Internship’19 – SEO Consultant

My Internship in Autumn 2019 – by Pia Nitschke

Made possible by the EU Erasmus+ program, I was able to do an internship for three weeks at Cressive DX.  I was hoping to get some more insight into the whole world of SEO and online marketing. Luckily, I got accepted at Cressive and got to spend those 3 weeks in an apprentice SEO consultant role.

Cressive DX is a fast-growing technology and services company, located in the Surrey Technology Centre in Guildford. Their focus includes digital branding improvement and digital reporting for big brands, as well as doing local work such as sponsoring events.

Even though I have only been there for 3 weeks, I got the opportunity to do some really interesting work. Together with the Managing Director, Richard Game, I managed to create a new process for the comparison of SEO keywords across different markets for a client. Another one of my tasks included managing the social media for Cressive, such as promoting the Guildford Book Festival and the author they were sponsoring. I have also helped with the launch of their website in German, and did tasks such as the simple auditing of their clients’ websites or doing some research on keywords and domains.

Considering I had no knowledge of the whole subject when I started, I still think that I have learnt a lot and got a lot of new input. Overall, I am now certain about pursuing a career in digital marketing, even though I have got more exploring to do. I would also like to thank the team for the nice working atmosphere and the fun tasks I was allowed to help them with.

Pia Nitschke

Placement ’19 – SEO Apprentice

My Placement – by George Crabtree

I decided to choose a Sandwich course for my degree at the University of Surrey. This meant that for my third of four years studying Economics & Finance, I would work for a year in industry.

I wasn’t really sure what line of work I wanted to go into so doing a years experience sounded like a great idea. SEO isn’t a widely known industry and as such I hadn’t heard of it before, however the more I looked into it and it was explained to me, the more I found it interesting and something I would happily work towards for my placement year.

Given Cressive is located near the university, it allowed me to stay in contact with friends and live within walking distance which was great. As a fast growing company, this enabled me to join in with larger projects and get real hands-on experience with clients. I felt I was a valued member of the team and I could actually see my impact within the company through helping with tasks and projects.

My job role was SEO Consultant Apprentice so I had the challenge of learning SEO in one year. Considering I had no knowledge of the subject when I started, I have learned a substantial amount. I didn’t only learn about Google, the Internet and digital marketing however – in a more simple way I was given office experience in a professional environment which is transferable to any future job.

In my economics course I learned how to interpret and manipulate data so when it came to my job at Cressive I had some experience in that area. Being able to apply this to real, live data for clients was great and showed me a useful application from my course.

I was trained in all aspects related to digital marketing to give an all round knowledge of the industry, including full SEO site audits, social marketing and digital reporting. Although not perfectly applicable, if I were to choose a different career path I believe these skills have a broader benefit and can be transferred to whatever line of work I go into.

Overall it has been an immensely positive experience and I have learned much more than I thought I would in just one year, about digital marketing and general working life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year, it’s that the more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. I now feel ready for my final year at university and subsequently to get a full time job.

George Crabtree, University of Surrey, Economics 2020

WXG 7 – “Exploring the good technology brings”

This year’s Web Expo Guildford (WXG 7) was an exciting event, packed with excellent speakers and attendees – and even a few surprises. Being a technology company based in Guildford, it only made sense for us to attend 😉

After enjoying a full-spread breakfast, the event kicked off with Gavin from Kyan giving an intro to what WXG is all about, after which Robert from Wirehive took over to be the host for the day (and an excellent one at that).

The rest of the day involved listening to a series of very interesting speakers, who shared their stories of how they are doing some good in the world (using technology). I can’t do their talks justice in this short post, but let me highlight a few nuggets that we heard about.

Dr Tamer Shahin from mimitec presenting in front of an audience at Web Expo Guildford (WXG 7)

Dr Tamer Shahin from mimitec at WXG 7

Dr Tamer Shahin from mimitec shared his company’s development: a smart mirror which can learn your behaviour and monitor it to pick up subtle cues that hint at deteriorating mental health. The subject of mental health is very topical and with many of us knowing people who suffer from mental health issues, it is a widespread issue and often goes unnoticed. How cool is it that a mirror can evaluate your appearance and even monitor your heart rate to raise a flag for an expert to look into?

Steven Woodgate from Microsoft speaking in front of an audience at Web Expo Guildford (WXG 7)

Steven Woodgate from Microsoft at WXG 7

Staying on a related theme, Steven Woodgate from Microsoft came next, talking about the accessibility features available in Office 365. It was great to see how Steven was using these accessibility features in his own life and work. Something he stressed, which I admittedly hadn’t thought of myself either, was that these accessibility features aren’t just for those who need them, but are accessible and can make everyone’s lives a little bit easier.

Chris Dowling from Unmade speaks in front of an audience at Web Expo Guildford (WXG 7)

Chris Dowling from Unmade at WXG 7

One of the most interesting speakers was Chris Dowling from Unmade – a fashion brand. Chris’ talk was titled “Saving the world with SVGs – but he wasn’t wrong. He and his team have developed a fantastic web-based platform that allows their customers to design their own team sportswear, which can be sent to printing machines and the fabric gets printed and stitched exactly how the customer wants it. It doesn’t sound like much, but when factoring in the reduced setup times and taking away the need to print 1000s in stock to maximise efficiency, it all adds up and contributes to reducing a lot of waste.

It wasn’t all just neat tools and products though; Chris Todhunter from Studio Republic shared how his company, a small design agency, decided to go green and has since made it part of their company’s identity. Every decision is made considering the impact it has on the world, society and the planet. Chris is one of the bold businessmen who will turn down a client, if the project is related to anything that contributes to harming the planet.

Daniel Harvey from The Dots Global also used the stage to bring awareness, but this time on the negatives that technology can bring and how to counter them. From social media scandals, to data leaks, to kids getting exposed to things they really should not be, Dan’s talk was an eye-opener. My favourite talk of the day, you can read more about it on his Medium post on the same subject.

We also got to hear about how the World Wildlife Foundation has used technology to raise awareness about conservation efforts, and even produce a nature series released exclusively on Netflix: Our Planet (narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough). We also got to hear how technology is bringing good change to the sports industry ,from Rebecca Hopkins from Sports Technology Awards; where one good eye opener was that sports is larger than just the big name clubs and athletes, which are a small drop in the big world of sports.

The event ended with a demonstration by Seb Lee-Delisle, a digital artist and laserist. He talked about arcade games and how those used to have a display which can only be mimicked by lasers; and then gave us a spectacular demonstration of how lasers worked and a re-creation of classic arcade games like Space Invaders! Not really revolving around the tech for good theme, but LASERS! How cool is that?!

All in all, I think it was a fantastic event and all of the speakers deserve a (virtual) shout-out for their excellent talks and the work they do. Kyan and Wirehive did a great job organising this year’s WXG and I look forward to attending it again next year.

Summer Internship ’18

My Summer Internship – by Jacqueline Powling

During the summer before my last year of University, I was hoping to get some experience in a working environment and try something that may relate to my Economics degree. I was fortunate enough to find that locally with Cressive DX and spent 10 weeks working in an apprentice SEO consultant role.

Cressive DX is a fast-growing technology and services company, located in the Surrey Technology Centre on Surrey Research Park in Guildford. Their focus is digital branding improvement and digital reporting for big brand names – I’ll be honest I didn’t really know what that was before this summer but I had a great time finding out and contributing.

Despite being a small team currently, they have some huge clients, which made it a really interesting and fun experience (I’m impressed how they got such large clients and manage them so well). They also love to try and explore new things – including hiring a summer intern, which I’m happy to report worked out well!

I was offered a huge variety of tasks to choose from and try, including data checking their proprietary software, managing their social media, “branding myself” (even building my own social profiles and website) and data analysis – and I even learnt some coding. My highlight was to design some software in order to enhance their reporting system (following my data checking, I tried to formulate a way to automatically detect any noticeable changes in the data), and felt like a valued member of the team when they asked for my input.

They were so supportive and encouraging throughout, allowing me to focus on the aspects I found more exciting or get involved with other tasks and projects that interested me. They answered any questions I had about business, digital reporting or SEO, or anything else and they speak so passionately about it – they love what they do and just want you to as well. Nevertheless, they were very understanding that I had no real understanding of digital marketing to begin with and just wanted me to get the most out of it.

As I still don’t know exactly what I want to do after University, they said that even if I get to the end of the summer and decide it isn’t what I want to do as a career, then that’s still useful too. If you put the effort in yourself it is difficult not to learn a lot during an Internship. This meant I could just enjoy my time there and try to get the most out of it without worrying or stressing about anything, and whilst the time at Cressive hasn’t answered all my job questions it has helped me appreciate and understand both marketing and technical roles in the work place.

I was previously more inclined towards working for a larger company; however, having completed an internship in a smaller company, I would highly recommend it to any prospective interns! There are varied tasks as all the projects are going on around you and you are more integrated into the team. As for my future plans, I am quite keen on working in a fast-moving technology environment. All in all, it couldn’t have worked out better and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity.

Jacqueline Powling, University of Birmingham, between Yr 2 & 3