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Daniel Hand is on a placement year at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Marketing Management – but for the last 14 months he’s been interning as a data analyst at Lakestar McCann. Before Dan leaves to embark on his final year at university, we wanted to catch up with him to see how he’s found his year interning at a digital marketing agency.

So Dan, tell us what a typical day as a data analyst looks like for you?

Mondays are always quite busy, but it varies, each week we have daily, weekly and monthly reports to do, but then we also help out the PPC and SEO team and other departments. I’m quite good at Excel now, so I get a lot of questions about that! It’s a nice mix because I get an idea of what the other channels do, and I can widen my skillset.

Do you think your internship will help you get a job in digital marketing once you’ve finished your degree?

I think so yeah, I’ve learned a lot about other channels and I think having experience and knowledge of each can only go in my favour.

What have you enjoyed most about your internship experience? 

Well, the free cake is always good! I’ve met a lot of great people who I’d like to keep in touch with and everyone has been so kind and welcoming so it made it really easy to settle in. I’ve enjoyed pushing myself too, it’s made me more confident and I’ve enjoyed seeing a new side to myself. When I first started I was nervous about simple things like answering the phone, but now it’s just second nature.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working at Lakestar McCann? 

Probably to write everything down and have a pen and notepad with you at all times. Even if you think you’ll remember it, write it down because you could forget.

What advice would you give to others considering doing an internship in digital marketing?

I was really lucky in that I applied through the university and got the job here, but I know that some people struggled more. I would say take a chance and go for the job, throw yourself in at the deep end and take a risk  – even if you don’t like it, at least you’ve tried and you can learn from the experience. It’s experience of the situation rather than the job sometimes. You’ll learn skills at a placement that you can take back to your course, and it helps to have a good eye for detail.

Has it given you a better idea of what area you’d like to specialise in? E.g. PPC, SEO?

I’ve enjoyed all aspects of it, but I also want to try out other areas of marketing such as TV and radio or advertising, just so I can experience it all. Getting a wider range of skills can only help me moving forward.

How has your internship enhanced your university degree?

I suppose we’ll wait and see. But I’ve definitely got more confidence and a better work ethic, I’m excited to go back and to see how much I’ve improved – working full time has made me appreciate it so much more.

Have you enjoyed a year off studying to work in the digital marketing sector?

Yeah definitely, at the end of my second year it was time for a break from education so I was ready to start something new.

What’s been the most challenging part of your internship?

I think starting the job was the most challenging part. I struggled to go from student to full time professional because it was a lifestyle change. I didn’t really know anything when I started so everything has been brand new, so it’s all been a challenge. I’ve seen an improvement in myself since I first started so I think I’ve developed in myself and my skills which is good.

 If you could have any job in the world, regardless of talent, money or experience, what would it be?

I’d be the songwriter for The Muppets films; that would be my dream job. Or I’d like a job where I could play with and look after puppies all day, I love animals.

That’s an interesting answer! When you’re not being a data analyst what are you doing at the weekend?

Socialising with friends and I enjoy playing the guitar and listening to music – I could play the guitar and write the songs for The Muppets! I’m also a fan of TV series – I like Peaky Blinders at the moment. The Walking Dead is a big favourite of mine too.

Do you think you’ll pursue a career in digital marketing after completing your degree?

Yeah I enjoy it, plus I’ve been offered a job here, so yes!

We look forward to welcoming Dan back after his degree! If you’re interested in working at Lakestar McCann keep an eye out for our latest vacancies here.

How have you found your internship experiences? Would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the comments below.