Name: Alice Jackson
Degree and university: Psychology and Physiology BSc from Cardiff University
Job title:Account Manager, MRA Marketing
Were you always interested in Marketing/PR?
No. I wasn’t really sure what it was, but everyone around me kept telling me I’d be really suited to PR. I had a friend who worked in an agency and asked her to explain to me what it involved. I quickly realised that it seemed ideal. I enjoy the creative writing and design aspects of my job, but also relish the interaction and communication with others. I can’t work without pressure and with Marketing you’re always on the go because if you’re not working to a deadline, you’re creating your next one.
What factors made you decide on your particular university/degree?
When I applied for university, I had little idea what career I wanted. I’d always been passionate about Psychology and found the human mind and its characteristics fascinating. (I also found it fascinating that it could actually be taught to people and turned into statistics!) But because I wasn’t certain about careers I chose joint honours with Physiology, as human biology was another passion of mine. Having completed my degree, I am glad I chose to do subjects that interested me and I very much enjoyed university.
Can you describe exactly what you do?
I am an Account Manager responsible for several clients’ PR and marketing activities. My main role is to coordinate the writing of articles, letters, and press releases in trade magazines and direct mail campaigns and newsletters to the trade. I also work closely with our in-house creative team to develop effective advertising campaigns, direct mails, and websites for clients. Other parts of my job include networking and lobbying for my clients amongst editors. The company has gone through a period of change since I’ve been here, moving from being solely trade PR to doing consumer PR and creative design and Marketing. Like I say, you’re always on the go…but each aspect of the job is a lot of fun!
Would you undertake further study to help your career progression?
Yes. I would like to do my Marketing Diploma in the next two or three years. While on-the-job experience is invaluable, I’d like to develop my universal knowledge in the field and may specialise in online viral Marketing in the future.
What do you most like about what you do andare there any downsides?
Having to be positive and proactive are both very enjoyable. It’s very rewarding to see a website you’ve worked on for months go live or receive an enquiry from an advert you had the brainwave for. However, sometimes you have a lot of deadlines at the same time so you have to time plan efficiently. You have to be able to take criticism on the chin – sometimes your work and your ideas might seem great to you but your boss or client may think they’re rubbish!
What do you believe you gain personally from your career?
Confidence – this has grown tremendously since choosing to work in Marketing. You have to approach people and appear confident in what you’re talking about all the time. At first, this was very daunting but once you’ve done it a few times, it gets more fun!