I graduated in 2009 and at the time I was told the employment market was flat and businesses were cutting back on employing graduates… Brilliant! So what better advice can I give to the digital marketing class of 2012 than my story?!
I graduated in 2009 and at the time I was told the employment market was flat and businesses were cutting back on employing graduates… Brilliant! So what better advice can I give to the digital marketing class of 2012 than my story?! I knew Digital Marketing was what I wanted a career in. I got good marks in the digital modules of my course and it was fun to do. As the months went by following graduation, I clung to one thing: belief in my ability. I knew I would be good and only needed an opportunity. I heard on the radio one day about a government internship scheme – the Graduate Talent Pool. It offers graduates the invaluable opportunity to get real world experience and is really valued by potential employers, who get the opportunity to see if you’re suitable for their business. Within a week, I had secured a three-month part-time placement in Manchester. Two days minimum wage, one day voluntary and travelling every day from Leeds – it would be a hard sell to many people but I jumped at the opportunity. In the short term I knew I’d take a financial hit but the potential long-term benefits were invaluable. I began working for a small web design agency who wanted to do Search Marketing. Three days a week quickly became five and the three-month placement stretched into four, then into the offer of a permanent job. Financially I knew it wasn’t sustainable, but then I was offered an interview as an Account Executive at a Leeds-based Search Marketing agency, Epiphany. At the interview, I handed over my final year dissertation (a study into Facebook PPC advertising - my bible, my whole reason that I had headed down this path). I just wanted to show what I had the ability to do. The next day I got the call with the job offer and had myself a real career! After joining, I was curious as to why they decided to hire me. The answer? The experience on my CV from my placement. It may only have been be four months part-time work, but it showed how much I wanted this opportunity. Fast forward two years and here I am, an account manager overseeing campaigns for some huge brands and working for an agency where the sky is the limit! So my call to arms to all 2012 grads: voluntary placements – short-term pain for the long-term gain! If you're thinking about a graduate career in Search Marketing, get in touch - @andrewlowdon