By Alexandra Tair, 15, Year 10, Outwood Academy City
I am in my second year of the Cutlers’ Ambassadors programme, engineering strand, run by The work-wise Foundation, as part of the programme I get the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement.
For my work experience, I worked with the company CQ Strategic Marketing. All week I worked with Jackie Cook, the Managing Director and Founder of the CQ Strategic Marketing and CQ Marketing Academy, she is a lovely lady and she is dedicated and passionate about her work. All throughout the week, Jackie treated me like one of her staff members rather than a student on work experience.
On the first day of my work experience, I went to Rollem in Barnsley. Throughout the time there I was treated like a work colleague not a student. The atmosphere was so warming and kind. They seemed very work-driven but they were also having a laugh and taking a few breaks here and there to ask me if I needed anything like a drink. Going to somewhere I had never been before, such as Barnsley, and meeting new people was a very scary but exciting experience. This trip took me far out of my comfort zone and this made me enjoy my day even more. The trip made me more confident in the way I act around new people. I enjoyed being in a working environment because it wasn’t something I had done before and I am grateful I had the opportunity to venture somewhere new and meet lovely new people.
In the afternoon, Jackie had a meeting at her office with a lovely lady called Lyndsey Pitchley from Rotherham and Barnsley Mind. While they were having this meeting I was working on back dating Jackie’s old news articles. The atmosphere was lovely, even though they were still working, it made me feel like they were just having a friendly catch-up. All the people I have met so far are so passionate about their jobs and they are so confident with the things they want in life. The people I met were the highlight of my day and also getting out of my comfort zone by meeting these new people.
On the second day, we ventured to Leeds to go to the LBBC Technologies. On our journey there Jackie told me about LBBC is all about and it was fascinating. I was very excited to go to Leeds as it is one of my favourite places in the country, mainly because I am a Leeds United fan. When getting to the company, it was very quiet because I knew people were working hard on all sorts of stuff, they was a few laughs here and there which made me believe that the office is a fun one, even though it may be serious work. That day I focussed on writing up and scheduling social media posts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. I also completed backdating Jackie’s old news articles. This morning felt different from the day before because there was a lot less talking and the atmosphere was very serious. Plans had changed because we were originally supposed to go to LBBC Beechwood but events occurred which meant we couldn’t go to the office. We went to Jackie’s office and I started writing about my experience in the Cutlers’ Ambassadors Programme, , which is the reason for my work placement.
On the third day, we went to Barnsley but this time it was to the company Red Dog Linings. Once again, on our journey there, Jackie told me about the company and the people that worked there. I didn’t really interact with people much because we were sat in a separate office and the staff were doing their jobs. As soon as I walked into the building I felt welcomed by the way the building was set out and the way it didn’t look like an business but more like a community centre. The people I did speak to were so kind and very welcoming, they also didn’t treat me like a student but like a staff member who works alongside them. In the afternoon, we had a meeting with Ash Hammond from Spotlight Studios and Elizabeth Bonfield from BMPCA. Ash and Elizabeth both very confident and that made me realise that to get places, you have to be confident and just be you and that is exactly what they were doing. They are both lovely people and they got on with Jackie really well, I was pleased to see the dedication that Ash, Elizabeth and Jackie all have for their work. This day made me realise how important time management is because of the tight schedule we had, it made me realise that you needed to plan your day if it was going to be a busy one and keeping on that schedule helps keep things organised. I also realised that being successful is how you view it, whether it be owning your own business or working away from home.
On the fourth day, we had a meeting with Alan Lyons from AMRC with Boeing and Sophie Patton from Connect Yorkshire and they are lovely people. I believe that they were both very successful people and it seemed like that because of the way they worked and they recourses and connections they had. Jackie even got Sophie to buy some Leaders in Heels products, which is a win for Jackie because she hasn’t officially announced the partnership with Leaders in Heels. From leaving the meeting I realised that in the AMRC Cafe there was only men and that made me think that you have to be strong headed and willing to push the boundaries if you want to be involved in the engineering and manufacturing industry.
On the last day, I focussed on social media for Jackie’s clients and also packaging gifts from Leaders in Heels for female leaders and that have wide networks and connections.
Over the week, I have developed my skills, met new people, learnt what it was like in a working environment and came out of my comfort zone. By the end of the week, I didn’t want to leave. The experience has been great and I want to keep in contact with Jackie to see how much progress she will make with the Leaders in Heels, CQ Strategic Marketing and CQ Strategic Marketing Academy. I want the best for everyone involved and I want to thank everyone I met over the week for making me feel welcome.
Jackie Cook, Managing Director said “Alex has been willing to learn, reliable, enthusiastic and behaved in a professional manner throughout’s the week’s work experience. She has been a pleasure to work with and I would consider employing her if a suitable opportunity arose in the future.”
by Cutlers’ Ambassador, Alexandra Tair’s work experience story
My name is Kate Leonard, I am 16 years old, and I have recently finished my GCSEs at Wakefield Girls’ High School. During the summer, as part of my aim to make my CV stand out to future employers, I have been working with Jackie Cook, Managing Director of CQ Strategic Marketing on a work experience placement for the past week. As well as improving my CV, I think that it is important to gain an understanding of what working life is like, so that eventually, when I finish full time education, working won’t come as a shock. I have learnt a lot during my work experience placement at CQ Strategic Marketing and feel that it has improved my confidence greatly.
This week, I have visited many of CQ’s clients including Rollem, LBBC Technologies, Red Dog Linings and The work-wise Foundation. I have learnt about what each company does by taking part in meetings, asking questions and being shown around the different factories. I have found this very interesting as prior to my week at CQ Strategic Marketing, I had little to no experience of the different types of manufacturing and engineering that existed. It was fascinating to learn how the companies were managed and how each one differed from the other. I have also taken part in a meeting to prepare for the Get Up to Speed event in March 2019. This has taught me about the time and effort required to prepare huge and important events such as this. During the week, I have learnt about a number of different software packages that are used on a day to day basis in working life, such as Word Press which is used for designing websites, Adobe Illustrator for creating logos and artwork and Adobe InDesign for creating newsletters and brochures. I have written social media posts and learnt how to schedule them on a site called ‘Buffer’, and written a couple of news stories that were recently posted on the CQ Strategic Marketing website.
Considering I am going to Greenhead College in Huddersfield next year, to study for A -Levels in Maths, Economics, and Spanish, I am hoping that this experience will give me an advantage when looking for future work, something that some of my peers may not have. Although I have never really had a certain idea of what I would like my career to be like, this week, I have been lucky enough to experience a world of work, giving me the information that I need to make important decisions about my future career.
Jackie Cook said “Kate has spent the week with myself, attending client meetings and been involved in writing news articles and social media for ours and our clients businesses. Kate is an intelligent, engaging and well presented young woman with a willingness and interest in learning.”
by My first week at work by Kate Leonard
CQ Marketing Academy and Leaders in Heels will be exhibiting at the annual Chamber means Business event on Thursday 6th September 2018, from 8am to 2:30pm at AESSEAL New York Stadium, Rotherham. The event brings together hundreds of people to network, share ideas and do business together. Guests will have the opportunity to talk to Jackie Cook, MD of CQ Marketing Academy and UK Stockist of Leaders in Heels.
CQ Marketing Academy provides quality, accessible marketing training, coaching and mentoring for business owners and marketing teams in B2B markets.
Leaders in Heels in an online community and a stationery brand created to nurture, inspire and empower women. They design inspirational stationery to help women develop habits of successful leaders and to encourage them to go after their dreams and make their mark on the world.
Jackie said “We are pleased to be exhibiting at this year’s Chamber means Business event, where we will be launching our new range of marketing training courses for business owners and marketing teams. We will also be selling our new Leaders in Heels range of products for which we are the only UK stockist.”
To find out more and book your free place to attend the event please visit the Chamber means Business website.
by CQ Marketing Academy and Leaders in Heels will be exhibiting at Chamber means Business
Having recently completed sponsoring a Guide Dog named Fifi for two years, CQ Strategic Marketing is proud to announce that Fifi has completed her training and has been matched up with her new owner John. She has settled in to her new home brilliantly and John is now able to go on holiday – something that prior to Fifi’s arrival was not possible. John says that she has become ‘a big part of our family’ and that she brings them ‘so much happiness’. Fifi has allowed her new owner to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else, something that the Guide Dog charity is passionate about.
Jackie Cook, Managing Director of CQ Strategic Marketing said “We are delighted that the dog we have sponsored has made such an amazing change to someone’s life and are looking forward to continuing our support of the charity.”
The importance of helpful and charitable actions is recognised and is considered to be a priority within CQ Strategic Marketing. Because of this, they have decided to sponsor another puppy in the hope that it will help someone with sight loss, the same way that Fifi did.
The new puppy Alfie, is described as ‘happy and confident’ making the trainers convinced that he will be suited for the job. He is a playful and friendly dog who is very well-behaved and responds well to commands such as ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘stand’. CQ Strategic Marketing look forward to tracking Alfie’s progress and hope that by sponsoring him, he will be able to make another amazing difference to someone’s life.
by CQ Strategic Marketing continues support for Guide Dogs for the Blind
My name is Charlie Creed, I am 19 years old, and I’m currently studying level 3 business at Rotherham College of Arts & Technology. I have come on work experience with Jackie Cook who is the owner CQ Strategic Marketing so that I can gain some knowledge and have the feel of what it is like in the world of work and in a work place environment. I expected work experience to be boring just like those other times my teachers sent me out on placement but this time it was actually fun, exciting and learnt a lot from it.
This week on work experience had been great. I got to visit manufacturing companies such as Rollem, LBBC Technologies, Red Dog Linings, Newburgh Precision which are CQ’s clients and learnt about what they manufacture, how each of the businesses operates differently to each other. I also got to meet some of the Managing Director’s that told me their story about how they got to where they are today and I now know that with hard work that it is possible to become a business owner.
Jackie took me to University of Huddersfield to a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event about business, the speakers taught me about how they got into starting up their own business, CIM qualifications and gave me advice on how to make a CV that stands out to get the employer to notice you.
Before I finish college, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing next year and at first I thought spending the week on work experience was a waste because how was that going to help me decide what I was going to do next year. But spending the week on work experience with Jackie had opened my eyes up to the real world. That there are so many opportunities and that there aren’t just one but many other routes such as CIM to take me down my career path into business.
She had also taught me what it’s like to operate in a working environment and that it takes time, dedication, confidence and hard work. I learnt very valuable skills and knowledge which gave me a better understanding of business which I probably wouldn’t have learnt in college. This week was worth it because of how much knowledge I gained but it also gave me a lot to think about and helped me to decide what I am wanting to do next year.
by Rotherham College Student – my work experience