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Student stories – leading a company’s marketing strategy

9 October 2015

Rebecca Finan

Rebecca Finan took on the huge responsibility of developing a new sales and marketing strategy for an established company this summer, as a Saltire Foundation scholarship.

Interested in taking part next year? Applications open on Monday 12 October.

Abertay’s Career Development Centre is holding free information sessions on Tuesday 13 October, where you can meet previous Saltire students. Register for your place now.

How exciting was it to be a key part of a company, developing their sales and marketing strategy?

“It was, truly, an amazing experience. To be entrusted with something this important to the company was really brilliant. As an intern, I did not expect to be so involved with something that could actually be used by them in the future.

“I was given a lot of responsibility, which I loved. I really got to dive in to a very exciting project and worked alongside many different types of people along the way.”

What did your Saltire placement involve?

“I applied for Saltire after hearing about it from one of my lecturers. After going through the interviewing process, I was offered an interview with Neogen Europe in Ayr and got the job!

“I moved through to Ayr for ten weeks, which the Saltire Foundation organised for me, and I began my summer placement.

“I undertook a market analyst position whilst I was at Neogen where I studied in depth two industries that they sell to – the meat industry and the dairy industry – with the understanding that they have stronger sales in meat.

“My end goal was to formulate a sales and marketing strategy that Neogen could adopt to improve their success in the dairy industry. It involved extensive market research into Neogen's customers, prospects and competitors, as well as formulating an analysis of the food safety industry and determining Neogen’s market share and position within it.

“I also looked into external factors outwith their control, such as whether outside events or people have had an impact on sales. I then conducted a market survey of Neogen customers and prospects to try and gauge their opinion on Neogen and determine what the company’s next steps could be.

“I then analysed all the information into a final report and presentation in which I pitched my ideas and findings to a select group of Neogen employees on my last day.”

What did you learn from the Saltire experience?

“I learnt what it is like to operate in a business environment where goals need to be met – it is fine studying business, but it is something else when you actually do it.

“I learnt the kind of approach that businesses work to, how to conduct myself around varying levels of management, and gained further experience of professionally dealing with customers while conducting my market survey.

“Personally, I learnt what it is like to live away from home and the responsibility that comes with that. I feel like I developed as a person.”

Do you have any tips for students applying this year?

“Use Career services! They helped me so much with my application and I wish I had gone to them earlier for advice.

“I would also say to anybody applying this year to be enthusiastic and really go for it. They are looking for brilliant people. Don’t be afraid to stand out and be confident in yourself!”

To find out more about the Saltire Foundation scholarships for next summer, register now for the information session on Tuesday 13 October.

For more information, and if you have any questions, please email

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