What have you done since leaving Brunel?
Since graduating I've been getting involved in all types of work. I began studying and also volunteering in order to improve my CV.
Currently, I’m working as a creative specialist at Brainlabs, a paid media agency. I’m learning the ins and outs of search and display advertising. Soon, I’ll be working with big clients and helping them deliver the right ads to the right audiences.
Have your career goals changed?
I don’t have a specific career goal and I don’t think I ever did. Instead, I’ve been trying to cultivate a system that increases my odds of success in the long run —whatever that may be. I take on challenges that help me progress in some way, even when the challenges themselves don’t work out.
I didn’t become a game designer, but I learned a lot about programming, graphic design, and creative writing in its many forms.
My marketing internships didn’t lead to full-time positions in those particular companies or industries, but I picked up valuable skills along the way.
How have you developed professionally since graduating?
I credit my system for much of my professional development so far.
Studying a variety of subjects and gaining work experience in different industries helped me build a unique stack of talents. I’m not talking about cobbling together unrelated skills. A wide (enough) range of complementary skills means you’ll be able to bring a lot of value to wherever you work.
If I had to summarise my stack of talents, I’d say I’m visually and verbally creative, tech-savvy and I know how to tailor great content to different audiences.
How have you developed personally?
In 2016, I decided to read at least one book every month. Avid readers will say that’s a low bar, which I understand. However, having grown up around technology I hadn’t been dedicating enough time reading.
I set myself an achievable goal knowing that the inevitable success would propel me forward to more reading.
For a few reasons, I went down the rabbit hole of non-fiction books about cognitive science and social psychology—persuasion in particular. It has fundamentally changed my life for the better in ways I can’t explain here. (Seriously.)
Do you have any advice for recent graduates/students graduating soon?
Keep an open mind about your future. Success (whatever that means to you) comes in all shapes and sizes. In 5 or 10 years, you might realise that the thing you wanted to do wasn’t even a good idea. Aiming for a specific career goal is like careening through a thick forest on horseback, shooting a limited number of arrows at a moving target. The environment is constantly changing.
Focus on acquiring valuable skills and enjoying the process. I’ll end with a practical example of a system that I used.
After graduating from King’s College London, I spent 6 months looking for a job. I applied for many openings, even ones that didn’t excite me 100%. With each application and each interview, I improved my cover letter, my CV and my interviewing skills. I learned to turn down offers that weren’t worth my time. When I wasn’t crafting applications, I was reading books and learning more about programming and advertising.
Some might balk at the idea of spending so long sending applications. Taking that time to improve my skills and learn new ones allowed me to keep my standards high for when the right challenge and opportunity came along. I now work in an exciting role in a great company.
Let’s see what the future brings.