LIFE AFTER GRADUATION – AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR JUNIOR COPYWRITERS

LIFE AFTER GRADUATION – AN INTERVIEW WITH OUR JUNIOR COPYWRITERS

Life after Graduation Blog_Mailchimp

Graduating from university is a huge achievement that should be celebrated, but it can also lead to a lot of uncertainty. We sat down with our Junior Copywriters Beth and Biraj to discuss the highs and lows of being recent graduates.

BIRAJ’S INTERVIEW

AFTER GRADUATION (UNDERGRADUATE EDITION)

Did you have any career plans before graduating? Did these change once you graduated?

I did have an idealistic view of what I wanted to do. I feel like most people when they go into their undergrad degree have this idea of what they want to go into and what their life will look like. I knew I wanted to go into writing as I did English Literature with Creative Writing at university but I didn’t have any set plans past that. When I graduated I ended up working with an insurance company which was very different and not what I was hoping to do, but as time has gone on I’ve managed to get into writing which is great.

What was it like to be a recent graduate looking for work during the pandemic?

I graduated in 2019 so was the last cohort to graduate with a proper graduation ceremony, which was lucky. I was able to go straight into work but I was definitely affected by the COVID crisis. My plan was to go traveling during summer after working a short stint at the insurance company and obviously I ended up not being able to do that. The insurance company eventually laid people off and it was much more difficult to find a job. I found that opportunities were few and far between, with lots of industries being forced to scale back and, in anticipation of potential economic crisis, close their ranks. But as things started opening back up, industries poked their heads above the parapet and the job market was flooded with opportunities, and I found exactly what I was looking for.

Do you think your life would be much different if you didn’t have the uni experience?

Yeah, I think university first and foremost gives you a formal education in terms of what you want to specialise in and cements your area of expertise.  I think if I hadn’t gone to uni I wouldn’t have had the experience of becoming an adult. Going straight from sixth form into the workforce wouldn’t have given me the time I needed to develop and grow in terms of my career and aspirations.

Has being a graduate opened up any exciting opportunities for you?

Definitely! It means that I have more options in terms of what I can do with a degree. Sometimes experience trumps having a degree but for me, I think having a degree opened a lot of doors for what I wanted to and the jobs I could get without having to do an apprenticeship or something like that, as it can be quite hard to find a job without a degree or some kind of relevant experience.

How do you find working at Education Cubed?

It was in many ways the best of both worlds for me; I was able to do marketing as well as writing, and these resonated with my previous experience working in marketing and helped to tie in with my writing aspirations. Being able to produce work for clients, getting great feedback, and working alongside other members of the team has been really rewarding and helped to boost my confidence. Cubed was one of the first agencies looking to increase staff numbers, and they were all very eager to have Beth and I onboard as their copywriters. Everyone is so friendly and incredibly helpful and it makes for a lovely place to work.

BETH’S INTERVIEW

LIFE AFTER GRADUATION (POSTGRADUATE EDITION)

What year did you graduate (undergrad and postgrad)?

I finished my undergrad in 2020 and was one of the first groups to graduate during a pandemic without a proper graduation. I started looking for jobs in my field but didn’t have any solid plans as the degree offered a wide scope of career options. I think this helped to give me a push into further study. I wanted to go into marketing, so I applied for an internship over the summer and this solidified my career path. I applied for postgraduate study in Future Media and graduated in 2021. I discovered that I enjoyed the writing aspect in marketing, and looked to copywriter roles for that blend of creative and marketing and ended up at Education Cubed as one of two new junior copywriters.

How has getting a postgrad helped you in your career?

I found that my undergraduate degree was much more focused on tech and the science behind creating content. But to understand all of this I made videos and produced content. Whilst this helped me understand the process a bit more, I found that I couldn’t get into my current role with just the undergrad degree as I didn’t have enough experience or knowledge. Having a postgraduate degree gave me a push and opened the door for me to be able to get into the industry and the role I currently have now.

Did covid have an impact on your job prospects?

I think so. If I hadn’t graduated during a pandemic I don’t think I would have struggled as much as I did. I found that a lot of companies weren’t hiring as they did not fully grasp the situation and didn’t want to take that financial risk. Even with my Master’s degree to back me up I still struggled a lot. But also it had the positive effect of forcing me to look harder and therefore not take on the first opportunity that came my way. I spent time and thought about looking at what was right for me.

What industry are you currently working in, and how is that different from what you expected when doing your degree?

When I started undergrad I had no thoughts of working in marketing. I was going to be a graphic designer or animator but most of those lead into marketing at some point, whether directly or indirectly.  I didn’t really know what marketing was and it made no sense to me, but we studied a bit of marketing and so it made more sense and caught my interest. During my postgraduate study, I had a good idea of marketing but didn’t know the back end of it, and when I learnt it I realised there were more facets to marketing, not just creative but analytical too. I have a more well-rounded knowledge of marketing and know that I know how diverse the industry is. It’s incredible.

How do you find working at Education Cubed?

I absolutely love working here, I’m so glad I got the job when I applied! The work is really fun and varied, I love getting to help out with socials and write blog posts alongside doing copy for client campaigns because it’s nice to have variation and for people to be happy for you to help. Everyone is really friendly and I find it hard to feel any negative feelings when I’m in the office because of how welcoming it all is. The office dogs help too, they’re obviously one of the best parts!

[END OF INTERVIEWS]

Life after graduation can be daunting for some, whilst for others, it can be something that they have been excited about since making those A Level/Btech subject choices. Graduates that have specific skills related to their subject types may spend a few months post-graduation aiming to break into their relevant industries, but also have more well-rounded skills that can be applied to generic roles to help keep them afloat. “Because of these skills, graduates may have greater resilience during times of economic crisis, although evidence is mixed. Graduates may therefore be less likely to be unemployed in comparison with those who do not have a degree” (Office of National Statistics report on the employment and labour market) though this may not be in their desired industry.

Covid had an undeniable effect on the graduate population, with many graduates entering the workforce and being put straight into furlough, but surprisingly, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that graduate skill mismatch, defined as the proportion of graduates not employed in graduate occupations, decreased by 5.0 percentage points to 25.5% between Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019 and Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020[1]. The overall UK labour market showed significant increases in unemployment Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) of 2020, whilst graduate unemployment numbers were on the decrease, showing graduate resilience, and perhaps the industry need for fresh new talent to guide businesses out of ‘uncertain times’.

On a more individual level, it seems that although our copywriters did struggle, it allowed them to become more resilient and skilled in applying for roles. Both come from fairly broad backgrounds and as the ONS found, “Graduates are more likely to have both general and transferable skills, which allows for movements across different occupations.” This allows for a more rounded employment history before settling in the industry they desired.

BETHANY MANN

JUNIOR COPYWRITER

BIRAJ SHAH

JUNIOR COPYWRITER

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Archives