Marketing and IT. These are two fields that prior to my time at A&P I thought were pretty different from each other. I knew I had an interest and somewhat understood marketing from my courses at university but on the night before my first day at A&P, I realised that my knowledge of IT was pretty much limited to my ability to work social media, Microsoft office, and my Apple products. I would soon find out however, that there is so much more to learn and that these two departments, and many others, work in tandem to be successful.
My first few weeks at A&P were spent with the home improvements account team. From attending client meetings and researching competitors, to creating a personality test based on a customer's choice of conservatories, orangeries and extensions, these three weeks were truly eye opening in exposing me to life at an agency. On a daily basis, I would perform a variety of tasks that were necessary in upholding client relationships. And a lot of my work involved running upstairs to meet with members of the film, digital and creative teams for their assistance.
As time went on I learnt so much about how to balance my own opinions with those of the clients. Also in terms of personal growth, I realised that my confidence increased little by little and I found it easier to contribute in meetings whether it was with another A&P employee or a client.
Before I knew it, the first three weeks were over and I moved upstairs to work with the IT team. With very little past exposure to this department I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I had a lot to learn. Over the next few weeks I dove right in as an IT Tester intern by helping with the development of websites for clients and managing data. I spent hours going through newly built websites looking for bugs on different browsers and devices and I was truly blown away by how much time and effort was put into creating a website. My naïve-self thought that all it took was some coding (which I still have no clue about), adding some images and text, and then it would somehow all magically come together!
While I don’t know if a career in IT is best suited for me, I know that the experiences I have gained during my placement are invaluable. In the end, marketing is nothing without a digital presence and because of this I now know that even with some basic IT knowledge and skills, you can go a long way. Hopefully the next time someone mentions a term like "wireframe", "SEO and PPC" or "dev site", I won't just have to smile, nod my head, and pretend to know what they're referring to!
In the future, I would love to work at an agency again and experience the contrasting work style of a larger corporate. My past experiences have mainly consisted of larger businesses and looking back at my time at A&P the small to mid-size business environment is refreshing. Not only is it great that all departments are small enough to work with each other, but it was also nice to know that if I walked around the office I was able to recognise and have a conversation with so many members of staff from different teams. Who knows what I'll end up doing, or where I'll be after university, but I definitely learnt some truly transferrable nuggets of know how from A&P.