.

Thanks for reading!

If you’ve got any questions or just want to point out some awful grammar in this blog post, feel free to catch me at @digitaldabbler on twitter.

Featured image thanks to walknboston.

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Natalie Wright is a Freelance Search Engine Strategist. She is incredibly fond of technical SEO and can often be found speaking at digital marketing related conferences. She also has no idea why she's speaking in third person right now. Find her on Google+ or Twitter.

2 thoughts on “University of Brighton DM/DMD Social Starter Kit”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s very useful and a good read. I will definitely act on the advice you have given. Again thanks for helping us first years and I’m loving the blog.

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