Graduate Stories: Esme Rice, Marketing Manager

Esme Rice

There is no better advice for fresh marketing hopefuls than the advice of peers, especially those who have gone through the process and successfully landed a job. Esme Rice is next up in our #graduatestories series and the perfect candidate to give some sound advice where the job search is concerned. Esme graduated from Durham University in 2017 with a degree in Marketing. During her time at university, she undertook a year-long work placement with IBM in channel communications as well as internships in social media, new business and content creation. Esme is now working as Marketing Manager for The Goat Agency, an influencer marketing agency, where she looks after all aspects of their external marketing efforts. How has she done it all? In this interview, she gives us the lowdown on her journey so far: 


How did you get into marketing in the first place?

I’ve actually known I wanted to do marketing since I was around 13/14. I started off doing some placements whilst at school at agencies in my local area to learn what type of marketing I wanted to do. I then went to university to study it and now, I’m a Marketing Manager.


Did your university degree/experience help you when it came to your first marketing job?

My first paid marketing job was when I was 16, however, university did help me mature and gave me the chance to do summer placements. Using the credibility of my university I was able to reach out to agencies and brands to get odd jobs. This resulted in me getting my graduate role at Goat.


How did you identify which area of marketing you wanted to get into?

After my placement year at IBM, I had a few months to fill before I went back to university, so I reached out and got placements at Social Chain and Saatchi and Saatchi. Whilst at Social Chain I sat with their talent team and got really excited about the idea of influencer marketing. I went away and wrote my dissertation on it and reached out to companies I wanted to work for to interview for it. I interviewed Harry from Goat and that’s how I knew I wanted to work in influencer marketing.


Is there anything you’d have done differently starting out in your career?

Whilst university opened some doors for me, a degree is totally not necessary for my role and I learnt more from going out there and doing placements. That’s what I’d suggest to anyone, including myself. Just go out there and get actual real life experience because nothing will teach you better than that.


What advice do you have for graduates looking to get into marketing?

Use your dissertation as a tool to meet people in the industry, do placements to work out which areas of marketing you are interested in and reach out to people. Nine times out of ten, if you message someone on LinkedIn, call them or just send them a really good email, they’ll help you out.


What advice would you give graduates who are currently searching for their first marketing job?

Be honest with your skills and with your ambition. Where do you want to go and what do you need to learn to get there? Seriously research agencies, brands and roles to understand what they do on a day-to-day and whether it's the role for you. I’ve seen so many people go into roles thinking it was one thing, or not even knowing, and it be something completely different that doesn’t suit them. You need to understand what will get you up at 7am every morning or what will have you dreading Mondays.


If you could give your post-graduate-self any piece of advice, what would it be knowing what you know now about the industry?

Surround yourself with smart, fast-moving people and immerse yourself amongst people you look up to. Learn from them and understand what exactly you look up to and how you can embrace these qualities too.


Some incredible advice from Esme here with so much emphasis on reaching out and looking up to the right people. It's so easy to ignore the important things when you're struggling to find a job, but you should always pay attention to what you want and the direction you'd like to take your career. If you found this inspiring, we've got plenty of graduate stories for you to enjoy and learn from. Every experience is different and it just goes to show that there is no set path for those who choose to pursue an exciting career in marketing

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