Recently, we had the pleasure of having Pia Castagnini on a work experience placement. She writes our latest blog post on the benefits of work experience and why she joined Pure Luxuries for a week.


Walking into the Pure Luxuries London office, I never expected to learn so much about the industry and myself. In just one week, I blossomed and developed many key skills which I will be able to transfer into every area of my professional life moving forward.


Why Work Experience?


I chose to complete work experience as part of my university application requirement - it is common for creative courses such as journalism, digital marketing, and graphic design to require work experience placements, as it allows course leaders to assess creative potential via a portfolio before offering an interview or course place. Also, some courses are quite specialised, so universities would prefer that students have a broader understanding of the industry, first hand.


As a student, I was very flighty and always had my head in the clouds. I often found that the school environment didn't always cater to my learning style. My time at Pure Luxuries matured me, developed my independence, creativity and professionalism, and made me understand the demands and expectations of the real working world - which is essential when graduating from school to an apprenticeship or university degree.


What Did I Learn?


During my placement, I learnt the basics of digital marketing - including various skills such as PPC, market research, trend research, customer profiling, SEO and keyword research, how to create an email campaign, uploading products onto the website, and how to write an effective blog post.


As well as learning technical industry skills, I also learnt more about myself - my strengths, my creative abilities, as well as those abilities which I needed to improve. I learned things about myself which I would never have discovered if I had not taken part in work experience.



How Will I Use What I Learnt From Work Experience?


The skills I acquired in my week working at Pure Luxuries will transfer to every area of my professional life. I will be able to pursue a career in digital marketing for fashion with a new confidence and knowledge of the industry. I will also be able to use top employability skills, such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving.


This week I learned that in a work environment communication is essential, especially within the creative industry, where you may need to propose new ideas. For instance, it’s important to give a designer a full brief of the artwork required and sometimes give them images for reference if the idea has been inspired by someone else's work. Sometimes you might even need to sketch what you have in mind so they can make sense of what you are suggesting. Being clear and precise with your instructions is key.


Some things we experience in high school and further education help to develop our teamwork ethic, however, we don’t truly begin to value being a part of a team until we embark on our professional journey. At Pure Luxuries, everyone has specific disciplines and tasks. Although the team work on the same campaign, some tasks are done by particular people and have to be done on a domino effect and on schedule so that the campaign can be launched, after being approved and proofread. So accountability and communication are very important, even though you are working as a team.


What I Learnt About Pure Luxuries As A Company


Pure Luxuries is a leather specialist who designs, produces and markets their own brands - Conkca, Pure Luxuries London, Cultured London, Made by Stitch and Bear Hardwear. They pride themselves on their beautiful designs, top quality leather, and great customer service. Now, they should also celebrate their contribution to marketing novices, like myself, who will learn countless valuable skills whilst taking part in work experience with them.