My career journey started with a literal journey from Sheffield to London. From a young age, I always knew that in order to thrive in my career, I would need to go down South in order to take advantage of the range of opportunities available. However, until a few weeks ago, the idea of living in London did not seem too realistic with issues to consider such as accommodation, finding a job, cost of living etc.
Being shortlisted for the Taylor Bennett Foundation made the idea of living in London more real. I was lucky to find accommodation relatively quickly, especially with the time between being accepted on the course and actually starting the course being really short. Basically, I was accepted on the course on Friday, packed my things on Saturday, moved in on Sunday and started work on Monday. It was a stressful weekend, but that didn’t matter. What did matter was that I was about to be exposed to the PR world and London was where I needed to be!
Working closely with Finsbury allowed me to broaden my knowledge of Financial PR and I was able to bridge the gap between my academic studies and actually applying what I had learnt in a practical setting. Bearing this in mind, I would like to work in a company like Finsbury because I feel the stakes are much higher because they deal with FTSE 100 companies whose actions and decisions are open to scrutiny by the public. This is a motivator for me to work in corporate communications because I realise that I will be able to see the impact of my work. I feel I will be better suited to work in corporate communication because of my analytical mind-set and interest in the wider economic context which affects businesses. Through my Masters I really enjoyed conducting critical evaluations of crisis situations/crises and how they were handled e.g. the Tesco horsemeat scandal. Reading the news about the Talk Talk phone hacking scandal also interested me on how it affected the share price. This emphasised the idea that every business decision and external factors which affect it are subject to consequences and reputational repercussions. Thus crisis communications really excites me and although I am not denying it will be stressful, I feel it will also be a great learning experience.
Prior to the programme, I was always drawn to the glamorised and creative consumer sector which would allow me to come up with funky campaigns and work with A-list celebrities. But since the programme, I have been opened up to a new world of corporate communications. I like the idea of working with high calibre clients to manage, promote and protect their brands. I might as well put it out there: working in a highly recognised agency like Finsbury or Brunswick will also be a job well done!
Through the Finance Talking and Finsbury workshops I was intrigued by IPOs, M & A and Capital Markets. Seeing the SABMiller merger unfold on the programme whilst learning about M & As was really interesting as I was able to see first-hand what actually goes on during these acquisitions. Being a big fan of the US drama Suits, I also started to consciously realise how I was able to understand what the corporate lawyers were on about. Prior to the TBF, I just watched it for the witty banter Harvey Spector and Mike Ross shared. But I remember in one episode they were talking about private equity and mergers and I was like, “Yes I know what you are talking about now!”
An icing on the cake which definitely confirmed for me that a career in corporate communications is where I wanted to be was my meeting at Buchanan. Walking through the suave office in St Pauls, I was like WOW! Never would I have dreamed of walking in or sending a cover letter to a big company like this and be actually invited to their offices. It definitely did wonders for my confidence. Being from a socially deprived area in Sheffield and having access to a world like this, I find really exciting and cannot wait to see where it leads me!