The first of my posts in this series that ISN’T one of my previous classmates (woo! I have other friends!) last weeks post looked at working as part of a University research team, this week we are looking at the wonderful Terri who is a Marketing Associate (in charge of email and content) for mysupermarket.co.uk Marketing is an area that, certainly at the uni I work at, is becoming more and more popular.
I’ve tried to include the questions I had been asking a lot of the graduatescontributing to this blog and would be curious to know if there are any that you think I’ve missed? Leave me comments to let me know
My Degree is English Literature with a year abroad. As that title suggests, I was lucky enough to spend a year studying in the Netherlands as part of the Erasmus programme. I also have an extremely limited amount of work experience, but I pursued this after graduating- safe to say I panicked a bit!
What are 3 things your degree gave you that are transferable to your current role?
Organisation, project management and a new found superpower known as attention to detail.
These are skills that a lot of grads assume are a given but are very important to highlight on an application!
How did you hear about your role?
They contacted me through a website where I’d posted my CV: Weconnectstudents. I actually ignored the interview requests twice, thinking they were spam!
What recruitment process did you have to go through?
I had an interview in their London office, but my LinkedIn profile helped.
If you don’t have Linkedin already it is worth taking the time to create a profile.
Could you tell us a bit about your typical working day?
I can tell you I love it. I come in and get my day organised. My job currently works around organising and implementing marketing campaigns in email, social media and also content producing for multiple platforms. I’m very lucky, my job balances creativity with measurable metrics meaning I feel like I can be both creative and objective. My days fly by and I work with colleagues in both Israel and NY- keeping things interesting!
What’s the most enjoyable part of your role?
The challenges and room to grow. I’ve developed from an intern in customer support, to a content producer to a campaign manager. My responsibilities have increased and I enjoy stepping up to the challenge.
It’s interesting to see that in a smaller or start up company grads will be expected to be adaptable
What do you like least about your role?
No time for afternoon naps! No seriously, the transition to working life/ culture still throws me sometimes. There are office politics where ever you work but it’s about learning how to navigate and avoid getting involved as much as possible. Communicating across time zones can be hard, but then again so can talking across the office if it is a bad week! You have to take the lows to get the highs though, and as long as they are outnumbered by smiles- you’re all good!
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your position so far?
To trust my initiative and myself. The only person in my management team who doesn’t believe in me 100% is me- and I’m working to change that every day.
Who is your role model? / Who do you look up to?
My direct manager. She is young, hip, organised and professional. My senior manager in NY is also VERY inspirational. She is a working “Mom” who balances managing us as well as her family. She’s brought me out of my shell since taking me under her wing in January and I can hardly recognise myself sometimes- I’ve come so far professionally. I feel very lucky to be part of their team and surrounded by strong, successful women to look up to.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Be good to the universe and the universe will be good to you. Days in the city can be rough, but put out positive energy to receive it. Also, be nice to everyone, you have no idea when these people will pop back up in your corporate life- I’ve been assured they ALWAYS will.
What is the best piece of advice you could give to future graduates looking for work?
Again, you get what you give. Don’t think there is a fixed path into anything. You make your future way more than a certificate. Get out there, meet people, try. Don’t wait for anything to come to you because it’s already gone to those who have grabbed it. Have faith and keep positive. Also, remember that employers need to work for you too, don’t let yourself be exploited.
Regarding job hunting
Be proactive and honest. Work out what it is you are looking for and reach out to professionals to “interview”. I spoke with a couple of contacts made through the job I was working and conducted phone interviews of my own, asking about their experiences, opportunities and advice. Be prepared, be focussed and be confident.
Same. Be prepared, be focussed and be confident. Remember, they are on trial for you too. Don’t get so sucked up into “ I NEED A JOB!” to settle for the wrong one. My interview for my current job last just under 2 hours, because we all got along so well. I received a phone call at 9.03 am the next day offering me the position. When you are in the right place with the right fit, it will show in your interview experience.
What are your plans for the future (long term career wise)?
Right now I’m taking every opportunity that comes my way. This is the joy of working for a small start-up- there are lots! I don’t know where I’ll be long term, but that’s ok. I worked hard to get this far- now I’m living in the moment!
Do you think extracurricular activities at university enhanced your employability?
My year abroad, yes.
Do you have any side plans or projects that run alongside your job?
I have a million!
Does this job match what you thought you would be doing when you started your degree?
No, but I could never dream that I’d do so well, or be so happy. Man, makes you sick!
I really liked reading Terri’s insights into working for a London start up as I think a lot of people aspire to be in that situation but don’t know much about it.
The SME sector has most potential to recruit grads so I suggest any students or grads who read this take that into account the link embedded above shows that many students concentrate more on the larger companies and sometimes get the wrong idea about them.
Next week will be a post about being a Sabbatical Officer 🙂