A Day in the Life of an Associate Director

We chatted to Emily, 28, who walked us through her journey as an intern while at university to working in marketing as an Associate Director.

What did you study?

It was completely impossible for me to choose just one subject to study at university, so I decided to do both History and English. Not many universities offered that combination, and I happily accepted an offer from the University of York. After my undergraduate degree I wanted to continue my studies, and successfully applied for an MA in Medieval Studies at the same university.

How did you get into the heritage sector?

I was passionate about history from a young age, which is why York was so perfect for me. There were so many opportunities in such a historic city, and I applied for literally each one. By the end of my one year Masters, I had interned for a summer at Jorvik the Viking museum, had some work experience at the York Museums Trust, designed an exhibit at the Yorkshire Museum for the Medieval Collection, and worked as a researcher for an Ian Hislop presented BBC programme about Thomas Hardy.

From there, I applied for a placement at a National Trust property and was successful. I had an incredible 6 months running the volunteer programme there (with over 400 on our books!), cleaning and maintaining historic rooms, and contributing to the Christmas season opening.

How/why did you make the change to your current job?

History fascinates me in part because I’m so curious: I always want to know more about something, and that curiosity wasn’t just limited to the heritage sector. My skillset as a writer, editor, and researcher took me around the world as a freelancer, and when I settled back in the UK I decided to explore my love of technology next.

Since then I’ve worked with Sony, Samsung, Beats, and B&O, as well as some global deep tech innovators – think cloud, 5G, robotics, and AI.

What does your current job consist of?

I know that ‘no one day is the same’ is such a cliché, but it’s honestly true! At OggaDoon, we’re a guerrilla comms agency who takes the unexpected and creative approach, working with a variety of deep tech and sustainable ethical companies.

As the Associate Director, my role is threefold: to work closely with the founder to deliver our vision for the company long term, to mentor and support the professional development of the team, and to deliver impactful and powerful comms to our clients.

Part of my job is thinking strategically. Where does a brand need to go? What opportunities are out there that perhaps haven’t been considered? How can we maximise and leverage the impact that we’ve already generated?

The other part of my job is delivering tactically. What are the nitty gritty things that need to happen to make that creative strategy a reality?

It’s an incredibly rewarding job, and I often can’t believe that I get paid to get a front row seat at some of the world’s advances into technology.

What advice would you give to job hunters right now?

If you know the type of career path that you want to take, get as much experience as you can when you’re young – it’s a very competitive market out there, but even volunteering or unpaid experience in your chosen profession will make a huge difference in your applications.

If you have no idea what you want to do when you’re older, that’s even more reason to get work experience! That way, you can start to try out different industries, office styles, and business types. The more you know, the easier it will be to narrow down what you love doing.

Remember that university isn’t the be all and end all. It worked for me and I loved it, but it isn’t the only path to success. At OggaDoon, we have an apprentice who is advancing in leaps and bounds, and she’s at absolutely no disadvantage because she doesn’t have a degree. In fact, we haven’t required a degree in our job spec for a while. Experience is far more important to us.

And last of all, have fun and try not to stress about it! A bad job is never for life, a period of unemployment is not forever, and missing out on your dream placement or job just means that something else is around the corner.

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