My journey as a working student at imc: More than making coffee and photocopies
Opening the doors to my dream job with a little courage and motivation
At university, theory is often the main focus, while practical application is skimmed over at best. That’s why it pays to arrange an internship or student job in a company – and it’s never too early to apply for that. This prepares students for their future professional life and helps to avoid the struggles frequently experienced when looking for an entry-level role. Quite often, it is these very jobs that become a ticket to the dream job.
That is exactly what happened to me – Doreen Hartmann, former working student in Marketing at imc AG. In this article, I will share everything about my journey at imc and how motivation and courage can become a recipe for success. But let’s start at the beginning...
Junior Marketing and Communications Manager at imc since October 2021
Motivation and preparation beat professional experience
In September 2019, I had not long started my business administration degree at Saarland University in Saarbrücken. The perfect time to figure out what I wanted to do after graduation and gain some early work experience in that field. Of course, that meant I needed a student job.
All said and done. In my degree course, I really liked marketing and management. I’m not much of a number cruncher and generally have more of a creative mindset. Therefore, I started looking for a student job in marketing. Soon after, I noticed a vacancy posted by imc. However, I was unable to meet all requirements listed in the job profile, because I had only worked in catering and retail – as many students do.
I still tried my luck regardless, and soon received an invitation for an interview! A job offer followed just three days later, and I clinched a contract as a working student in the Marketing & Communications department. While I lacked professional experience, I scored with good preparation, dedication, and motivation. That was the first step in my journey with imc.
Starting from scratch: Back to learning, learning and more learning
I started my student job in October 2019 with little marketing knowledge, but a generous helping of enthusiasm. The first few weeks were marked by a wealth of new expertise, comprehensive processes I needed to learn and incomprehensible terminology. I somewhat felt as if I was back at school. It seemed like I had to start from scratch and learn everything anew. As I would later find out, this did pay off.
Initially, I was given minor tasks like copywriting for our social media channels, event preparation and smaller research tasks. At this point, I was also introduced to a new marketing automation tool – and I was involved in its implementation from day one. I could participate in all workshops, which afforded me the opportunity to gain sufficient knowledge so that I could take on my own tasks.
Stepping out of the sidelines and into the action
My area of responsibility gradually and consistently grew, and I was soon entrusted with my first own projects. I had the opportunity to help implement our new website and handled our internal “success ticker” that informs imc employees about the previous month’s achievements. I also took on the editing of use cases for our main product – the imc Learning Suite – and the preparation of our external newsletter E-Learning Insights that keeps anyone interested in e-learning up to date on the latest e-learning trends. We all live by the motto: “Get involved! There are better things to do than making coffee and photocopies!”
From disasters to showpieces
With that, my responsibilities also increased. If you were being very diplomatic, my first newsletter creation might pass as having room for improvement. Looking back, it was a bit of a disaster. Thinking about how my work is sent out to hundreds of people and that errors cannot be rectified did not help, and it made me nervous. But we all know: Practice makes perfect, and challenges help you grow.
That is exactly how my newsletter disaster developed into a newsletter showpiece, and only a few weeks later, I was not only permanently responsible for our E-Learning Insights Newsletter, but also for our exclusive customer newsletter.
My impression: At imc, working students are full-fledged team members
In my personal experience, imc considers working students full-fledged members of the company. Instead of simply delegating unthankful tasks, people at imc take great care to ensure working students learn and develop. You participate in monthly team meetings, project-related activities and internal events. Of course, the benefits don’t stop with work: We all love our CandyBar, additional leave and employee discounts. Interacting with colleagues is a way of life: Colleagues from different departments enjoy a quick chat in the kitchen while making coffee, catch up over lunch or toast to the weekend on a Friday afternoon.
Flexibility and personal development
As a student, flexibility was also extremely important to me, as I had to juggle university life, work, and leisure. The company was very flexible and let me set a schedule for the days and times I would come to the office to ensure that my work did not compromise my studies. Especially during the often stressful exam period, the option to move working days and make up the hours in the semester break was available.
Personal development and networking across city and country boundaries is also made easy. Various internal employee programmes are available to all employees, and that specifically includes working students. That includes the Brand Ambassador Programme, as well as various projects and events on Diversity and Female Empowerment which strengthen diversity in the company. Other activities, internal events and regular updates from the Executive Board strengthen solidarity and team spirit, which is a top priority in the imc Marketing Team anyway. At imc, all working students are part of the team – and that feels great!
Degree in the pocket ... and now?
My degree course was coming to a close, and I kept asking myself: What next? Thankfully, imc offered me a position as Junior Marketing & Communications Manager, allowing me to continue my journey. At the interface between Marketing and Communication, I will now support my own campaigns, maintain internal channels, and even start my own coverage of certain topics in addition to my existing projects.
I can also apply the marketing knowledge gained as a working student in global processes and product campaigns, guaranteeing 360-degree training. As a permanent employee, I also benefit from the flexibility of hybrid work, and am free to decide whether I want to work from home or come to the office. Now, exactly two years after I started my student job, I’m sitting here, writing my very first article about my early days at imc, looking back at my journey in satisfaction.
My tip: Go for it!
Finally, I want to send everyone toeing the line for their start into their professional on their way with this piece of advice: Go for it! Work experience is not always the be all and end all. Motivation, interest, and ambition will often count for more. Let’s be honest: When a company is hiring, they will often ask for specific knowledge and skills. Yet, you have to start somewhere. If nobody gives you a chance when you enter the job market, where is that experience meant to come from?
So, let’s hear it for all companies that open the door for us students and newcomers and let us enter the professional world! Looking back, I highly recommend seizing this opportunity during your studies.
What are you waiting for? Apply before someone beats you to it!
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I have been working permanently in the imc Marketing & Communication Team since 2021. The mix of creative content creation, social media and online marketing activities is what excites me most about my job.
My goal is to inspire people with creative and innovative content and to make the imc brand more tangible.
My passion besides my job? Travelling a lot and discovering the most beautiful places in the world. I'm always happy to receive feedback or suggestions at [email protected]!