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20 March 2024
by Sarah Mahmud

A day in the life of a placement student at ForrestBrown


Sarah Mahmud

3rd year BSc Business student, University of Exeter

Marketing Operations Associate – Business Growth Team


My first few days at ForrestBrown were exhilarating yet nerve-wracking. Being a university placement student with zero office experience was intimidating. But guess what? The nerves depleted faster than my morning latte. The first few weeks involved an intensive but insightful onboarding process. It was helpful to learn not just about the company’s processes and ways of working, but its values too. The business growth team uses a host of tools to help and communicate with our clients and prospects, none of which I’d used before. At first it was daunting - getting to grips with all the different systems, understanding how data informed the different decisions being made on a daily basis, or how our CRM (customer relationship management tool) linked with our other marketing software – but I’m becoming more confident every day.


Working as a Marketing Operations Associate, my day is probably a bit different to that of those in our tax team. However, I’m pretty sure we all start our days the same way… thinking about what outfit to wear to work that day. Let’s talk fashion. Not that I’m the next Gigi Hadid, but the office dress code is a blessing and a curse. At ForrestBrown there is a casual dress code, which is great – but sometimes choice can be paralysing!

The first part of the working day consists of workflow planning with my colleagues in the marketing team. We check in with each other in the middle as well as at the beginning and end of the week, which is helpful, making sure the progress and prioritisation of tasks is communicated within the team. These catch ups might include discussing and planning social media content, feeding back on the success of a marketing campaign, or catching up on event plans or important policy or technical updates we need to be aware of.

Later in the morning, I have a call with client where we discuss their experience of working with ForrestBrown for a testimonial I’m writing for the website. Then afterward I meet with our digital marketing manager and discuss ideas for a new campaign on LinkedIn.


Today is Wednesday which means we have a team lunch. This is a great time to connect with people from across the business. Plus, it is also the perfect excuse to try food from restaurants I have never tried before! Today we’ve got jacket potatoes, spud-tacular!

Our office is centrally located, in the business district. Surrounded by restaurants and food markets. Every now and then I treat myself to loaded waffle fries from Los Hermanos, one of my favourite pop-ups.

Wednesday is not just about delicious food and catching up with colleagues, it’s also ‘Workout Wednesday’ – which means you can take an hour out of your working day to do some exercise. Today I’m joining some colleagues at yoga.


The best part of my job is that I get to be creative. Whether it’s communicating with clients and prospects about their business needs, collaborating with the data team on projects, or creating content for all our different channels, every challenge is different, and requires a unique approach.

Our team is agile, and whilst we work strategically, we can be required to respond to events as they unfold. R&D tax relief has undergone a period of substantial change and there is a huge amount of technical detail to absorb and process. In the afternoon our team comes together for a strategy session to share learnings from the recent Autumn Statement and to plan how we are going to deliver a campaign to clients in the new year to help them understand how the change will impact their businesses.


A week at ForrestBrown, can go past in a flash – but not before Friday is done. At ForrestBrown we work with some of the UK’s most innovative companies. We go above and beyond to deliver for clients. Seeing that service in action is incredibly rewarding. Another rewarding part of the week is ‘beer o’clock’, when the fridges are opened, and our team wraps up the remainder of our deliverables with a cold one —or for those who prefer, a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage. It’s like the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, you survived another week of adulting!”

ForrestBrown was not at all what I expected it to be like. It’s even better. The culture and values really shine through the wonderful people that work here.

My biggest worry before joining was not settling in properly as I am only a placement student. However, everyone has made me feel welcomed, included, and appreciated.

Reflecting on my time here, it’s safe to say that so far this journey has been a rollercoaster of growth and learning. This really is a great place to work, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here has in store for me.