I started my career firstly through education. I went to the University of East London studying Marketing and Media Communications. I always knew I wanted to get into marketing, specialising in fashion in-particularly since secondary school. It started when I was in my business studies class and really enjoyed learning about the 4 P’s marketing mix which is, product, price, promotion place and thought this is cool ‘i get this’. After that I was really intrigued that this was the basic strategy of developing a product/service. As i had a personal love for fashion, looking through magazine and the campaign spread that was init and thinking why that messaging looks so good, I started to research if fashion marketing was a career option and when I discovered it was I was sold. I knew that my passion had a career trajectory.
Whilst I was in my second year of University I started to look for internships to take during reading week or during the summer holidays. I didn’t see much marketing internship at all, this was back in 2011 – 2012. I did see quite a lot of PR internships and thought this could be a good avenue to get my foot in the door.
I got my first work experience opportunity at Flipside PR doing one day a week for 3 months. Later on, in the same year, I got a one week experience at Hello Magazine in the marketing department for a week during the run-up to Christmas. I also worked at New Look part time whilst I was at University and asked the PR team if I could intern during the summer, I got a two-week internship during the summer. By the end of University, I had completed all three internships getting my feet wet in the industry.
The Interview Struggle
I was under the impression that having these three internships would help me secure a job once I graduated. That was not the case. I went on endless interviews and I was not getting anywhere. For a year and a half, it was constant rejection even with all the internship experience I had gained. To give an example to the very beginning of getting a job. I had been in the reception and the potential employer walked straight passed me, assuming I was not an ‘Olivia’. I have been in an interview room and been questioned about my experienced as if it was not believable. You name it, I have experienced it.
That was a very tough time, trying and receiving constant rejection. But after a long stint of perseverance and various more interviews I finally got my first job in marketing working for a small beauty company. I was so grateful that I even got a yes, after 20+ interviews (which were with some of the biggest names in fashion and media).
I think the beginning of sharing my journey is SO IMPORTANT because I speak to a lot of budding young women who want to get into marketing but are struggling. I can truly understand because that was me. I did not have a ‘connect’ a ‘bring in’. I didn’t know anyone, all I had was my CV and the skills I have picked up along the way and was just persistent to get an opportunity.
Stay focused. Persistent and most importantly DO NOT GIVE UP.
Launching Life Of A Marketing Girl was a personal desire of mine as well as a professional need. I created this blog to share what I found interesting and wanted to be helpful to others. This community has received amazing feedback which has been overwhelming. I think it’s only right to share my journey to give insight and understanding on how I got to where I am (I still have a long way to go) and be an example that perseverance is key.