A KTP Associates experience: Richard Allin, The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation


My Project

My KTP project was a primarily a marketing project for a long established charity that wanted to engage with new audiences. The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation is a burns research charity that was founded in the name of a pioneering burns Surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe.  The charity needed to replace its outdated website, create new marketing material and develop the marketing skills of its in-house fundraising team.

I had the opportunity to be involved with every part of creating and executing a marketing plan, producing briefs, recruiting and managing service providers and developing content and publicity materials. One of the highlights was organising a full days photoshoot in an active operating theatre where I had to get the  idea signed off with hospital management, find a photographer, match up availability and then on the day act as photographers mate and take calls for the burns surgeon whilst he was in the middle of operations.  I can’t imagine having this type of opportunity in any other graduate role.

After the KTP project finished I quickly started a new role as a marketing executive for an online retailer in the automotive sector.  This role had many similarities with the KTP project in terms of the very wide scope of activities I was required to undertake and the number of changes I implemented. As with the KTP project, this role also required me to be very self-sufficient and think creatively to achieve results with fairly small resources available.

A highlight of this role was myself acting as the photographer/camera man for a day filming on the Solent where the company was tuning an 80mph powerboat and involved me hanging on and filming in the engine bay whilst work was being carried out and up in the cockpit on the high speed runs.

After 2 years with them I left on their highest turnover month in their history and moved to a role of Sales and Marketing Manager at etyres who are a national online mobile tyre fitting company. I now sit on the Senior Management Team and developing the marketing strategy for the company and managing their marketing team. I feel that my experience on the KTP project prepared me well for my career and I had the opportunity to lead a project and to make decisions and changes that I might not have otherwise had.

The Challenges

The biggest challenges in the role were implementing changes in a small organisation with fairly minimal resources. Despite being brought in to implement change the charity was at times  a bit resistant  because some changes required substantial input from them in areas they had either never invested in or had previously tried but not seen effective results.  To overcome them I demonstrated how the changes would work whilst minimising risks and highlighting examples of other organisations where these changes had been very successful. I built up trust with my colleagues throughout the life of the KTP project which made it easier for big decisions and changes to be made.

 The Benefits

The KTP training budget was exceptionally useful to me in developing my online marketing knowledge which was fairly basic at the start of the project. The understanding that I developed from this heavily influenced the success of the Blond McIndoe website and since then has been something I have built on  which is still highly relevant in my career.  I found the support and advice from my academic supervisors invaluable.

In summary…

Throughout the KTP, there were some big challenges to work through and it was a great learning experience. Although at times it was a steep learning curve,  my career would not have progressed as quickly as it has without those 2 years as a KTP Associate. I would highly recommend the KTP scheme to any graduates looking to take the next step in their career.




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