Name: Natalie Chiang
Degree and university: BA Journalism, Media & Broadcasting, Cardiff University
Title: Client Services Assistant / Graduate for Urban Communications, Birmingham
Natalie was born in the Far East and moved to the Midlands when she was 10 years old. After studying in Wales she decided not to head off to the bright lights of London, but to return to the Midlands to pursue her career.
What do you actually do?
Effectively, there are two main roles in my capacity of a client services assistant/graduate. The first is to help the Directors in handling client queries, requests or needs efficiently, and the second is to watch and learn. The client handling often involves telephone or email correspondence to ensure clients are updated on progress and to verify if they are satisfied with our service. The role also involves assisting the two Directors in the handling of projects. They will tell me what it is that they’re looking for and through extensive researching and analysing of information I deliver the raw goods they can then mould into something that fits the clients’ needs. What I have found is because the company I work for is a SME, there isn’t a rigid job role that I adhere to. This is mainly because there are so few of us, and so we all have to chip in and do a little extra. My role can be said to be fairly open and can change from day to day depending on the nature of each project. I find this very interesting and stimulating. It also provides me with a wider scope of experiences and exposure, as well as space to develop into a part of the team.
Why did you decide to stay in the West Midlands after graduation?
A number of reasons made me decide to stay in the West Midlands.
1) It offers a vibrant and diverse community
2) Everything you need and more is in the West Midlands
3) The West Midlands is undergoing massive regeneration and there are plenty of
opportunities for people
4) Practicality, as living costs are reasonable (especially for a graduate with debt!)
5) Familiarity, because this is my first proper job I like to have my support network of
friends and family close by.
What do you most like about what you do?
Independency – I don’t feel like I am constantly being monitored when handling projects but that I have been entrusted with the freedom to get on with what I do Guidance – Though I have that freedom, I always feel like I have a strong guidance behind me. Whenever I am unsure, there is always someone I can turn to for help Experience & exposure – Because the team is fairly small, I have been entrusted with a range of responsibilities that I would not necessarily have the opportunity to do if I were working within a large corporation Diversity – The range of clients and projects that the company deals with provides variety to my job role. It also provides an opportunity to meet a range of people.
Are there any downsides to living in the West Midlands?
I love the West Midlands and it will always be the place I grew up. The only reason I would ever leave the West Midlands is because I do not want to fall into the trap of complacency. Because the West Midlands is my home and where the majority of my friends and family are, it is very easy for me to stay and not move on. However, I firmly believe that eventually, I will have to move away to further expand my horizons and seek out new challenges. Other than that, I cannot find any downsides to living in the West Midlands.