At Oxygen Finance, we believe in being a responsible employer within the local community and nurturing the next generation of professionals. In line with this commitment, our Marketing Director, John Newton, recently had the opportunity to share his experience with BTEC Level 3 Marketing students at Halesowen College.
We sat down with John to understand more about his volunteering experience connecting with aspiring marketers, the insights he provided to the students, and the importance of companies supporting their employees in community outreach.
Connecting with Aspiring Marketers
As part of its support of students throughout their studies, Halesowen College creates opportunities for their students to learn directly from professionals, allowing them to gain an insight into the world of work and how businesses operate.
“When Alison Tucker, the Marketing Pathway Lead at Halesowen College, invited me to speak, I was thrilled. I’ve known her for years, and so she knew of my interest in welcoming newcomers to the marketing profession,” shared John.
Change is a Constant
Reflecting on the changes in the media marketplace over his career, John remarked, “I’ve seen digital marketing go from a very small part of a marketer’s budget to taking the lion’s share”.
This insight offered a valuable lesson about the reality of the marketing profession. “I wanted the students to grasp that change is constant, and that the communication channels that dominate consumer’s time can change considerably“, John added.
The Customer Should Be Our Focus
A key takeaway from John’s seminar was the importance of maintaining a customer-centric focus: “Understanding what customers think, need, read, and watch is key. It’s a compass for navigating the dynamic marketing landscape. That was a crucial point I wanted to drive home.”
During the session, John also provided practical insights into marketing planning and introduced the students to various tools for creating effective digital marketing campaigns.
Looking In Their Own Backyard
To help the students prepare for employment, John shared insights into the key sectors and types of businesses in the West Midlands. This information not only added to the students’ understanding of the local industry but also highlighted the diverse opportunities available in their own backyard.
Reflecting On a Rewarding Experience
Recalling the day with the students, John expressed, “It was incredibly rewarding to see the students’ engagement and eagerness to learn about real-world applications of digital marketing, and great to get a few challenging questions too!”
John highlighted how Oxygen Finance’s volunteering program enables employees to contribute to the community and encouraged others to consider similar opportunities, emphasising the mutual learning that occurs when sharing experiences with tomorrow’s business professionals.
Speaking about the visit, Alison Tucker, Marketing Pathway Lead at Halesowen College said, “As a college we look to bridge the gap between academia and the professional world. Inviting experts like John into college provides a great learning experience for our students.”
We’ll leave the last word to John: “I truly appreciate how Oxygen values community engagement. The volunteering days programme allowed me to take time out of my working day to contribute to the students’ learning experience, and for me to learn, in turn, from them.”