Caterpillar to butterfly, student to Chatterino
I was starting my third and final year at university and had little valuable experience to equip me in the big, bad world of work! Even worse, I had virtually no idea what to do after my student experience had expired - graduation was the end of the line, and at that moment I had no idea what train to get on next…
The process of getting organized and employable began at the University Careers Centre, who plugged all my aims, interests and skills into their careers matrix. They told me the job that I best matched was an Account Exec. “A what?” I did some research about the position and found that a lot of the skills involved came naturally to me. So, I had a little peek at some of the Account Exec jobs going in Leeds based advertising agencies but found that all of them required some degree of experience.
I decided to send speculative emails to them asking for any work experience they could give me alongside my degree. Although the majority didn’t reply I managed to get an internship working every Monday at an ad agency in the middle of Leeds. I loved being part of their small team and the whole experience reinforced my desire to work in advertising.
Inevitably for every student, the second half of third year is far more challenging as you have to catch up with work that should have been done in the first half. Dissertation deadlines loom, essays seem impossible to finish; long nights spent in the library and a weary season of exams mean that thinking about what to do after Uni is often put on hold. So once I had finished my last exam I realised that, with barely a month left on my house lease, I needed to start applying for jobs or I would be doomed to leave my beloved Leeds and return home for the summer.
I looked on the university careers database and applied for some of the jobs that were advertised. After what seemed like an eternity of disappointing clicks, my eye was drawn to a particularly exciting Account Exec position at Chatter! I immediately liked their friendly, informal and humorous approach. My excitement grew as I began doing my research, looking through their case studies, their Twitter and Facebook and crafting an application email which aimed to show how this position was ideally suited to me and hoping to persuade the Chatter team that I was equally ideal to become the newest Chatterino.
When I was happy with it I sent it off an eagerly waited for a reply… I wasn’t waiting long. 5 minutes later I got a cheery reply from Lisa telling me to hang tight and enjoy the football! A couple of days later I was invited for my first interview. The crippling anxiety I had felt the days before was certainly not warranted, and what I feared would be an Alan Sugar-esque grilling was in fact a really pleasant chat with Paul, Lisa and Jon. I thought it had gone well and was over the moon to be invited back for a second interview – though daunted at delivering the presentation I had been asked to prepare. Despite the added worry of remaining composed in the sweltering Yorkshire heat, the presentation and the following questions went pretty well. Hours later I received a call from the guys offering me the job! I can only compare the nature of my celebratory shout after the phone call to a George of the Jungle style bellow!
However, the anxiety about getting a job was quickly replaced with the anxiety of keeping a job! How will I adapt to a strict work routine? How will I adapt to work routine after the late nights and late mornings of Uni life? How will I manage to look smart without an iron to my name? How will I cope away from the dodgy graffiti ridden student accommodation of Hyde Park? Suddenly I needed to be an adult.
However, yet again my worries don’t seem to be warranted! I have been made to feel so welcome and have really enjoyed my first week here at Chatter Towers. Having coped with a series of £10 Asda phones, I am now in possession of my first iPhone and have abandoned the cheapest dell laptop for a svelte Apple Mac. I am shocked to discover that a room in a smart professional house is in fact cheaper than the damp, hovels I have inhabited for the last two years. I am delighted to find that the transition from student to professional is far less traumatic than I expected. In fact, rather than looking back on the glory days, it feels like the 'good times' are about to begin.