How my
placement
year changed
my life

Digital Marketing student Barbora Horackova’s creative passion is steering her towards a career in social media marketing. And a placement as a digital media producer with our Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching proved to be a key step in realising that goal.

Putting learning into practice

Barbora excelled during the first year of her BSc (Hons) Marketing (Digital) course, creating a portfolio of digital content that includes videos, vlogs and blogs.

Then, with the encouragement of her programme leader, she applied to do the placement year as a digital media producer.

“This placement role kind of changed my life and I am so grateful for it,” she says. “It has shaped my personality and allowed me to be a much more confident person.”

Barbora says she has learnt so much on her placement and has been able to put her learning into practice. She says: “I found out that, if I work hard and I am passionate about what I do, I can achieve whatever I dreamt about.”

Professional experience

The digital media producer role was created so students could work in partnership with University staff to produce high-quality media materials. Barbora has gained professional experience working with University staff and academics.

She says: “I am part of an amazing group of people in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the University of Derby and I have learnt so much. It might even become a part-time job, which would give me even more experiences.”

Barbora applied for the role through our Driven programme, which links students and graduates with businesses.The programme has been set up by our Career and Employability team. They send regular information about placement vacancies and support students with CV writing and interview tips.

Barbora says the role was perfect for her as she already had experience of content creation and video editing. She wanted to use the new skills learnt and knowledge she had gained during the first year of her degree. As part of her placement, she created a video explaining her role and why she enjoyed it so much.

University of Derby Student, Barbora Horackova sat in a chair looking at the camera.

View Barbora Horackova placement year video video transcript

A perfect fit

Barbora has always been interested in digital media and marketing. She studied Graphic Design in college and wanted a course that combined two areas that she was particularly interested in - digital creation and marketing.

During college, she enjoyed creating online content and using her creative passion to generate innovative designs. Barbora liked using digital technology, she wanted to explore marketing by using her own experiences as an avid digital consumer - and transform them into a rewarding career. She chose our Marketing (Digital) course because it fitted in perfectly with her career aspirations and her passion.

She says: “The word ‘digital’ kind of represented graphic/video content which I would be able to create by myself and ‘marketing’ was the unexplored part I was intrigued by and wanted to study.”

Barbora Horackova
Barbora on her placement

Learning the theory

All the marketing lectures have experience working in a marketing environment and many run their own business. Their expert knowledge has helped Barbora learn about marketing techniques and then apply them in practice during her placement.

“Everything is very practical and that is what I like about it,” she says. “We have to gain theoretical knowledge but, for me, it is more important to know how to make everything work in a practical situation. My course is a combination of both.”

Barbora has improved her people skills and confidence during her first year. A lot of the assessments in year one are group assessment so you can work as a team and get to know classmates.

“Working on assessments with your group is really useful because you are not in it alone and you can learn how assessments work, what lectures expect from you and you also get to know new people,” she says. “We do many presentations, so you also get the confidence of standing in front of many people presenting your idea/strategy, which is really good for our future because everything is about presenting something or even yourself.”

Future career goals

Barbora wants to work in a digital marketing role, creating content for various digital channels. Her goal is to work as a social media marketer because she enjoys working with statistics and want to use this data to inform new marketing ideas.

She feels studying at Derby has made her a much more confident person and has shaped her personality. She says: “My experience at Derby is really amazing. As an international student from the Czech Republic, I was anxious about this new life abroad but moving to Derby was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.

“I do what I love, I am surrounded by my friends, I am becoming independent and I just love it all here.”

And she has some advice for students on making the best of their time at University: “I say enjoy it, be creative and don’t be afraid to be different.”

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