I was more than a little apprehensive when I began my placement at Million-2-1. Not because of the company or the placement per se, but because my first week was to be spent in London at one of the biggest gambling exhibitions in the world, and with the majority of the IGT managerial/operational team – most of whom are not from the Manchester team.
Not that that should have made much difference, I hadn’t met the Manchester team anyway. However, at ICE (that’s the name of the exhibition in London) I was going to meet loads of people. And I was going to be thrown right in at the deep end.
Sure enough, everything was a bit of a blur. We checked into a Kensington hotel (all expenses paid for this trip!), dropped off our stuff and went to the exhibition on Monday afternoon. I met a few people, talked to them about myself, the placement, what I was doing here and what they did. It was pretty good but pretty chilled.
Tuesday was different. It was as if everyone from IGT had suddenly turned up together. They were everywhere! In our hotel, at the exhibition and on the streets between the two! You know what it’s like: “Jamie, come and meet such and such”, “Jamie this is whatshisname, he does this for this division”, “Oh Jamie come over here and meet Mr X, he’s been with the company for years, great man Mr X”.
Name after name after name. It was all I could do to smile and shake hands – there was no way I was going to remember everyone. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. I learned a lot from a variety of people about IGT, such as where it operates; where it wants to operate, what prevents certain things from happening in certain places, what kinds of games it wants to develop in the future; etc.
It wasn’t long before the week disappeared, and we were travelling back (Virgin trains, first class, meal and WiFi included…yeah baby). I came in late on Friday morning because of the long week we had behind us (boss’ orders). There wasn’t much to do because the boss wasn’t in and she was the one with the plan (for me), so I took the opportunity to recover from the wild week and sit with everyone in my team for an hour or so to find out what they did.
Shortly after that, I began work proper. The first thing I felt was involved. I got access to all the internal reporting systems and I was added to the Google Analytics (GA) account. I also met the mobile marketing exec (with whom I would be working for the next three months) who told me all about what he does, how he does it and how he intends to make it better. I started looking around the systems, checking out GA and getting a feel for how things were run.
Since that day, I’ve been involved in a variety of tasks, from playing through games and taking/editing screenshots to go onto an app store site, to setting up campaign tracking in GA so that we can more effectively monitor where customers come in from and end up.
One of my final activities was creating custom landing pages for games, so that people who follow an ad are directed to a specific page relevant to the advert they clicked on. I also designed the Facebook landing page and helped redesign the existing reporting system to make it easier for the team to get marketing information from it.
I learned a lot from this placement, things that I’m going to savour and use in the future (many of the things I’ve learned are going to be put into practice on the Manchester Jiu Jitsu sites I’m running for the two univeristy Jiu Jitsu clubs). I know I’ll miss it, before I also looking forward to my new placement, which is scarily my final one!