Emma Farnhill: Managing her first campaign and her proudest moment so far

By Our Graduates on 19 September 2014

Emma Farnhill Blog

Unlike some of the other grad blogs you may have read, mine is based on the 2020 Commercial Placement, which is part of my year in Industry. I didn’t know what to expect from a placement at Sainsbury’s, so I hope that if you’re in the application process this will give you something of an insight!

In the last 5 months I’ve learnt a huge amount working on Sainsbury’s promotional advertising for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day & Easter – some great experiences I won’t be forgetting when I’m back in the library revising!

Not only does the Sainsbury’s 2020 Commercial scheme open your eyes to what working life will be like when you leave university, it also presents you with challenges that will help you gain a better understanding of projects and modules in your final year at uni. It also gives you great exposure and first hand experience of the Sainsbury’s graduate scheme, which you will undoubtedly want to apply for after seeing what a great company Sainsbury’s is to work for!

My first placement has been with the Brand Communications and Sponsorship team. I spent my first week attending photo shoots and working with both media and creative agencies to produce some fantastic promotional adverts. In no time at all I was learning about managing key stakeholder relationships, integrating with both trading and legal teams and building a strong network within the business.

I have loved my first placement. The work is incredibly varied and no two weeks are the same, which is something that makes work very enjoyable. Despite being faced with challenges and responsibilities that you would never expect of someone at university, I’ve felt motivated and encouraged to exceed expectations. For example, I am currently managing my first campaign, taking sole responsibility for Valentine’s Day.

In my first month I was lucky enough to work on the Sainsbury’s Halloween campaign. This was one of the proudest moments for me, as we used a live ten second TV advert to showcase the children’s costumes – something we hadn’t done before.

After being in this team, I will never look at an advert in the same way again, and I am certain advertising will continue to be a great passion of mine. There is no prouder moment for me than when I see an advert I’ve worked on. This, as you can imagine was a very common occurrence during the Christmas campaign - where I was involved in the production of over twenty promotional press and TV adverts that contributed to Sainsbury’s fantastic Christmas campaign.

One of the great things about the Sainsbury’s placement scheme is the support system. Everyone is so positive and you are constantly encouraged to throw yourself at opportunities that will develop your abilities and showcase them to senior stakeholders. My line manager always puts time in to discuss my development plan and all of my team members offer feedback on a regular basis.

I also have my Senior Mentor, who discusses career progression with me on the whole, rather than job-specifically. On top of all that I was also assigned a buddy from the year above, and I’m able to take advantage of the scheme leaders, who are there to discuss any other issues or queries I might have.

I move to trading in March, which I am very excited about – and after that, I hope to apply for the Graduate scheme. If you’re looking for a placement that will be educational, enjoyable and that will deliver invaluable experience, then Sainsbury’s is the one for you.

I would be more than happy to answer any questions about my experience so far or the application process, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the comments box below.


About the author

  • Our GraduatesThe graduates on our 2020 Leaders programme write about their experiences as Sainsbury's graduates.