Our MD, Anna, recently featured on the podcast, Agency Life. On the podcast Anna talked through her career leading up to Active Profile. As a computer science graduate, Anna’s route to agency life was quite unconventional – which got us thinking as a team.
Careers aren’t linear. Many of us go to university as young as 19, with no real idea of what we’d like to do once we graduate. Sometimes you’ll continue in the vein of your degree – but more often than not, you’ll gravitate towards something you’re good at, or better: something you love!
Here we talk to some of the AP team about their unconventional career routes…
Working in marketing was never on the agenda for me. I enrolled with Liverpool JMU’s business and law school and had my sights set on a career as a barrister. However, soon after starting my course, the stark realities hit. It wasn’t going to be as easy or as affordable as I’d first thought. I considered becoming a solicitor – or even a law lecturer – but it just didn’t feel right.
Twitter had just come on the scene and I became an early adopter of the social media platform whilst I was at uni, so I was asked to support my local students’ union with some social media management. We started to see results, so I took on more marketing responsibilities. It was at this point when I realised I’d found something I not only enjoyed, but was good at – and the rest is history!
Nathan is head of campaigns at Active Profile and is responsible for all of our campaigns and digital marketing activity for AP and our clients.
I’ve had what some people would call a ‘squiggly line career’. I studied journalism and communications in London and had every intention of being a full-time journalist. I went travelling after uni, thinking that once I returned to the UK I would go back to London and begin my career. However, it turns out that finding a paid journalism job in London with little to no experience was harder than I’d first thought.
In the end I found an entry level sub-editing job for a local magazine in Liverpool but found it hard to progress due to a lack of jobs outside of London. Then by chance, a recruiter who had spotted my profile on LinkedIn called me regarding a job as a content executive in marketing team based in Manchester. They wanted someone with a journalistic background, and I got the job and so changed sectors. I spent two years in marketing but after a while, after gaining some PR experience, I really wanted to explore this side of communications. I polished up my knowledge and, another chance encounter on LinkedIn later, here I am loving my new role at AP!
Megan is a PR account manager at Active Profile
My degree was in film studies. I’d done it at A-level and loved it, so I knew it was what I wanted to study. As I progressed through university, I knew I wanted to be involved in the film and TV industry in some way. I really enjoyed editing and I was a part of a film/TV crew on a number of occasions in a number of roles after leaving uni, but after years of trying, it became clear that it was going to be an unbelievably difficult industry to break into.
One day I saw a job ad for a PR assistant role at Leisure Parcs, Blackpool, the company that owned Blackpool Tower, the Three Piers and Madame Tussauds, to name a few. I went for the interview and ended up getting the job - and apparently it was my experience in accompanying TV crews that landed me the role.
It was a really fun job and although I was only with the company for a short time, it was the beginning of my PR career, something I really wanted to pursue, and it was my education and experience in film and TV that got me there.
Nicky is a company director and leads the PR team at Active Profile
I completed a BTEC national extended diploma in art design and interactive media because I didn’t feel like university was the right path for me. I went to Liverpool Community College – now known as The City of Liverpool College. From there I was offered a paid graphic design internship at an interior design company, which eventually turned into a full-time job. This opportunity allowed me to gain experience working on live projects, learning on the job as well as having access to free learning resources online.
Between then and now, I worked on freelance jobs, both part time and full time, worked in a design collective which a few friends and I set up before doing the obligatory traveling around southeast Asia. I joined Active Profile in 2018 and as they say – the rest is history.
Sam is a full-time agency designer at Active Profile
When I finished college at 18, I was working in a pub in London and was far more interested in being paid than studying, so I decided against going to university. Six years and a move across the country later, I was enrolling at Liverpool City College to study journalism. While I knew I loved writing, that wasn’t enough to bag myself a paid job at the local newspaper. After nearly a year of doing odd jobs in HR, admin and hospitality, I admitted defeat and enrolled on the PR course at LJMU at the tender age of 27 – which made me seem ancient to my 18-year-old classmates!
Throughout my first year, I did unpaid work experience in the marketing department at a charity before being offered a part time paid internship in my second year at a sports PR agency. After gaining two years’ experience there and graduating with a first-class honours degree, I applied for my role at Active Profile and have been here ever since.
Cait is an account executive in the PR team at Active Profile.
Interested in working for an agency? We can help. Register your interest for our next Break into Sessions at email@example.com