Category Archives: Learning from Life

Learning from Life is over (?!?!)(section 4)

I cant’t believe my six weeks with Tracy Locke is over. It really has flown by and I am so thankful for all the fantastic opportunities I have been given while working here. I have met so many new people and visited places that I never thought I would and I am really so, so thankful.

Feelings before: before this placement I was both nervous and excited. Like I have said in previous posts, this is (was) an industry I didn’t know much or anything about which was something I thought would hold me back. I was also nervous about meeting so many new people.

Feelings during:  I am happy to say that these were very silly things to be nervous about as I have been made to feel so welcomed by so many nice people! While I have been on placement I really have learnt so much about advertising and marketing and how this industry is run. There are so many different areas such as digital, creative and strategic. This is just to name a few but each area has so many people working for it and each and everyone is important in helping us make that decision while standing in the aisle at the supermarket.

Originally when I have seen adverts for companies, such as Pizza Hut, I had assumed that it was them who would make the adverts, menus etc. However, it is agencies who do this work for them and make the adverts amazing (the latest controversial Pepsi advert was made without an advertising company and look what happened there…)

Feelings after: I mainly just can’t believe it’s over so quickly and that I have spent 6 weeks here. I have learnt so much while being here and the knowledge I have gained could definitely be something I could base a class project or a number of lessons on. I could have different groups in my class and assign them to specific teams, like digital and creative, and make the outcome of the lesson be to make an advert.

I have been able to work on my professionalism while being here too but I have been able to see professionalism in a different context. There is quite a different dress code here as people can wear jeans in the office which is something we wouldn’t do in the classroom, but this does not make anyone any less professional.

Additionally, I have been able to work on my professional language through speaking to a variety of people and also through email. Email is the main use of communication here so you must be able to give a good first impression and have a professional attitude to any work that you are given.

Being here at Tracy Locke has also allowed me to work on skills within collaborative working. For each client (e.g. Pizza Hut, Samsung, Johnson and Johnson etc.) there is a team of people who do the work them which means although people in the team have different roles, they all have to work together and communicate so that a goal can be reached. Additionally, members of the team may work with other people in the company (e.g. strategic directors) if the work they’re doing requires more help.

Have I met goals/audit?: I believe that I really have! In my audit of skills in one of my first posts I stated that my self confidence was at a 2 out of 3. I believe that being here I can now put this at a 1. I have met so many new people that I have felt completely comfortable talking to and I managed to do a presentation in front of the team which they all really enjoyed.

I also rated my computer skills at a 2. While being here I have used a computer every single day and used programs such as word, excel and Keynote which has allowed me to become a lot more “computer confident” and something I will do more often when I’m home.

I wanted to see how advertising affected children and I found a lot of this through reading which I have referred to in previous posts and I will most definitely be able to apply all of this new knowledge to HWB lessons regarding advertising and the effects it can have on us as consumers.

I unfortunately did not get the chance to work directly with the Marcus Graham project due to timing but my attendance in the diversity meeting allowed me to have a good understanding about the current issue in advertising of a severe lack of diversity within its employees.

Now it’s time for a bit of travelling! I am going to Los Angeles this weekend to visit some family friends and then on Tuesday I am going to Ann Arbor in Michigan where I am going to spend a few days in Huron Valley elementary school which will be a fantastic experience as I will be able to compare the education system’s to Scotland’s.


Section 3

•Investigate aspects of the values and culture of the placement provider and the impact on their stakeholders.

The advertising and marketing industry has been traditionally unattractive to people of colour and has not been encouraging of women to senior positions.

The values of Tracy Locke (TL) are entirely contrary to this and as a company have done more in both of these areas than many in the advertising and marketing industry. For instance, the industry average statistic for women in senior creative positions is 11.5%, whereas TL’s is 35%.

Similarly, TL’s annual intern programme has to consist of 1/3 of placements from diverse ethnic backgrounds. TL also operates high standards and values for all employees offering more favourable maternity and paternity packages, clear guidelines on performance review and pay rises and more personal time off than many other companies in its industry.

Lastly, TL is a company that believes business success should also equate to individual success. a successful year will always result in a financial bonuses for all employees, which will encourage employees to work hard all year round.

In an environment where diversity, gender, ethnicity and sexuality is at the top of many businesses agenda, TL progress in these respects, making it highly attractive to potential clients which leads to incremental revenue. Similarly, it ensures that TL can attract the best talent in the North American advertising industry which leads to optimal creative output.

Lastly and inevitably, companies with positive values receive equally positive attention in their industry, press and media. This has a positive halo effective on TL’s stakeholders.

Huron Valley Catholic School

This week I spent 3 days in Huron Valley Catholic school. This school is a private fee paying school with a roll of just over 100 pupils. The school caters to pre-school children all the way to 8th grade (about 14 years old). The school is very much focused on its religion and ensuring that children get the most out of their education with love, care and attention from all of their teachers.

5th to 8th grade acts like an American middle school (and to us the early years of secondary school which means they would have specific teachers for certain lessons such as social studies and language arts).

My first day was spent with the second grade class which had 13 pupils in it aged 8 or 9. I observed the teachers lessons and helped pupils when they had questions. I also gave a presentation to the class about Scotland which they really enjoyed and liked the fact I included The Loch Ness Monster as there was a film made recently about it that they had all seen. This was also a good opportunity for me as I have been on my MA1 placement and gained skills for teaching and better observational skills. The teacher of this class used different forms of questioning and classroom organisation was important with all the girls sitting together and the boys sitting together.

Additionally, there was a big focus on their maths as it was a topic they were finding quite difficult (subtraction). We did a lot of work on this to ensure the pupils had a good undrstanding of the topic.

On Thursday I went to a baseball game with the 6th, 7th, 8th graders which was great fun and it gave me to opportunity to supervise on the school trip. This trip also let me see how involved the parents are with the school as without them we
would have not got into Detroit as they all used their own cars to get the pupils to to the trip and a school assistant drove me and the teachers.

Finally, Friday let me go and visit the other classes and give my Scotland presentation. This was a good opportunity as I was able to see how the older classes were taught and it was great because they had very good questions.

After being in a classroom again for the first time in a while it has allowed to look into and relate a lot more to the SPRs and in particular, the SPR of integrity.

I believe I met the outcome of Trust and Respect very well while being here. Part of the Trust and Respect outcome states that students teachers should be:

  • Acting and behaving in ways that develop a culture of trust and respect through, for example, being trusting and respectful of others within the school, and with all those involved in influencing the lives of learners in and beyond the learning community.

I believe I met this while being here as after meeting all the pupils and teachers I treated everyone with the same respect and the same goes for them with me. I was trusted with the classes when giving my presentation and answering questions.

Also, being on the school trip contributed to this too as we were outwit the learning community but it still meant I was to act professionally and be someone the children can turn to if needed.

I had a great time at this school and it was a fantastic learning opportunity for me to see such a different type of school in comparison to the ones I have been in at home and it was great to, again, meet so many nice people.



Some Light Reading

As previously stated I have wanted to do some research into how advertising is affecting children and young people. I have been doing work for this industry for 5 weeks so I know that the point in advertising is to make people want to buy the product and do it in a way that will make them really want to buy the item or buy it on whim because the offer is in front of them at the time.

We are affected by advertising every single day. From the moment we wake up and turn on the television to the magazine we read before going to bed (Lusted, 2009) and this is why I have done some research on how it can affect children and how food advertising has an effect on them.

Jordan and Romer state that the issue we face now is not whether food advertising causes harm to children but it is how to safeguard children and young people from its “negative influence”.

Additionally, they state that to solve the issue of advertising negatively influencing children ranges from educating young people about media literacy and the positive impact healthy eating will have on  their bodies to protect them from exposure to unhealthy advertising; to promoting healthy diets and physical activity through advertising and social media.  This allows me to understand that as a teacher I should be ensuring that children know the importance of healthy eating and the effects that an unhealthy lifestyle can have.

Calvert and Wilson (2011) state that “children’s food habits are acquired in early life (Birch 2009) and the structure of what children watch in advertising is not written onto a blank slate in terms of reception by the child; rather it is assimilated into an already set of established set of preferences and choices.”

Calvert and Wilson also suggests that children go for the unhealthy food options as it more often than not will contain a free toy. This is an important marketing ploy from companies that will encourage children to eat their food for the toy and keep coming back so they can have the whole collection.

I feel like this post from the reading I’ve done has quite a negative outlook on advertising. Without advertising companies would not be able to make their money and encourage consumers to shop with them.

However, there are arguments that advertising can have a positive effect on children too. Adverts with children playing sports and having fun will encourage children to exercise and keep fit and healthy (Nurmi, 2013).

Positive adverts do not just affect children. Positive outcomes can also include public service advertisements. Many public service announcements talk about about health, safety and national security which allow people to remain safe and healthy in life (Morely, 2017).


Calvert and Wilson (2011) The Handbook of Children, Media and Development. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing

Lusted (2009) Advertising to Children. Edina: ABDO Publishing Company

Jordan and Romer (2014) Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents. New York: Oxford University Press

Morely (2017) The Positive Effects of Advertising. Available at: (Accessed on: 18th April 2017)

Numri (2013) The Many Angles to Advertisements. Available at: (Accessed on 18th April 2017)

Bringing Scotland to Dallas

It’s Monday again… but it’s my last Monday with Tracy Locke! I seriously cannot believe I only have a matter of days left here.

Today I did a presentation about my life in Scotland which it seemed like everyone really enjoyed! It was so good to be able to tell them about my life in Scotland and at university and teach them about a variety of things such as education, politics and Scottish culture. I also answered questions that they had. It was so funny seeing their reactions to the fact that we have free health care and university tuition in Scotland as that has never been a thing here and something that they are very envious of!

I really enjoyed doing this and it has helped me professionally. I have been involved in public speaking opportunities since I was quite young throughout high school and a number of opportunities with church but it is something I haven’t done for while. This is something I will have to when I am a teacher at things such as CPD events and staff meetings so this was a very good learning opportunity for me.

From making the presentation I have enhanced my computing skills and from delivering it I have improved my self confidence which I had put at a 2 on my self audit. I have always enjoyed public speaking so I’m glad I was given this opportunity.

I then sat in on a group meeting with the PH team called “status” where the group find out how the work of the previous week has come along and what needs more development. This allowed me to see how many different areas of marketing and advertising there is for just one team in the company and how much work gets done in one week.

This afternoon I am going to be doing a bit of research for some healthcare brands that the company has and then some more work with the Pizza Hut team.






Weekly Reflection 5

One week to go! I’m so gutted I’ve got such a little amount of time left here.

I have spent the past couple of days helping out with some research for a couple of members of the Samsung team. The sales of tablets, not just with Samsung, have been decreasing over the years. Additionally, the amount of people watching television on an actual television has decreased more and more each year. In particular with young people- aka: people my age. They asked me to do some research and find out why this could be the case.

So to do this, I spent some time googling articles and gaining professionals views. But, I felt that asking people my age was something that would be more beneficial. I asked a couple of groups of friends on group chats if they had a tablet, if so what do they use it for, if they have a television and if they watch live tv and if they watch Netflix what device would this be done on?

In addition to this I put up a couple of twitter polls which each got over 100
votes which I believe is a good number to gain a good insight of how young people watch on-demand tv and if they actually watch TV live on a television or do so in a different way.



I sent this to the two members and the response I got made me feel happy that I’d managed to help them. I met with Aaron who told me the work and research I’d done was utterly fantastic. He’d said that in the past they had hired interns who wouldn’t have produced the standard of work I had so this was a complete confidence boost for myself! I am so glad that the work I had done for them is something that would benefit them for their future work, too.

As stated in my previous post I also did some research for the Pizza Hut team about loyalty schemes which has been able to help other members of the team with their work on developing a loyalty/reward scheme for Pizza Hut customers.

This week I’ve learnt a lot about why we should have loyalty schemes are in marketing and advertising and how this is potentially why PH is falling behind other fast food brands and other pizza companies. I’ve also been able to develop my computer skills. I’ve learn how to research in a fast and effective manner while looking for the correct information.

With regards to the standards I’ve continued to meet the SPRs. In particular professional commitment. I have continued to allow myself to develop my collaborative working techniques as I have been working with a variety of people from the team I’m working on and other teams in order to reach specific research outcomes.

Additionally, I am continuing to meet the standard of integrity by being honest in my work and demonstrating courage through working in this environment that I previously had no knowledge on.

I really cannot believe next week is my last week here. I am going to be presenting to the team and potentially more members of the company about Scotland which I am very much looking forward to. Here’s to next week!


Remaining Loyal

I have spent the last two days looking at a lot of American company’s loyalty and reward programs to help out the PH team. PH itself does not actually have a loyalty program, but is something that they are working on, so this work will allow them to see what other companies are doing in order to keep their customers and thank them for buying products and food from them. I looked at pizza competitors such as Domino’s but I also looked at quite different food companies such as Qdoba which serves Mexican cuisine to see how they reward their customers for remaming loyal to them. Although it is not pizza, it is fast food which means it is a competitor to PH.

A few of us are taking part in this work from the PH team along with Mary Kotyuk, Group Strategy Director who specialises in shopping activation along with three other members of the PH team.  I’ve enjoyed working on this task as it has meant I have worked collaboratively with my colleagues and been able to ask questions when I’ve needed to.

A brief was given to the team which has allowed me to learn about how other companies keep their clients and it has made me realise that some companies are more successful than others due to the loyalty programs that they have. If someone knows they have to spend a certain amount to gain specific points to earn something free they are very likely to spend the money and keep buying from that specific company. Who doesn’t like free things?!

The brief also gave some really interesting facts that prove how psychological advertising can be on the consumer:


Recognisable logos can trigger responses in the same part of the brain that that controls the relational emotions. For example, if you love your iPhone, seeing the Apple logo can actually ignite the same happiness and warmth that running into an old friend stimulates.


A logo to a company is like a face to a person – sometimes we struggle to remember names, but we rarely forget a face. This is exactly what the PH Reward program logo should do for Pizza Hut.”

This links back to one of my previous posts about how advertising affects children, and also adults. Companies know that this affect will happen to people so aim to have they logo in as many places as possible.

I also helped the team proof more menus that are going out today. They required at least three people to do this as it is extremely important that there are no mistakes on them for them being officially published to go out into Pizza Hut restaurants across the country.


Week 4

This placement is going by so quickly and I can’t believe I only have two weeks left! This week has been by far the most exciting because I was given the opportunity to travel and visit another two of Tracy Locke’s North American offices. However, it has made me realize that I would only want to travel every so often rather than every week like a lot of Tracy Locke workers have to do. It really takes it out of you!

Monday was quite a quiet day in the office for me in Dallas. I did some work for Mary and listened in on phone calls regarding the work that she does for the company.

I have documented the rest of my week in previous posts on my blog. I really have had such an exciting week and I am so lucky to be getting all of these opportunities while I am with Tracy Locke.

I have again learnt so much about different clients this week such as Heineken who are a worldwide company but they advertising is all done by a small office in Connecticut.


This week, again, has allowed me to improve my self confidence skills. To get from Connecticut to New York I got a car and then arrived at the office. Stephen wasn’t going to arrive until two hours after me which meant I had to get up to the office and introduce myself to a huge number of people I hadn’t ever met before. Of course, it was not as scary as I though it would be and I am actually glad I had to do this as my confidence has really improved greatly.

This week has also allowed me to continue to develop my personal and professional attitudes. I was always friendly and polite when meeting all of these new people while telling them a bit about me and the placement that I am doing which I believe are good attributes to have in these professional situations.

I have again learnt so much this week about many more clients and been able to sit in on different meetings where I have learnt more about how advertising works and how much time and effort is put into this industry.

The only downside of this week has been that I am a rubbish traveller. I get quite bad motion sickness so I am feeling utterly exhausted today!

Here’s to the next two weeks!

Thursday in Wilton

I’ve come back to the Wilton office today to look into more work that this office does for a huge number of clients. Wilton is such a small place and Tracy Locke having an office here that does such important work is interesting.

The first thing I did was sit in on a meeting regarding PFIZER’s strategy. PFIZER provide a number of medicines and vaccinations worldwide and this meeting was about how two companies in America could advertise and sell two types of vaccines in these stores. There was a lot of people from different areas of the company in the meeting: strategy, account, creative and finance. the meeting focused on the cross purchasing between two brands of vaccination.

One store was Walgreens (from researching last week for Mary I found out last year that they have partnered with Boots in the UK). This is a place where customers go in to buy products for their health so it would be relatively normal for them to get a shot there too (they have to pay for it. I just can’t get my head around not having the NHS).

The second was a grocery store, so not normally a place where you would get a vaccination. I certainly couldn’t imagine doing my weekly shop in Tesco and then getting an injection while I was there! The aim is to be encouraging people to get their vaccinations at places such as Kroger who has a quote that is “connecting food to pharmacy”. However,  From a Pfizer perspective they don’t mind where people get the shot just as long as they get it.


There is a quote that will be used to advertise the vaccines which is about empowering people to take care of their health. However, it is hard from a creative stand point as the quote and copy (font) needs to all be in the one line. This allowed me to see one of the challenges that the advertising industry can be faced with.

There has been a lot of anxiety about the future of health care which has increased over the past few months which may discourage people from getting their vaccines, so the job of advertising here is to ensure that people get their vaccines and get the follow-ups.

Again, the aim is to empower shoppers to take the next step to owning their wellness at key life stage rather than age:  (it begins with self, us (couple), kids, family and self, self) milestones.

I enjoyed this meeting as it was about a particular set of products that I hadn’t ever actually known much about (out of choice, I guess. I hate injections).

After this, I sat in on an internal review with Heineken about using music in their ads. There were a few different designs which are going to be presented to the client tomorrow.

I then sat in on a meeting with more of the heineken team  who are working with one of their other beer companies who are working partnership with WWF.

The final thing I did today was listen in on a phone conference about a beer brand fro college football sponsored by the ESPN sports channel. Tracy Lock will be working with other agencies for this which is good as it allows the work load to be less stressful.

The past few days have been so good and have allowed me to learn so much more about advertising and how different people work with different clients. I just can’t believe I only have tomorrow then 10 more days left with Tracy Locke. I am so thankful for the fantastic opportunities I have been given and all the amazing people I have met.


I want to be part of it. New York, New York.

Of course after I’d done my work for the day in the office I had to do some sightseeing. This is me in Times Square.

Today I have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to go to New York City and visit the Tracy Locke office there on Madison Avenue (as previously stated this is known as TLNY).

This have given me a good opportunity to, yet again, to meet more new people and tell them a bit about me and why I am here. A lot of people have been really intrigued that I am actually training to be a primary school teacher and they believe that this placement is a fantastic idea.

I did some work in Wilton this morning where I listened to some conference calls with Mary regarding one of their Chicago clients and arrived in New York at about 2pm.

This afternoon I attended meetings with Stephen regarding finance and accounting, and in particular, for Sony about a few projects that they want TL to do over the next year. Again, this was a good learning experience for myself as it meant I saw the “more boring” side of advertising (according to Stephen!) but also one of the most important parts as without money advertising just wouldn’t exist.

Something I’ve noticed while being in the three offices is the different lay outs. The Dallas office has a huge variety of cubed off areas for teams of people to sit in and also has two floors. When I went into the Wilton office yesterday the different lay out was the first thing I noticed. The office is just one floor but it is like a maze. It is huge. The desks here are in longer, more open areas with a lot more open space. Finally, the New York office also has the long tables but the separate offices and conference rooms all have glass walls meaning that anyone can see in them. I like this as it allows the office to feel more open and have an “open door” kind of vibe.

Madison Avenue is the home of advertising in America and where the TLNY office is based

I think this is an important aspect to have in the classroom too. I truly believe that the layout
of my classroom is going to have a huge influence on how the pupils learn and how they enjoy their learning. And the way it is laid out should be inclusive for each pupil. This is the same with Tracy Locke. As this is a sociable company all the layouts allow people to talk and ask questions (asking questions is something I have been doing a lot since I got here!)

Samsung’s advert in Grand Central Station advertising their new galaxy phone.

Tracy Locke has a variety of clients and their work is everywhere. When walking around  New York I saw work for Samsung and T-Mobile. It was really good to be able to see these advertisements and know that it was actually done by people I know and have met over the past few weeks.



T-Mobile’s spot in Times Square.

I am, again, so thankful for all the opportunities this placement is giving me and I am continuing to learn more than I ever thought I could.




Bye for now Dallas!

This morning Mary and I travelled to New York from Dallas and then up to Wilton in Connecticut to attend meetings in this office to learn about the work that Tracy Locke does for other clients and will head back to Dallas on Thursday evening.

The first thing I was shown was a photo shoot for Heineken for a new type of glass that is going to be released. A lot of shots were taken and finely edited which allowed me to see just how much work goes into getting just one photo for an advert.

After this I sat in an internal review for Red Stripe’s radio adverts and their scripts. There is a meeting with the client tomorrow where they will decide which advert they like best and choose to be put onto national radio stations. There was about five different scripts which had been created. This allowed me to see just how much time and effort workers here put into this. I will be back in Wilton on Thursday so I am looking forward to finding out which advert the client will choose.

I then attended a short meeting about a new Portuguese client who want their new bottles to be advertised. I feel like this was good for me to see as I know how TL will set out their plans when given a brief from a client.Finally, I went to a meeting regarding the design of a banner for Strongbow. Most people in the group decided they weren’t too keen on the design which means that more work will be done on this piece.

Today has been great as I feel it has allowed me to meet even more new people and find out about more clients that Tracy Locke has in other offices across the country. I have also noticed I have come out of my shell a lot more when meeting new people which is great as I have a lot more confidence which I have gained from my experience thus far in Dallas.

As previously stated, Tracy Locke has four offices in North America: Dallas, Wilton, Chicago and New York (known as TLNY) which I will be visiting tomorrow with Stephen Miller (one of the managing partners), and of course, adding in some sightseeing!

It’s Monday Again…

This morning I sat in on a phone call with Mary in her office who was in a conference call regarding a specific client and their design strategy which is very close to being finished and put out into stores across the country.  Their aim is to make shopping more “emotional” rather than just functional which will allow this type of shopping to be fun and desirable.

Mary’s office. There’s always a nice atmosphere and a nice view if you stand at the window

While on the call each person was connected to a PowerPoint from the client who would control when the slides would move in order to prompt discussion about a specific topic. This was good to have as it meant everyone in the call was able to see the same thing even though they were not together and then talk about exactly what was on the screen without the discussion trailing off and changing.

In order to see what the products and shelf designs would look like in reality a “Virtual store fly-through video” was shown. This would, therefore, allow the client to see how the products would look and what improvements could be made before the products and shelves were put together and out to stores across the country.

After this call we connected to people in the Wilton office where Mary and I will be visiting tomorrow. The phone call discussed what had been talked about on the conference call and what work would be done to finish the deck and products.

A photo of the DART train I took while I was going to buy my lunch today

This was another good learning opportunity for me as it allowed me to see how a set of products have developed and the way that they will be advertised. It also allowed me to see how each colleague showed their professionalism. At the beginning of the call a few people had conversations asking about weekends etc before moving on to the task in hand.

A lot of us have also been proofing menus this afternoon. A lot of menus need to be checked before going out to PH so we have been kept busy.

I am traveling to Wilton in Connecticut tomorrow which I am very excited about and will write about tomorrow.

We’re half way there! (Weekly Reflection 3)

Happy Friday! It’s pretty scary to think that I have just finished my third week with Tracy Locke for my Learning from Life placement. I continually say it but I am so happy I chose to undertake my placement here and in an industry which three weeks ago I was completely clueless on.

This week has been quieter in comparison to the other two, but that does not mean I have not learnt anything new. This week has been beneficial as I have worked with more new people, one of which is not on the Pizza Hut team (Mary). My previous post contains information on the work I did and Mary’s job in the company. This was beneficial for me as it allowed me to see that the work done by Mary was very different to any on the PH team, but it allowed me to understand that someone saying they work in “marketing and advertising” is like an umbrella term as there are so many different types of job opportunities.

Additionally, I have finished putting together my presentation about Scotland and showed it to Lauren and Stephen (The two people in charge of the PH team) who belive it is ready to show to the people at Tracy Locke. They really enjoyed the work I had put together and thought it was very informative.

This week has allowed me to develop my computing skills which I had previously rated at a 2. The work I have done for Mary required a lot of internet searching and developing documents on Microsoft Word which can now be presented to her team. This work has definitely improved my confidence in computing and digital skills and I believe that the work I have done for her has been beneficial.

This week has allowed me to look a lot into two of the SPRs. The first one being integrity. Both teachers and student teachers should “demonstrate honesty, courage and wisdom”. This week I have gone out of my way to work with new people in another area of the advertising and marketing industry that is even newer to me than the work I have been doing with Pizza Hut which I feel demonstrates courage. Not many people would choose to do this type of placement and this work if it was not something they knew much about it. I have previously highlighted my self confidence and I feel that this work with even more new people has developed it greatly and shown my courage and wisdom.

The other one being professional commitment. Although this week has been quite quiet I have still manged to engage with many parts of professional practice. I have continued t o act in a professional manner at all times through my language and dress code. Additionally, I have been committed to lifelong enquiry and professional development through, again, choosing to work in a different area of advertising to continue to learn so many new skills and . I have continued to go out of my way to ask questions which allow me to learn something new everyday which is making it clear why this placement has been so beneficial so far.

Next week is going to be very busy with travel which I am so excited about. I am going to be going to Wilton, CT, with Mary to visit the TL office there and meet some of the clients that she works with on Tuesday. After this I am going to New York (!!!!!) to meet Stephen Miller from our office in Dallas to go to the NYC office to meet with the team who advertise for Heineken and Budweiser and, of course, see the sights of the city.





Being a Shopping Activator

I’ve been doing some work for Mary Kotyuk for the past couple of days. Her role in Tracy Locke is the Group Strategy Director who looks into “Shopper Activation”. 

This area of the company looks into a variety of different things from “behind the scenes” such for company’s and actually going into the store and reviewing how products are advertised when people are walking around the shop. This is called a Store Walk where someone will take photos of specific displays and aisles and report back to the team they’re working on and talk about what is good and what can be improved. This work also requires travel to the clients and other TL offices to allow each person to communicate their findings. 

Part of the work I have done for her over the past couple of days is look at a variety of companys’ strategic priorities and initiatives from the past year and what they have planned for this year. Additionally, I’ve looked at what type of competition they have with other stores looked at each individual SWOT analysis to help see where improvements can be made and what their strengths are. This required a lot of research about what the company sells/intends to sell and what their aims for the year are. It also meant deciding what information I found was the most relevant and necessary. Each page of the deck is for a specific company so it must be kept short and snappy in order for people here at Tracy Locke to know what they are looking for for each client. This sounds quite a simple task but it has taken a lot of time to ensure all the correct information is collated. 

I sat in on a meeting this morning with a variety of other people in the company, including Stephen Miller who is one of the managing partners in the company, who were speaking about how much money that should be spent on each client and their advertisements. While discussing this the “Golden Circle” was mentioned. It contains 3 sections:

What we do

How we do it

Why we do it

This is the motive followed by TL when making advertisements for the company when designing for clients and allows the process involved to be simple and allow a good outcome. If you’d like to read more about the Golden Circle here is a good link. It has been written by Simon Sinek who has also taken part in TED talks on the subject.


Although it may not sound like much, I have been pretty busy these past couple of days which has been good! From working with Mary I have been able to see how another role in the advertising world is done and this type of advertising requires a lot of work to be published.





Back to Work!

This weekend I went down to Austin, TX with my Uncle Hugh and Auntie Mary to celebrate their friends’ son’s first birthday. Austin is 217 miles away and it took us 3 and a half hours to get there and a little longer to get back. I’d heard the saying “100 years is not long in Scotland and 100 miles is not far in America, but the other way round for the other country”. To Americans, this journey would be small. So, I am feeling pretty tired today after driving 434 miles in one day! However, the birthday party was lovely and it was great to see more of Texas (even if I am a bit sun burnt!)

But it’s back to the normal Monday here and I’m back at placement. Today I looked at menus with Ashley (Account Supervisor) and helped make her work a little easier by finding all the fonts used for each different type of menu that will be published in the coming weeks and putting them into an email for her future use. I hadn’t worked with Ashley before so this was a good opportunity to develop my own communication skills and allow me to see what her job entails. One of the SPRs that comes under professional commitment states that we should be “engaging with all aspects of professional practice and all members of our educational communities with enthusiasm, adaptability andconstructive criticality.” I feel that this is an SPR which relates closely to the work I have done today. Although it is not an educational community, I undertook the work in a professional manner with good enthusiasm that allowed me to complete the task in a productive way while working with someone new.

I have also done quite a bit of reading about advertising and more on how this affects children and young people which I will reflect on in a later post.

While I was in an Uber recently the driver noticed my accent and complimented it (Being in Dallas with this accent is great. So many people love it!) We were just talking about Scotland and he asked me the question, which I think is quite funny: “Was William Wallace real?” He then

went on to tell me that his favourite film is “Braveheart”. I told him that this film was actually quite historically inaccurate, but a good film nonetheless. This question then prompted me to ask if I could do a presentation about Scotland for the company which I have been working on a lot today. A lot of people are looking forward to this. I am extremely passionate and proud of where I’m from so this is a presentation I am very much looking forward to showing.

I’ve looked back at my audit of skills in section 1 of my folio and I’ve rated my self confidence at a 2. I do have confidence in myself but it is something that I want to build up on this placement. I believe by doing this presentation it will definitely improve my self confidence and allow people from other teams to get to know me a bit better. And most importantly, it will educate the people at Tracy Locke about a fantastic country and hopefully encourage them to come over and visit.



Week 2

I cannot believe I have just finished my second week at Tracy Locke. It has gone by very quickly and I only have four weeks left with the company. This second week has again taught me a lot more and I have met more people who have made me feel very involved in the team.

This week has been very busy with a variety of deadlines with both the digital and the creative team and it has shown me how important planning and delivering is in another workplace. A lot of the time I have been proof reading menus that will be going out to restaurants over the next couple of weeks. I have also looked at emails from other pizza companies which allowed us to see how other companies choose to advertise their products and what kind of offers other places give out.

Social Justice:

This standard states that as teachers we should be: “Demonstrating a commitment to engaging learners in real world issues to enhance learning experiences and outcomes and to encourage learning our way to a better future.”

Right now, I am not working with learners. But, by doing my placement in  a very different workplace than a school I will be able to teach my pupils about real world issues that marketing and advertising faces and how it affects us too.


The SPRs state that a student teacher should: “Critically examine personal and professional attitudes and beliefs and challenge our own assumptions and professional practice.”

I believe that I am meeting this standard very well. I am challenging my own professional practice by undertaking this placement that has nothing to do with children. Working with children is almost my “comfort zone” when it comes to professional practice, so working in marketing and advertising is something completely different for me.

Trust and Respect:

The standards state that we should be: “Demonstrating a commitment to motivating and inspiring learners while also acknowledging their uniqueness, individuality and specific learning needs.”

This is a difficult standard to meet while being here on this placement as I am not working with learners. But, it is providing me with the skills that I will be able to teach about advertising that I will be able to teach with a more in depth knowledge. I think that advertising lessons will be allow children to show their own uniqueness through their own creativity.

Professional Commitment:

The standards state that we should be: “Committing to lifelong enquiry, learning and professional development as a core aspect of professionalism and collaborative practice.”

Through attending this placement and reflecting on my day to day tasks I believe that I am continually adding to my professional development. I am learning new things every day and I believe that this is an extremely important aspect in becoming a teacher.

I have had another successful week with Tracy Locke and I am looking forward to getting back to work on Monday.

Advertising is a Competition

Yesterday I was shown how competitors affect how we (Tracy Locke) decide how to advertise products and goods. I spent my day looking at emails from two competitors from the year so far. This meant I looked at 51 emails in total. After this, I screenshot each email and put each offer onto a Keynote presentation. This then allows people who work for the company to see how other pizza chains advertise their products in a quick and easy way.

There were a variety of differences between the two companies emails. One competitor’s emails had more than one offer in an individual email which meant that the consumer had a choice when choosing that company’s pizza. Additionally, this company included a different way of ordering in each email such as phoning, downloading the company’s app or even just adding a link to browse the menu. This would, therefore, encourage consumers to download app or by browsing the menu it would hopefully encourage them to order from that company.

In comparison, the other competitor’s emails were very minimal. It contained only one offer, and very rarely included a side offer. However, over the three months this company sent more emails than the other competitor I looked at (this company sent 31 emails while the other only sent 27). So, there was a lack of offers but more emails which means that consumers would see these emails more often and it may, therefore, encourage them to order from this company more frequently.

This was an interesting task to undertake as it allowed me to see that emails I would normally just disregard have a huge impact on the companies, their advertising and their sales. It also allowed me to use my skills in ICT to make a presentation that will allow people here to see how competitors set out their emails, how frequently they’re sent and what offers are used frequently which will allow them to improve the emails for our clients.


How is Advertising Affecting Our Children?

One of my main aims from this placement was to see how advertising affects us in our everyday lives and, more importantly, how this advertising affects school pupils. Since starting on the Pizza Hut team over a week ago I’ve been been shown a variety of ways many companies choose to advertise their goods and products and I can see very easily how the courage us to buy more than we planned.

There are small things such as being able to sing along to the jingle of an advert or  knowing the company’s tagline. But, advertising definitely leads to “Mum, can I get that?” to which my mum would normally reply “sure, if you have the money,” which I never normally did.

Advertising is not a new phenomenon. It is argued that advertising goes back as far as times in Ancient Rome to advertise things such as property to rent. This then moved forward to the medieval times where the way of something being advertised was done through a town crier shouting in city squares (American Psychological Society, 2017).

Kunkel (2001) argues that children under the age of eight are “cognitively and psychologically defenseless from advertising.” Research has found that the majority of US children have a television in their room. In addition to televisions, children have access to the internet when their parents are not supervising them. From this, there has been a huge increase in adverts directly aimed at children. It has been estimated that $12 billion is spent each year by companies to reach children (Wilcox, B et al, 2004) who are estimated to watch over 40,000 adverts each year (AAP News and Journals, 2007). This is a very important point to consider when looking at the effects of advertising as it really proves that adverts are surrounding children and it something that they cannot get away from. It proves that it will be subconsciously affecting their decisions and what they will ask (some might say nag..) their caregivers for. These statistics are from 2004 and we can only guess that this will have risen.

It has been argued that this kind of advertising often leads to child obesity (I find it ironic that I am writing about this aspect of advertising when the type of advertising I am working on is pizza based…). The food system in America is the second largest advertiser in the American economy who advertise through the use of television, radio, newspapers, magazines and billboards (Story and French, 2004). McNeal (1999) states that brands aim to have a preference with both children and their parents. So marketers are trying extremely hard to develop “brand relationships” with children when they are just toddlers (Zollo, 1999). Companies know that children of a young age have a large purchase influence and can successfully negotiate purchases through what advertisers call the “nag factor” or “pester power” (McNeal, 1999). From this, children will continue to ask, want and get foods that they see on television and around them in supermarkets and, therefore, this will contribute to childhood obesity if parents choose to “give in”.

Therefore, from doing some reading I have found that advertising really does influence and affect children today and has done in the past. I feel as though I have given quite a negative response to advertising in this sense. However, I do believe that advertising is needed and is something which allows companies to prosper and increase sales of their products which will positively impact peoples’ everyday lives.



American Psychological Association (2017)  Report of the APA Task Force on Advertising and Children. Available at: (Accessed: 21/3/17)

Kunkel D (2001) “Children and television advertising”  Singer DG, Singer JL, eds. Handbook of Children and the Media. 13(4) pp. 375–393

McNeal J (1999) The Kids Market: Myth and Realities. Ithaca: Paramount Market Publishing

Story and French (2004) Food Advertising and Marketing Directed at Children and Adolescents in the US. Available at: (Accessed: 21/3/17)

Wilcox, B et al (2004) Report of the APA Task Force on Advertising and Children. Washington DC: American Psychological Association

Zollo P (1999) Wise Up To Teens: Insight into Marketing and Advertising to Teenagers. 2nd edition. Ithaca: New Strategist Publications, Inc.

Reflecting on my first week…

My first week at Tracy Locke has been an absolute whirlwind of new knowledge and meeting so many new people who have made me feel extremely welcome. This has made working in an unfamiliar setting a lot easier. I have taken part in so many things that have been extremely beneficial in contributing to my knowledge and understanding of what the world of marketing and advertising is really like.

I have learnt a lot about how companies choose to advertise their products through looking at assignment briefings and decks. From this, it allowed me to realise that advertising is everywhere around us. There were obvious thing like offers at till points and signs above the road (maybe more of an American thing than something we’d see at home). But companies try and reach you through digital aspects such as emails and texts very early in the day to influence your food decisions in the next few hours.

Additionally, this week has shown me how other workplaces use professionalism in their jobs. The dress code here is different to what we would normally wear in the classroom. Most workers wear denim jeans with a blouse/shirt but also a blazer to “smarten” up the look. Professionalism is also used during meetings and phone calls with clients and other colleagues through the use of language addressing the needs of the phone call straight away.

I believe I have met the SPR of integrity this week through the aspect of demonstrating honesty. As previously stated I did not have much knowledge of advertising and marketing and this week I have not been worried to admit this to people and ask questions. Everyone has been so nice anyway so I haven’t been worried when I’ve not known how to do something.

Furthermore, I believe I have addressed the trust and respect section well. The standard states that a teacher should act and behave in ways that develop a culture

of trust and respect. I believe that I have done this as I can tell I am a respected member of the Pizza Hut team. I feel as though this is recognised through little things
such as being invited to go and get lunch or coffee with people. This has also made me feel extremely welcome.

Also, I feel as though I am in the process of meeting the standard of professional commitment as I am committing myself to lifelong learning and adding to my own professional development through working in a different industry where I am choosing to learn new things everyday.

From everything I’ve learnt about advertising this week it has prompted me to look at the CfE Experiences and Outcomes document. Under the Health and Wellbeing (HWB) section there are two Es and Os in the primary section, one in the First level and one in the Second level, which relate to advertising under HWB. HWB 1-37a states: “I am discovering the different ways that advertising and the media can affect my choices”, while HWB 2-37a states: “I can understand how advertising and the media are used to influence consumers”. Progression from the First to Second level is highlighted through the words “discovering” to “understand”. This, therefore, allows me to differentiate lessons between stages and know how much depth to go into in my advertising lessons.

From being at Tracy Locke this past week I can very easily see how advertising is used to influence our everyday choices and I am looking forward to what the next few weeks entail to expand my knowledge of marketing and advertising.

Can We Bring Virtual Reality Into the Classroom?

This was my view yesterday of downtown Dallas (featuring my reflection. Photography isn’t exactly my strong point). It’s so strange being in a city where almost every building is at least 30 floors up.

As stated in previous posts Tracy Locke has a huge variety of clients who always need things advertised for them but one of the main aspects of this advertising is design. 

Today, I was shown Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. I had heard of these before and I always just assumed that they were used for games and even rollercoasters. I’ve only ever used one at Alton Towers on the Galactica ride. You put on the headset and everything around you was like you were in space. So really, I just assumed VR headsets were for “fun”. But today I was shown that they are also used for creative purposes.

One of the client’s is an Hewlett-Packard (HP) computers. The company met with TL and discussed what they wanted the space to look like. From this, TL designed the store on computers. When it was complete the client would come back in and use the VR headset to look at it. This was the part that amazed me: whenever I moved my head it was as if i was in the room. They had designed a 360 degree setting and using a remote control I could walk myself around the store and continue to move my head to see everything around me. This, therefore, allowed the client to see what their flagship store would look like and could suggest any changes if needed.

Tracy Locke also run an initiative called TLC which stands for Tracy Locke in the Community. This is when staff members volunteer for a day in places that mean something to them. Mark was telling me that for this someone visited a children’s hospital where there was a helipad on the roof. The children would hear this but never be able to see it so people at TL took a variety of photos of the helicopter and helipad and put it on the VR headset. The children would then use the headset and it would allow them to feel as though they were on the roof and actually be able to see the helicopter.

If money was no issue: I think these would be a fantastic asset in the classroom. I think they would be great in topic work. In my MA1 placement our topic was the Caribbean. Obviously, we could not have a trip there (As much as we all would have loved to!) But I feel that the use of VR headsets would allow children to have a feel of what the islands looked like and allow them to have a better understanding of what they were learning about. Additionally, it could be used for topics like space and allow the children’s imagination to almost become reality.

However, after doing some research there are cheaper options. Google Cardboard is a good one. They come in at around $70 but do not have the same effect as the one I used yesterday.

Therefore, after being introduced to VR yesterday I am intrigued to learn more about it and when I am a teacher this is most definitely something I want to include in my lessons to allow the pupils’ imagination to become reality. 





Section 2

Nature of organisation:

Marketing and advertising

Tracy Locke’s structure:

Owned by large media holding company called Omnicom. Omnicom is second largest company of its type in the world. TL itself has a traditional C-suite (CEO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Creative Officer, Strategy Officer and two managing partners) based leadership team structure (board). $100 million dollar company. TL has 4 offices in North America: Dallas, Chicago, New York City and Wilton (Connecticut) and numerous international offices including London, Singapore, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Toronto. It has been fastest growing agency of its size and type for two successive years and the fastest in the world in 2016.

Details of stakeholders:

CEO, Hugh Boyle, CFO Sturt Campbell, COO Maria Zanghetti, CCO Michael Lovegrove, CSO Tyler Murray, Stephen Millar and Michael Bartlet (managing partners)

Chief roles:

As above, plus Teresa Barmmer Head of HR, Mark Van Duinem head of studio services, Jonothan Jeter Head of technology, Michelle Tisdale head of data and analytics.

Day Two: 28 Floors Up

This morning I sat in on a a phone conference with members of the Franchisor/Equity team: Michael (account director), Pam (account supervisor) and Kim (account coordinator). The conference was with Cleveland Menus who print Pizza Hut’s counter menus and handheld menus. All staff members maintained a professional manner during the phone call. Afterwards, it was discussed what would be done during the day today to help meet the needs of Pizza Hut.

I was then shown a Campaign Request Form (CRF) for HutLovers (those who are signed up to PH’s mailing and SMS list). This really showed me the power of advertising. I found out that an email is sent at 8AM with two seperate subject lines. An email with subject line A is sent to 600,000 members and an email with subject line B is sent to another 600,000 members. At 12 o’clock it is reviewed which subject line had the most opened emails then the one with the most is sent to the remaining 5 million members to ensure the most sales are made that day.

Before this, all emails are checked by Quality Assurance (QA) at both Tracy Locke and Pizza Hut. This is done to be able to see how the email will appear on a variety of devices such as mobile phones, iPads, laptops and how different email providers (such as apple and office) will display the message.


I also helped Kayla with some of her work for

HutLovers. I looked through all the email promotions from the year so far and put each banner onto a KeyNote presentation which she will use for her future work.

I was given a tour of the 29th floor in the office from Mark Van Dinuen (director of studio services). This floor includes clients such as Samsung and Audi and have a variety of products which remain top secret between the client and Tracy Locke until the release day. I was shown how the pictures that are taken re edited in great depth and nothing will be published until it is perfect for the client to use to advertise their product(s). This highlighted the importance of staying professional both in and out of the office as the information about new products is almost “confidential”. I feel that being trustworthy is a key aspect in professionalism which is obviously something I must consider when I am in the classroom when it comes to things such as child protection.

I feel that so far I have gone into this placement with a positive attitude and mindset which has helped me enjoy my time here so much.

I am only 3 days into my placement and I can already see that I am learning more than I possibly thought I could at such a fast pace. I am looking forward to be able to apply all these new skills to my studies and work in the near future.

So Much Jargon!

(Written on 13/3/17)

Placement officially started today, but because I arrived in Texas on Wednesday I was able to have a soft start kind of day on Friday. (Thursday was a recovery day but I still don’t think I’m over the jet lag yet!)

On Friday I got to meet everyone on the team I will be working with over the next six weeks. Everyone is so nice and made me feel very welcome. I have been given my own desk with my own laptop, phone and computer to be able to assist with current projects that the team are undertaking.

The team I am working with are advertising for Pizza Hut. On Friday I got to sit in on an “internal”. This is when the digital and creative team meet to discuss final designs before sending them to the client for them to use and distribute to the public.

I was shown the “assignment deck”. This booklet showed me a huge variety of ways that Pizza Hut choose to adervtise their products and specific briefs that Tracy Locke are to follow for the client’s needs.

Today I read over the Pizza Hut account team overview. This allowed me to gain an understanding in what the team are working towards. This morning everyone form the team met to go over what people would be doing throughout the week.

Also today I went to an IR (internal review), one of the many commonly used acronyms, with Kayla (assistant account executive) and the creative team who deals with emails and SMS messages on behalf of Pizza Hut for “Hut Lovers”. An IR happens a week after the email briefing where it is decided what will be included in the email to send out to Pizza Hut customers.

The one big thing I have noticed since coming here is the use of jargon. Because this is an industry I don’t know much about the language they use is all Greek to me. There are many words which are used daily and repeatedly when talking to colleagues and clients which I wouldn’t normally use. However, I am learning and it is definitely not as daunting as it previously was.

In addition to this, there are so many acronyms used between colleagues and Pizza Hut to make communication quicker and easier. However, I know that I will be able to learn the common ones quickly. I’m beginning to feel sorry for those who don’t work in education because we talk to them using our acronyms and just expect them to understand!

So far I am able to see how this placement will help me in my own professional development. I am having to maintain my professionalism as I am working with a number of important people each day. Additionally, I am already reflecting on what I have learnt and I am thinking of ways I can apply this knowledge to my own classroom and teach a variety of lessons for my future classes.

I have had a very good start here at Tracy Locke and I am very much looking forward to see what the next few weeks will teach me.



Section 1


Audit of skills, knowledge and personal attributes

Rate yourself (1=Not very well developed; 3=very well developed)

Skills and Abilities 1 2 3
 Self Confidence  x
 Contributing to Discussions  x
 Generate New Ideas  x
 Computing Skills  x
 Build Social Networks  x
 Set Personal Goals  x
 Take Notes  x
 Team Work  x
 Take Risks  x
Recognition Reflection Action
Skills already developed How will I use these How do I know (evidence)**
 Contributing to Discussions  When having team meetings where advertising ideas will be discussed  When you feel confident enough about an idea and can put it forward within in the group.
 Generate New Ideas  For this placement new ideas are generated everyday in ways to draw in customers for the client we’re working for (e/g/ Pizza Hut or T Mobile)  When I think of a unique idea
Set Personal Goals  When I am working towards my presentation.  When I achieve the goal.
 Build Social Networks  When working with the team in and out of the office to ensure I am not working alone and contributing well to the team’s effort.  When I have the confidence knowing who is the best person to get in contact with.
 Team  Work  I will use the skills I gained on placement. I worked with those in my class (both pupils and teachers) and other members of staff. This will also be the case with Tracy Locke where each team will need to collaborate.


As stated in my first post, marketing and advertising is not an industry I know a lot about, hence why I have chosen Tracy Locke so I can learn about the work and the professionalism in the workplace.

Personal Attributes:

I would describe myself as someone who is approachable, patient and friendly. I am extremely (maybe too) organised and punctual. I believe these are attributes that are key when becoming a teacher. However, these characteristics are things that can be transferred to any workplace. These will put be in good stead when arriving at Tracy Locke and prove myself as someone who will be a good asset to the team.


It is important to make a good connection between personal and professional attitudes to bring about change in practice. I believe that a positive personal attitude is vital in developing a positive professional attitude.  When going into my own class I believe that a positive outlook on the day will have a good impact on my professional attitudes and ensure everyday in the classroom is exciting for all of  my pupils. For this placement I feel I must go in each day with a positive outlook on what the outcome of the day will be as everyday is a new day. The team I will be working with are going to be very busy with deadlines and this will allow me to ensure that a positive personal and professional attitude should be maintained at all times to ensure that the task I am working on will be completed to the best standard it can be.

Professional Commitment 

I am undertaking this placement as this is an industry I would really like to know more about. I believe this contributes to my lifelong learning I will be taught new things everyday. I believe my choice of advertising will be a good choice as this is something that really does influence our children and the decisions they make on a daily basis. It appears in the HWB section of the Es and Os (HWB 1-37a and HWB 2-37a) so is something that I will have to teach to a number of pupils over the years. I also think it demonstrates my professionalism as I am going out of my comfort zone which is something I will have to do as a teacher when teaching subjects I am not as confident in, such as science.

During this placement I will demonstrate my professional responsibility for the development of the placement through the use of blog posts which will demonstrate what I’ve been learning while I am here and how my own professional attitudes have developed.


Reflection on experiences to date

Since starting university in September 2015 I have been given a variety of experiences that will help me in both my future career as a teacher and life outside of the classroom. These experiences are all going to come in handy for my Learning from Life placement.

My MA1 placement taught me so much more than I possibly thought it could have. it showed me how a classroom should be organised, how to manage behaviour and the importance of planning everything in a lesson.

My MA1 placement has also given me skills which I am able to use in more contexts than just the classroom. For example, this placement allowed me to enhance my skills in professionalism. I was working with a variety of different people everyday including teachers in the school, visiting professionals, pupils and parents. From this I had to develop a more professional language and be approachable at all times. This is a skill I will be able to apply to Learning from Life as I will be working with a variety of different people each day in a professional context.

In addition to this, my MA1 placement allowed me to have very good time keeping. I was always in school early and allowed myself to run lessons on time. This will benefit me in this placement as I will be able to work to time slots that I’m given and be able to complete the work in a professional manner.

Although not academic, since first year at university I have been in the Dundee University Scottish Nationalist Society and I am now a committee member. The experiences I’ve had within the society have allowed me to develop my social skills and from this I have been able to meet new people, help organise events and meet local MSPs and MPs. This has also improved my self confidence in speaking to new people.

During my time in high school I undertook a variety of work experience placements in primary schools from 4th to 6h year which proved to me that teaching was the career path I wanted to follow.

Identification of skills and knowledge to be developed

Self confidence: Self confidence is something that I do have, however, I would like it to be developed just a little bit more. I think that during this placement I will be able to develop this due to meeting a variety of new people everyday and travelling to different places. This will make me more comfortable and more willing to speak to more people in a confident and professional manner.

Computing Skills: I never chose to study any computing subject throughout my time at high school so feel as though I am not very skilled in this subject area. From undertaking this placement I will be using Microsoft Office and email every day and this will allow me to learn and develop skills in ICT.

Taking Risks: As one of my risk taking abilities I have chosen to do my placement abroad. This shows my eagerness for independence and my interest in new culture and a new way of living. This placement will help me with taking risks as I do not know a lot about marketing and advertising.

Identification of learning opportunities

Tracy Locke:

  • While with Tracy Locke this will teach me about the marketing and advertising industry. Throughout my time here I will be working with Lauren Cohen (Group Account Director at Tracy Locke). The main client she works with is Pizza Hut. Through working with Lauren this will give me the opportunity to travel and experience a client meeting where I will see why certain companies want their products advertised and marketed a certain way.
  • I will also get to see how marketing and advertising affects everyday life and how it influences people in wider society.
  • Additionally, I will be able to see professionalism in a different work place other than education. This will allow me to learn about how working in this kind of industry affects workers lives in comparison to teaching. (SPR regarding professional commitment states that as student teachers must:
  • Engaging with all aspects of professional practice and working collegiately with all members of our educational communities with enthusiasm, adaptability and constructive criticality.
  • Committing to lifelong enquiry, learning, professional development and leadership as core aspects of professionalism and collaborative practice.

Huron Valley Roman Catholic Elementary School:

  • This will be a fantastic opportunity to learn about and compare education systems and curriculums in America, Michigan, to CfE in Scotland.
  • This will give me the chance to continue my teaching practice where I will undertake lessons on marketing and advertising using the knowledge and skills I have gained on my previous part of the placement.

Marcus Graham Project:

  • This is going to be the most eye opening part of my Learning from Life placement. Through communication with Tracy Locke CEO this may seem a “culture shock”. This will give me to opportunity to learn about life in an American High School. I will also be able to compare the education there to my own secondary education.

The marketing and advertising industry is quite mono cultural so the aim of the project is to get teenagers from all background interested and involved in the industry.


Record of planning and organisation

For this placement I was lucky enough to know the CEO of Tracy Locke which allowed me to plan and organise this placement. The planning and organisation included Skype calls where we would discuss what I would be doing on placement and when I arrive in Dallas I will meet the team I will be working with who will direct me on what projects and tasks I will be taking part in.

The Beginning of Learning from Life

As I write this post I am currently sitting in Edinburgh airport waiting for my first flight to Heathrow before connecting onto a flight to Dallas, Texas to undertake my Learning from Life Placement. I have chosen to work with Tracy Locke. They’re a marketing and advertising company whose head offices are located in Dallas. The reason I have chosen to undertake this placement is because I do not know much about this industry, but, I do know that it is something which influences every one of us everyday. This includes primary school children, and from this I will be able to teach my pupils about the importance  influence of advertising in our lives.

My initial feelings:

Right now, I am extremely nervous. This placement is going to be something that is completely out of my comfort zone as it is most definitely not an area of expertise! But that is the reason that I have chosen it. I love learning about new things.

However, I am excited. This is going to be the opportunity of a lifetime and without the encouragement of lecturers to go abroad I don’t think I would have done this.

My portfolio will be displayed as Blog Posts through Glow and you can follow my twitter for everyday updates! @carys_UoD

Thanks for reading and here’s hoping this placement will be something I’ll remember for the rest if my life.