Experience that resonates

After spending four years studying, adjusting to life after university can be a daunting prospect. Luckily for me, I was in safe hands joining Resonates as an account executive. The fact that all staff are Chartered Marketeers was a primary attraction and set it apart from other agencies; I knew I would be in good hands navigating my way through the murky waters of graduate life and could learn a great deal. I only had work experience in-house, so was excited to work agency-side in a ‘grown-up’ role.

What they don’t teach you at university

Having completed an MSc Marketing degree, I was well versed in theory. Putting what I had learnt at university into practice, however, was a different ball game.

The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that plans can change. In fact, they often change as clients’ change their minds, predicted successes don’t unfold or the macroenvironment affects strategic decision-making. No matter how much you plan, you can’t predict these things. But, that’s okay and change is good. It challenges you, keeps you on your toes and enhances your problem-solving abilities.

Marketing automation systems was another challenge. But once I got to grips with the likes of SharpSpring, eClincher, ResponseSource and Streamtime, it was second nature. The systems help everything run smoothly internally and allow you to do everything from managing your workflow to generating statistical reports. Using these systems and tools has really enhanced my skill-set and the confidence to use similar systems in future roles.

What they do teach you at university

Roughly 60% of my role is writing content, so much of my time is spent reading, researching and writing. If there’s one thing I really took away from university it was that good research is everything. It can speed up the writing process and help you better understand the industry you’re writing about. It’s no myth that if you’re better informed, your copy will be more relevant for your audience. I’m often required to write articles about new subjects, be it solar power or GDPR and will devote half my allocated job time to researching.

University also taught me how to effectively time manage. In an agency, this is crucial. I often work on three or more client accounts each day with both soft and hard deadlines that must be managed alongside daily jobs, such as sourcing news for the weekly cleantech news roundup. In an agency, prioritisation is essential, and lists are your friends!

What I’ve found challenging

Coming solely from a marketing background, I previously had no experience or much knowledge about PR. One thing I found challenging was sourcing PR opportunities for clients, especially for startups who don’t know what publications they want to appear in. It’s easy to fall victim to the ‘spray and pray’ tactic, but I’ve learnt it’s far more valuable to invest time into a carefully thought out PR strategy. Once you target the relevant publications, the offers will come flooding in.

Resonates specialises in the cleantech sector but has a broad portfolio. The accounts I work on come from various industries and keeping track of the progress of such accounts, as well as multiple industry trends, was initially confusing. But once I’d settled in and had more of an understanding of the clients, I was comfortable. As a bonus, I’ve gained valuable knowledge regarding multiple industries and am a lot more well informed than when I started!

What I’ve loved

Making the transition from student to graduate life can be daunting as everything you’ve learnt in theory is tested in practice. The beauty of working for a smaller agency means that you’re really nurtured and have the opportunity to get up to speed without being ‘hand-held’.

One thing I’ve loved at Resonates is its collaborative ethos. The director and managing director never feel that a job is beneath them and are always happy to assist. We often ‘bounce’ ideas off each other when struggling with something, whether it’s rephrasing a sentence for a press release or devising a strategy for a new client. If you’re stuck on something, you never have to suffer in silence.

Working in an agency ensures that no day is the same which is ideal for me because I loathe regimented routine! There is no ‘average’ day: I could be working on a press release in the morning, out for a client meeting in the afternoon and finish the day by writing some social media posts. I’ve loved the variety of tasks. They’ve allowed me to further develop skills gained at university while always teaching me new things.

At Resonates, I’ve really had the opportunity to develop my skills in marketing in a friendly environment that values my contributions and nurtures new talent. If you’ve liked what you’ve read, join our team and come and play.