FD Insider: The life of a Global Marketing Intern

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By: Hannah Cordner

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take on an internship inside one of the UK & Ireland’s fastest growing consulting & technology firms? Stereotypical perceptions will have one imagining numerous coffee runs, mountains of photocopying and engaging in more listening than doing. However, after completing a year long internship as a global marketing executive with First Derivatives plc and its subsidiary, Kx, I can assure you that reality certainly trumps these previous misconceptions. In fact, life at First Derivatives can be perfectly encapsulated by the words: fast paced.

Following the completion of my second year of BSc (Hons) Marketing at Ulster University in May, I almost immediately began my role as the global marketing intern in June. Having had no previous knowledge of the capital markets industry or domain knowledge of the kdb+ technology, this experience was somewhat daunting. However, after only a week working at FD, the overwhelming sense of community amongst the ‘FD Family’ ensured I felt right at home. I was provided with world class training in line with the ‘Explorers Graduate Program’ and soon became au fait with the technology marketing landscape, all things ‘Big Data’ and the unique attributes Kx possessed that gave it significant competitive advantage over its rivals.

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This training proved essential in developing my commercial awareness and enabling me to segment and tailor my marketing efforts accordingly. From day one I was given significant autonomy in that rather than being the ‘intern,’ I essentially became another member of the Marketing Team.

As previously mentioned, life at FD can certainly be described as ‘fast paced’. No two days in the marketing department are the same. My daily responsibilities have included implementing and orchestrating Meetups and events on a global scale, collaborating with core sales personnel in order to generate engaging industry-relevant content, delivering presentations, implementing digital marketing campaigns and most recently social media management.

In an increasingly competitive and global employability landscape, the need for marketing graduates to possess digital marketing skills, including the ability to interpret and report market data, is vital (Prospects, 2018). As the amount of data available to marketing professionals increases from the likes of social media and digital marketing software, the Chartered Institute of Marketing highlights that companies will need to have a way to ‘interpret and use data to achieve improvements in the future’ and tailor marketing campaigns to the relevant audience.

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This is a skill First Derivatives has given me the unique opportunity to exploit. Being given the autonomy to manage and orchestrate the overall social media strategy alongside the CMO, I have not only been able to apply my creativity  to generate engaging and interesting social campaigns, but I have also been able to demonstrate my analytic prowess by drawing impactful insights from our social and digital marketing campaigns. This is a skill I believe I will not only be able to carry into my final year of university but one that will prove invaluable upon graduation when entering the increasingly competitive employability landscape.

Overall, I feel it is clear to say that the experience I have gained during my placement year at First Derivatives has been exceptional. Not only was I given the opportunity to work alongside some of the biggest brands in the world, including Airbus and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, I also was given the chance to work in an environment where innovation and forward thinking is inspired and new ideas are always welcome. An opportunity I am extremely grateful for.