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Kate's Agency Life Experience

Kate.jpgWhat made you decide to do your university course?

Well... I didn’t initially choose this course; I was hoping to do a business management course at a different university. However, my results were not what I was expecting and so I ended up at MMU doing marketing management. I didn’t know much about the course to begin with as it was a bit of an afterthought, but I would not change it for the world now. I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve been dropped into something I am very interested in and I enjoy my time studying at university. I’d highly recommend this course to anyone!

Why did you decide to do Agency Life?

I decided to do Agency Life because it seemed like a bit of a no-brainer to me - MMU were offering to help you find an internship in a marketing agency to gain invaluable work experience. I have friends at other universities and it seems like this is one of the only courses (if not the only one) that offers this as part of its curriculum. I started the application process as soon as I could and contacted agencies directly as I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to participate in the scheme.

Why did you choose I-COM?

I was initially drawn to I-COM as it was a digital agency (an area I hoped to specialise in) and the website showed the company to be professional and innovative - it looked exciting! I contacted them directly and forwarded my CV and covering letter explaining why I wanted to work there and was fortunate enough to be invited to an interview.

The interview was quite nerve wracking; I had previously only had a couple of casual interviews for part-time jobs. It followed a more formal interview procedure, but was a great learning experience. I knew as soon as I looked around the office and met my interviewees that this was the place I wanted to be.

What have been the best bits about working at I-COM?

One of the best bits about working at I-COM has been the opportunities I’ve had to work with a range of clients on a variety of tasks, culminating in me developing my own three-month social media strategy for a chosen client. I’ve learnt new skills in digital marketing that I would not have been taught in a lecture theatre, and even more than this I’ve learnt a lot about professional behaviour and office etiquette.

The best part about working at I-COM has been working with a group of supportive and talented individuals, I couldn’t have asked for better mentors to help start my career.

What have been the biggest challenges while working at I-COM?

One of the biggest challenges has been working with a variety of clients that all interact with their customers in different ways and use a different voice when doing so. You have to get used to adapting your writing style and ideas to the client you are working on, which can be challenging when you are used to your own writing style. A further challenge has been overcoming shyness to fit in with the team and interact with my colleagues. This is difficult as being an intern can be quite nerve wracking at times.

What skills do you think you have developed since working at I-COM?

I have greatly developed my skills in content writing. Throughout my time here I have produced blog posts, press releases, website landing page content and social media posts. Some of my work has been used and published which I am very proud of. I have also developed my time keeping and organisation skills, you need to get on top of your workload and ensure that you have enough time to complete all of your tasks before the end of the working day.

What have you learnt about life at an agency?

I have mostly learnt that agency life is centred on a team effort. I have sat in on multiple meetings whilst here and I have found that everything runs more smoothly and efficiently when there is good communication between all of the sub-teams. I have also learnt that working in an agency is great! It may be stressful at times, but there’s lots of social opportunities and the team really pull together to achieve their goals.

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to study in the USA on an exchange year from September, and then I will return to MMU for myfinal year of study (hopefully finishing with a high grade). After that... who knows? I still hope to pursue a career in marketing, whether this will be in digital or not I am not so sure. I’m hoping that in two years time I will have more of an idea and I will have an exciting future ahead of me.

What are your top tips for anyone planning on doing Agency Life next year?

My main top tip would be to get going with the process as early as you can! That’s what I did and I had my placement sorted before most of my friends had even started applying. That was such a relief, especially when exams came around. Don’t be afraid to contact agencies you like the look of directly, they like this! If you’re fortunate enough to get a placement then make the most of the experience, show willingness with each task you’re given and attend as many social events as you can. It’s as much about learning skills as it is learning how to work professionally with others in an office environment. Go for it, you’ll have no regrets!

Kate Murray