Thank you Alex for your participation! Alex is the founder of @fresh_2_grad on Instagram, it’s a great account for student and graduate advice and tips!
Hi Alex, please introduce yourself!
Hi everyone! My name is Alex, I’m 24 and I am currently a service and sales assistant at a student accommodation. I attended Newcastle University for four years, studying Marketing then my PG in International Business management. I have always loved the creativity of marketing and so have a desire to enter the industry to start my career. And I am proud to say I will be when I start my new graduate role with Vodafone this coming September!
What is your advice to someone wanting to get into marketing?
Marketing is such a diverse subject and department, so it is not just about raising awareness about a particular product or service. With that said, you don’t need to have a marketing background to get into the field. I would say build your experience and knowledge to get into marketing, volunteer at companies for a week, research effective marketing campaigns and understand its methodology and do courses online to build up your own skills.
You should really get to know the ins and outs of the marketing you want to get into to boost your chances of standing out in the job market.
Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?
This is such a difficult question as even though I have planned a path for myself, 2020 has shown us that plans can go out the window in the space of a year. But if I was to envision one it would hopefully be a marketing or operations manager at a technology company. I want to use my time to learn about the telecoms industry at Vodafone, and if a role was to present itself there I would take it – if not expand my reach and look elsewhere to keep pushing myself out my comfort zone and learn more.
If you were an interviewer, what do you think you’d want to hear from someone applying for your role?
(I am speaking for the future when I am in the role) I think this ties into question two a little, in that for me it is a lot about what you know and have done. I was not really aware of this when I started my job search, but employers are after: what you have experienced before, what you have learned as well as who you are as a person. So to answer your question, I would want to hear why that applicant is passionate about entering the industry, their (unique) motives as well as a strong argument to why they are a good fit for the role – referencing their relevant experiences as support.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far, and how did you overcome it?
I had two for this question, so I will briefly touch on both. The first relating to education, was managing my time effectively. I went to university with such a lacklustre mindset, I was ready but was unmotivated. I spent a lot of time on the social side of things, meeting others, partying, eating, everything I should have been moderate about. And since then I am a lot more grounded, I feel I can say no to a lot more and focus on myself. It is about your priorities and attending to them first. And the section was getting a graduate job with no office experience. I found rejection after rejection because of this and it got to me.
But I really focused my time on a few applications after some consultation with my mentor, and since then found myself a role!
How do you like to unwind?
I have tried to be more mindful of how I unwind now, especially given the stresses of the pandemic. I work, run my blog and try to upskill myself where I can so I find my hands a little full sometimes. But I have started blocking off chunks of my day where I do very little, if not nothing, and catch up with my series’, work out or cook with my missus. The pandemic has definitely given me more time to do these things, so I have been grateful for that.