My Placement Year at Canon UK

Posted on: 22 September 2022 by Samantha Riella in Student experiences

Liam Tibke is a final year Marketing student at the University of Liverpool who has recently completed a year in industry at Canon UK. Find out more about his placement, future plans and top tips for students.

What was your placement role and organisation?

During my placement, I worked at Canon UK as the Corporate Communications, Marketing and Sustainability Intern. My role involved monitoring press coverage, organising product loans, supporting on influencer activity, creating the monthly social media calendar, writing internal news stories and creating the internal newsletter, and supporting at events.

What was your best experience on your placement and what did you learn?

It's hard to pinpoint my best experience at Canon, but I'd say one of my favourite parts of my placement was creating the monthly social media calendar for Canon's channels. As the Social Media Manager left about 4 months into my role, I became more responsible for our channels which taught me a lot. I've learnt how to write copy which suits Canon's tone of voice and audiences, how to be resilient when there's lots of content to create, and how to deal with negative feedback from our audience. It was definitely challenging at times, but has provided me with lots of great experience which I'll be able to use in the future. 

I was also awarded a Canon Award for Collaboration for my work on Canon's social media channels which was probably my proudest moment of my placement!

What activities have you taken part in that have helped your career development?

As my placement at Canon was so varied across the communications team, I've been able to take part in lots of activities which have enabled me to further my career development. For example, my role involved working with the Internal Communications Specialist to help create Canon's internal news stories, newsletter and company announcements. Before my placement, I had no internal communications experience (I didn't even really understand what it involved), but my placement has helped me develop my skills in this area, and I'm now looking at applying for internal communications roles once I graduate.

Similarly, working with the Public Relations team and being involved with Canon's PR activities has enabled me to develop skills such as outreach, talking to journalists and writing press releases, which are likely to be beneficial in future roles.

What helped prepare you for the transition to the workplace?

I think the main thing that helped me transition to the workplace was asking the current intern at the time questions about the placement to gain a better understanding of the role and how Canon operates. Canon also provided me with an induction, training and a welcome day to help with the transition. 

I think it's quite difficult to prepare for the transition as a student because a placement is so different to university, and I think being aware of how different it is going to be is really important.

What are your future plans?

As my role was so varied at Canon, I've been lucky enough to gain experience in multiple different areas of communications which has given me a better idea of what I enjoy. During my final year, I'll be applying for graduate roles which mainly focus on social media, internal communications and events. I'll also be working as a Student Ambassador for the Management School, and a Content Marketing Assistant at the Liverpool Guild of Students.

How has the Career Studio helped you?

The Career Studio's online resources were really helpful when I was applying for placements, particularly the CV tool which reads your CV how employer's systems do to show areas of improvement. I also think our ULMS170 Placement Preparation Module was helpful, particularly the mock assessment centre, as this helped me gain a better understanding of what an assessment centre was like. 

And finally, what are your top tips for students currently looking for placement opportunities?

My main tip is don't give up! Applying for placements is really challenging, and for most people, you're not going to get the first one you apply for as it's so competitive. I applied to 30 placements before I got mine at Canon. 

I'd also say to make sure to use the Career Studio to help with your applications, and always make sure to research the company you're applying for. You're likely to be asked about the company in an interview (for example, Tell me why you want to work for XXXX?) so be prepared and research the company. It's better to be overprepared for the interview than underprepared!