Placement Experience: Communications Coordinator at Vivid Housing
Lauren Parker is a BA (Hons) Film Production student on a placement year as a Communications Co-ordinator for VIVID Homes in Portsmouth. She tells us how she has used her existing skills and developed lots of new useful skills.
Who do you work for?
I'm working as an intern for VIVID Homes, a housing association for affordable homes and housing-related services in the south of England. As well as renting and selling homes to customers, they also provide a wide variety of wellbeing services to help customers stay happy in their homes. Their main value is ‘more homes, bright futures’, which relates to their goal to build more affordable housing and support customers once they have moved in.
What's your role?
My role as a Communications Co-ordinator is to support the Communications team at VIVID with various tasks. My regular responsibilities involve:
- Creating graphics for internal and external use
- Producing videos and animations for internal and external use
- Creating video and graphic content for awards presentations
- Writing articles to be published on the VIVID website (including case studies, customer advice and updates from the business)
- Creating and uploading graphics to the company’s internal TV screen system
- Producing and organising the company’s ‘catch-up’ live events
- Collating and updating monthly press coverage reports
- Updating information on the company’s website and intranet using Content Management Systems (including video transcripts, press releases, event calendars etc.)
Outside of my regular responsibilities, I also work on different projects throughout the year. This includes producing a social media campaign from start-to-finish on income over Christmas, working on the Virtual VIVID Live Event, and developing and creating original content for calendar events (UK Housing Day, Customer Service Week, Time to Talk day etc.).
What have you learnt so far?
This placement has been hugely rewarding for me, as I have learnt many technical, creative and professional skills that will set me up in my future career prospects.
From my degree, I had experience in using various pieces of technical software before, such as Avid Media Composer, but my work in this internship has pushed me to develop my skills with new software as well. I work with and have become proficient in Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop to create content and am in the process of learning how to use Adobe After Effects to create more complex animations as well. Outside of this, I have also learnt how to use Content Management Systems to work with the company’s website and intranet, understanding how content is built into the systems.
Not only was I encouraged to be creative through the content I was creating, but working remotely during a pandemic also pushed me to think outside the box when it came to creating digital content. It meant I had to rely a lot on my editing skills and learning how to do more animated content, but I’ve been able to create some great video work that might not have been the case if I were able to film on a camera like I would normally. The briefs that the team set for me have taught me a lot about graphic design, branding and more, which has developed my understanding so that I can create my own original content. I have also been venturing into copywriting during this internship, which is something I might not have done within my Film Production degree but have really enjoyed.
Highlight so far?
My greatest highlight so far would be having learnt the Adobe systems and being able to implement them into my everyday work, to create professional content that I’m proud of. Using all of the knowledge I’ve learnt in my placement year to produce a campaign from concept to evaluation was greatly rewarding, and taught me a lot about what needs to be considered when engaging with online audiences.
What would you say to a student considering a placement?
If you’re a student considering going on a placement year, my advice to you is to try and avoid burning yourself out in the search. It can be a long process, with companies taking applications from October all the way through to August. Put your all into your applications, but don’t let yourself become so drained from it that you don’t have the energy to apply to the next one – which could be the one that takes you on.
And don’t give up! My organisation interviewed me in July and I started in August, and I’ve loved every second of it.