Graduate Stories: Philippa Artus, Marketing Communications Executive
Graduating from university can be overwhelming, we get it. Many of us in the Only Marketing Jobs team have been there. To give you a helping hand and to enlighten you, we've reached out to our marketing graduate community to hear some of their career stories. Philippa Artus graduated university in 2013 and is now working as a Marketing Communications Executive for an integrated business services company in Central London. Previously, Philippa worked in a variety of marketing roles including positions in PR, account management and events. We were lucky enough to steal a bit of Philippa's time to ask her some questions about her marketing journey so far. Check it out:
How did you get into marketing in the first place?
I was always interested in the more marketing-based modules at university (like consumer behaviour or branding), so during my summer holidays, I started looking where I could make the best use of my interests. I realised that my best shot to get some experience was to find some internships to fill the gap between term times, so I started emailing different firms to see if they were looking for any extra short-term help. I managed to get a number of internships over my summer holidays at brands like New Look, Coast, Oasis and Cambridge Univesity Press in the PR and marketing departments and learned a lot about myself and my career.
Did your university degree/experience help you when it came to your first marketing job?
Absolutely. My lecturers at the university were so encouraging and could clearly see that I had a passion for all things marketing. They helped me with references for applications and directed me towards the areas I should be looking into. The modules I selected helped to further my interest year-on-year and you could really see that in my grades.
How did you identify which area of marketing you wanted to get into?
It took me a long time to work out where I wanted to be. I started in in-house PR, then moved to agency-side account management, then I moved back to in-house as a generalist marketer and that is where I've stayed for a good few years now across different roles. As I pride myself on being an 'all-rounder' I would say that if you're enthusiastic about marketing and learning new skills, then it doesn't matter which area of marketing you work in. There will always be crossover and you can move around fairly easily, so long as you can see the transferable skills.
Is there anything you’d have done differently starting out in your career?
I don't think so. I worked hard, got some experience, and stayed curious. All things that I'd encourage any new marketer to do. If you can show that you're keen, know your stuff, and you're adaptable, then you're an asset to any team.
What advice do you have for graduates looking to get into marketing?
Do your research. Find out what qualifications, qualities or experience you need to have on your CV. Do you have any skills that could be transferable? Don't underestimate the power of being a good or persuasive communicator; it will get you a long way. Sometimes the perfect person for the job isn't always the person with the best degree, so always shout about what other things are great about you.
What advice would you give graduates who are currently searching for their first marketing job?
I'd definitely say that you need to be flexible both in your job search and when you start a new role. It's important to remember:
- all companies will teach you something, even if you're not enthralled by the idea of them at first
- all businesses are different, so you need to join any new firm confident in your abilities but also prepared to be a bit of a blank canvas as well. They will want you to speak up if you have an idea, but they will also want you to learn the way they work before jumping ahead of yourself
Before you begin your search, I'd thoroughly recommend you to assess yourself too. You need to understand what kind of company dynamic you want to work in and look for opportunities that suit you best.
If you could give your post-graduate self any piece of advice, what would it be, knowing what you know now about the industry?
I have a few pieces of advice:
- Don't be such a know-it-all
- Don't judge a book by its cover
- Always be ready for surprises
- Always continue to learn as much as you can about marketing so you never get bored