Sometimes Rejection Is A Good Thing

Sometimes rejection is a good thing as it can lead to avenues you hadn’t explored previously. I talk about all this from a graduates perspective.

Congratulations on your successful application! We’d like to offer you the position.

It had taken me a year to get a reply like this, then I got two offers on the same day.

Graduating in summer 2018, I was already at a final stage interview for a major fashion brand and had an assessment centre interview the day after graduation for a marketing agency, I naively thought this was too easy. I was mistaken.

Since this time, I had been through the interview process of countless organisations and countless more rejections have come my way. During this time in my life, I began to doubt if my ability within the marketing industry was substantial enough to compete with the thousands of other graduates seeking an entry-level position.

During this past year following my graduation, I had made the decision to work part-time whilst actively looking for an entry-level role within Marketing and PR. Many of the jobs I undertook were mainly temporary contracts. I had worked for charities, nightclubs and during the latter half of my year after graduation, I predominantly worked in retail.

I did, however, get some industry experience working for a marketing research agency within central Birmingham, this was vital for me to obtain as it meant I then had relevant work experience that I could use to talk about in relation to jobs I was applying for. Furthermore, I was also producing video content both for my personal brand and for other organisations too. This meant that I had the ability to express my interest in producing content for marketing materials and was able to differentiate myself from other candidates who may not have had my skills.

Throughout this time, I had applied for roles ranging from Digital Marketing Assistant to Content Producer, specifically searching for roles that would be within the digital/online marketing landscape. Throughout university, I began to become more interested in digital marketing compared to other forms within the industry. However, many of the applications I had made were either completely rejected or I would receive the following reply:

You would be a great fit, and I know you’ll go on to a successful career however we’ve decided to go with someone with a little more experience.

– Every rejection letter I’ve received

Experience is key to obtain a role within the marketing industry, however, I do also believe a strong passion and clear interest for a job plays a vital part in the process too. As the current academic year comes to an end once again, it’s that time in the year where both graduates and recruiters are scouring the interest looking for the right prospects. A few weeks ago a recruiter had approached me to discuss a role on offer that would involve the buying and selling of advertising space. At the same time, I had received an email from a marketing agency stating my application was a success and they wanted to a face-to-face interview to discuss their role on offer.

Skip a few weeks, I had then received emails from both brands saying they’d love to offer me the roles. At this point in time, I went from desperately looking for a marketing role to having to decide what career path I wanted to take. One led to a career that was more data-driven and numerical based, but financially more appealing, the other was more creative and a wider scope of all marketing channels, however, it offered more risk due to it being a fixed term contract.

I had always told myself I was more of a creative individual and would follow my passion and interests rather than being money motivated, however, I now had a decision where I would have to live by what I’ve said. Ultimately, I decided I would accept the marketing agency role due to my underlining passion for working within an integrated marketing agency.

Result:

Currently a week into the marketing agency role, I couldn’t be happier with my decision thus far. Within the first few days, I’ve been exposed to how an agency deals with clients, how to converse and understand what they want and adapt my approach depending on which departments I am collaborating with. I can’t wait to see how much more I learn and to see where my interests may lie in the future.

The First Year After Graduation

Graduating is an amazing experience and a celebration of all the work you’ve put into your degree. However, it’s after graduation where many grads feel lost, I talk about this and much more.

On Thursday 26th July 2018, I had officially come to the end of my university experience and graduated with a 2:1 from Birmingham City University.

All students realise that university comes to an end, after 3 or 4 years you complete your qualification and leave never to return. However, the reality of finishing university only sinks in a few days before or in my case, only a few hours before my name was going to be called out at the graduation ceremony. My final chapter of university life had come to an end before I knew it, all I could do is live in the moment of celebrating my achievements with those who had been there since the beginning. Since then I have been applying for jobs continuously, with and without success. Initially, it was a very promising journey as I had a group interview for a top marketing agency the day after graduation. My thoughts at the time were “this is almost too easy,” however I later learned that diversifying yourself from other candidates is much harder than anticipated.

Upon realising the above, I have since gained industry experience through various internships and freelance content marketing opportunities. The main feedback I have from multiple job interviews was that my lack of industry experience led to the companies choosing other candidates, thus it was crucial that I gained industry experience to develop a resume that differed to that of other marketing graduates. Having produced online video content throughout university, I had been approached to produce a series of videos on behalf of an organisation that works closely with university bodies and student accommodation organisations.

I created their first graduate series and the results were increased levels of engagement on their site. Furthermore, I also secured a short term internship at a marketing research agency in which I obtained industry knowledge on how to cultivate the appropriate survey questionnaires depending on a clients brief, developing an awareness of research methods and creating presentation packages that easily represent the data obtained.

Working closely with industry professionals, in both producing content and developing in-depth research techniques, gave me an understanding to what industry life would be like. Alongside all of this, I also worked part-time in a few charity and retail outlets. One key priority was to keep active whilst looking for a graduate job, this allowed me to evenly spread my time between working in retail and slowly building up marketing experience that would create a unique selling point for myself when a recruiter gazes at my CV.

Realising that more than just a degree is needed to enter the professional marketing landscape, this blog aims to outline and inform on my personal efforts and other key stories online.

The reason I have created this site is to showcase my work and share experiences that I believe many graduates could potentially relate to in regards to employment and seeking the right opportunities. Additionally, I will comment on industry news that relates to Marketing, Advertising, and PR and any developments within the sectors.