Job searching is hard. Graduate job searching is even harder. So, looking for a graduate job during a pandemic in the marketing space? It’s been a long summer – but I got my dream graduate job, and this blog post is all about exactly how it went down.
Graduating In A Pandemic
I handed in both my dissertations a mere three days before the UK went into national lockdown. I was then stuck in Oxford until June due to the travel restrictions. Thankfully, I was staying with my boyfriend – but graduating without any of the celebrations we’d been expecting, or being able to see our friends, was difficult. Then came the realisation that I needed to somehow find a job, in the middle of a pandemic, and I was not at all prepared.
Figuring Out The Dream
I began applying for jobs once I handed in my last assignment. I had no real idea what industry I wanted to enter. I knew that I liked writing and I had a bit of blogging experience – so I ran with it. I started researching social media and digital marketing as careers. I’ve loved the concept of marketing from a distance, but the more I learnt about it, the more I wanted to turn it into my career. Marketing is such a big field and there are many component parts – including copywriting and content writing.
Build A Portfolio
I collected together the best blog posts I had and decided it wasn’t enough. So, I set out to write for free and build up a portfolio. I did pieces of copywriting, I did blogging for my university student union, and I also volunteered to post on social media for a mental health charity. This combination of things meant I could build up a portfolio. At the time I wasn’t sure it would help – but now, looking back, I know that this was the single best thing I could’ve done at the time.
The first ten, twenty, thirty job applications had me very excited and eager to hear back… only to be faced with deafening silence. Months passed and I moved back home. Thirty job applications turned into fifty, fifty into a hundred, and then I stopped counting because it was a difficult reality to face.
I had one interview for a digital media position at a start up (my dream type of company to work for!), but I wasn’t quite the right fit for the role… which was disappointing, but they were also looking for a freelance content writer and asked me if I was interested. Of course I was! The idea of freelancing quickly made me fall in love and while I was waiting for a response, I started the copy&bake Instagram as a way to get into freelancing in case this opportunity didn’t work out. I did a decent amount of work through Fiverr and Instagram. Freelancing was truly a lifeline when I was struggling with the emotional reality of being newly unemployed during a pandemic.
Part Time At A Startup
The start up got back in touch and invited me in for a chat! I leapt at the change, even with the slight threat of travelling in London during a pandemic. I was already familiar with the area they’re based in and quickly felt at home in the (very small, but very friendly) office. I spent the first week being incredibly overwhelmed (first office job, hello there!) because it was such a shift from what I was used to, but I soon settled in and found my feet.
Finally, A Full Time Role
Here’s where it gets interesting! When I started as a freelancer, the idea of eventually turning full time was brought up. Now, being the cynic I am – and considering the pandemic scenario – I was expecting my freelancing career to be lasting a minimum of six months… but in just two weeks, I was offered a full time role! So, that’s where I’ve been for the past month: working my first full time job in an office, in my dream graduate role, for my dream start up company!
I am a full time content writer slash digital marketing intern for a luxury homeware ecommerce brand. My responsibilities include writing PPC (pay per click!) ad copy, product descriptions, customer service email templates, product category descriptions, and more! I work with the head of marketing and CEO on a daily basis and really do get to play a vital role in the company of just fifteen people.
Copy&Bake began as a way to get into the marketing industry. Through a lot of hard work and a lot of luck, I found my way in – with zero professional connections and no work experience or prior internships. Copy&Bake is a place to share my journey from English graduate towards being a fully-fledged marketing professional. Make sure to subscribe to copy&bake to get notified when a new post goes up, and follow me on Instagram for all the in-between bits!
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