Our senior account executive, Emily, shares her thoughts on her first year at MacComms:
I’ve now been at MacComms for a whole year, although to some this may not seem like a long time, in a fast-growing start-up business a lot happens in 12 months. I’ve learnt so much during my time here, on both a professional and personal level, and have progressed from starting as an intern, to my role now as a senior account executive.
Having graduated from the University of Huddersfield in July 2017 with a first in advertising and marketing communications, I was expecting to have to join the job hunt and wait a while before being offered a job in the industry. Through recommendation from my university employment services, I was asked to attend an interview with an exciting, fast-growing PR agency.
My interview at MacComms was the day after my graduation, I was delighted that the interview went well and felt extremely positive, a rare occurrence for me as I used to be terrified in interview situations. I was offered the job a couple of days later and that’s where my journey with MacComms began.
Starting as an intern through the Santander SME internship programme, I joined the small team of PR pros, not really sure what to expect. Usually when you think intern you think ‘makes the tea’, or other duties which don’t entail much responsibility – but I was excited to have my first job in an industry I’d spent the last three years studying.
From my very first day at MacComms, as mentioned in various previous intern blogs, I was treated as a valued member of the team, carrying out client work and getting to know more and more about how the PR industry works. I was writing press releases, award entries, building media lists, contacting journalists, all with the guidance of Jen, a fabulous account manager and Ellie our founder.
It’s quite funny thinking back to when I first started. I remember being asked to make a phone call and I would literally freak out, leave the room and find a meeting room to sit in as I hated the thought of making phone calls in front of other people. I’ve always been quite introverted and never the most confident of people, but I can safely say that working here has really helped me progress. I’m a completely different person today than I was a year ago… in a good way (I hope…)
I’ve definitely learnt that you need to throw yourself into it, try new things and care less about what other people think. Do things that make you uncomfortable, and they might be difficult for the first few times but then they’ll become second nature.
Over the last year, I’ve had far too many highlights to name them all in one blog post.
First and foremost, one of the main highlights for me has to be the people I have met along the way. From previous to current team members, I’ve made some great friends and met some really decent, hardworking people. Working for a small business, it’s so crucial that you work as a team to get everything done, particularly with tight deadlines. Therefore working with people you genuinely like and get along with makes for a much better and more productive working environment.
As an intern (or even an account executive) in most businesses, you would never be given the opportunity to attend client meetings, networking events and meet with company directors and top journalists. MacComms has allowed me to do all of these things, and more, providing me with genuinely valuable experience which has helped me grow and develop new skills to help me progress even further. For example, last month I met with Yorkshire Post deputy business editor, Greg Wright, who was recently named on a prestigious list of the most influential business journalists in the world, to interview him for our monthly ‘Meet the journo’ feature. This was a real highlight for me and it was great to be able to find out more about Greg.
Over the last year I’ve worked on campaigns for some fantastic and inspiring Yorkshire businesses, including Cooper King Distillery’s launch and Sound Leisure’s 40th anniversary to name just a couple. Taking the lead on Victoria Gate Casino’s first birthday PR stunt was a particularly pinpoint moment for me, from the planning process to successfully executing a city centre-wide golden ticket treasure hunt and seeing all they hype on social media made me extremely proud.
As a young parent to a four-year-old (who’s just started school!), there are obvious home-life stresses and restrictions that make working life a little trickier. First of all, having a child at 19 you become sort of a statistic, put into a pool as a stereotype, so I’m proud to have powered through and continue working towards my goals to be a positive role model for my son, and other young parents, that having a child at a young age doesn’t need to hold you back (deep, I know).
I feel very lucky to work for a company which provides the flexibility I sometimes need to be able to both complete my work but also be a mum. I’m grateful to Ellie for being so flexible, in an area where again many other employers might insist on 9-5 Monday to Friday, I’m able to work from home and adjust my hours to make home-life a little easier.
Finally, one of the most prominent themes throughout MacComms is values and giving back. I’ve always been heavily involved in charity work, my mum has managed youth projects since before I can remember and is currently director at young women’s organisation, Getaway Girls. At MacComms, the whole team are encouraged to get involved in giving back to the community. I think it’s so important to carry your skills forward to help those in need. We are the PR partners for Simon on the Streets and often take part in fundraising activities, next week we’re going to be sleeping out at their annual ‘Sleep with Simon’ event.
All in all, I’ve really enjoyed my first year at MacComms, a company which is all about good vibes and teamwork. I’ve already come such a long way and learnt so much, I can’t wait to see where the next 12 months take me!