Adriana is a Advertising & Public Relations student at the University of West London and is due to graduate in May – thank you so much for your participation Adriana!
You can find Adriana at https://www.adrianastefan.net and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTaYm89C9QzVoylcdSOsew
Hi Adriana, please introduce yourself!
I’m 22 and I’m from Romania. I came to London right after I finished high school and I started studying Advertising & PR at University of West London. To be honest, I couldn’t say that it was my childhood dream to study advertising (I didn’t even know it existed back then) however I strategically thought what I wouldn’t hate to do for the rest of my life. Something that my skillset would help me be good at and also have an impact on the world in one way or another.
Professionally speaking, I’ve been working as a sales assistant at Homesense for the first two years of my degree. 2 days before the pandemic, I managed to quit (as I had found another opportunity in the industry), however I’ve been laid off after working there for a week and struggled to find another job during lockdown for another 6 months. I am now working as a social media/ e-commerce/ sales assistant for a small gift shop in Kew, London and I love it and it’s such a great opportunity where I managed to learn a lot.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to someone currently wanting to get into your field?
Don’t underestimate you and your work. I used to think that I first need to finish university, then possibly get an internship or something similar in order to learn and be able to tackle a full-time role. However, in the creative industries, I believe that you are constantly learning and evolving – and there’s no time when you will feel “ready”. Don’t underestimate what you can do. I started to do bits of freelance work when I was in my second year, and I believe to this day that I did an okay-job considering the skills I had at the time. Postponing working because you think you’re not good enough is only going to make it harder to catch up eventually, when you start working. There’s always room for (constant) improvement, but the first step is always the hardest one.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I used to plan everything in life and if you asked me before the pandemic, I would have probably told you a much complex and well-thought plan. However, I’ve learned not to do that anymore. All I know is that in 10-years time I want to be the person that will make my current 22-years old self extremely proud. Career-wise, I hope I will have freelance clients and I will also be well-known for doing good work in the industry. I am not particular about my career choices – but I hope I will experiment with a range of roles and I will have developed lots of skills.
If you were an interviewer, what do you think you’d want to hear from someone applying for your role?
I would like to hear about themselves. I would like them to tell me a personal story that they think makes me understand their personality more. It’s ok to ask common interview questions, but I don’t think you get to actually know the person behind the professionalism they put out at an interview. I’d like them to tell me a story where they had incredible amounts of fun – and that would be tricky, because as an interviewer, I would expect them to come up with something other than “got incredibly drunk once and did…” and more something that again, would make me understand them more. I would like them to tell me why I should want to be their best friend.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your education/career, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge so far was quitting a non-industry job and starting my first job in the industry. Having worked in retail for more than 2 years at that time, I was extremely confident in what I was doing and I was always running and helping my colleagues. When I started working at an office, from 9 to 5, it felt weird. It felt like I didn’t belong there. I definitely had (and still have sometimes) that imposter feeling. Transitioning from a student job (retail, hospitality, no matter what is it) to an office job is hard work. It’s completely different and it takes adjustment. You need to learn how to organise your time, how to spend hours in front of the computer every day and not get distracted constantly. It’s a whole set of new problems that you have to deal with. I think that was my biggest challenge so far.
How do you like to unwind?
I believe that I am a pretty boring person – and I love that! I like to cook, to watch cooking shows & Netflix series and just stay inside with a nice meal and a blanket and spend time with people. I don’t like to party and I don’t like loud music where you can’t hear each other at all. I am pretty easy to please when it comes to relaxing. Just give me a good book that I can get lost in and some nice lo-fi music on the background.