After graduating from Leeds Trinity University with a degree in Media and Marketing, Sophie Madgewick has been working as a Social Media and PR Executive at Shrewdd Marketing. In this blog, she reflects on her first year in the marketing industry.
I joined Shrewdd Marketing just before graduating from Leeds Trinity in 2017. As part of my degree I'd completed two placements, the first at digital marketing agency Branded3, and the second at Dubit, a children's agency, so I was ready to get stuck into my new role as PR and Social Media Executive.
With my experience at Leeds Trinity behind me, I felt confident about starting my first postgraduate job – despite understanding there would be a lot to learn about the Business to Business (B2B) marketing industry.
Since then, I've spent many months getting involved in a variety of exciting projects, from social media and email marketing to writing content and liaising with journalists, as well as co-ordinating with the account team on a daily basis and briefing the creative director with design work.
Though starting my career in a fast-paced agency has been challenging at times, the team have been on hand to help me out, enabling me to build my confidence and settle into my new role well.
At the start of 2018, I was asked to take the lead on the corporate social responsibility project. It's something the agency has done for a number of years, offering marketing services free of charge as a way of giving back to the community. In the past we have worked with The Wallace and Gromit Foundation and the Samaritans, amongst others.
This year our chosen charity is Leeds Mencap, which provides support for families and individuals affected by learning disabilities. We felt it would be appropriate to partner with a Leeds-based charity given the Shrewdd office expansion into Leeds City Centre in 2017.
This was the first big project I would be managing independently, liaising with the head fundraiser and ensuring all tasks were completed on time and to a high standard. After brainstorming with the Shrewdd team, I proposed running a campaign called 'Wear a Cap for Leeds Mencap', which encourages friends, family and colleagues to wear a cap or hat for a day and donate a small amount of money to the charity. Following a meeting with the head fundraiser, it was agreed that the marketing activities would include; content marketing, social media support and writing and circulating press releases.
At present, I'm halfway through promoting the fundraising campaign and it's going really well. I've built a strong relationship with the charity and the campaign has already been covered by key regional media, increasing awareness of their work and in turn helping them to raise funds.
It's definitely been a busy year learning the ins and outs of the B2B marketing industry, however my time at Leeds Trinity definitely well-equipped me for life after university and my first career.
If you're considering a career in social media, PR or marketing, my advice is to complete a relevant placement and get as much work experience as you can. Getting the opportunity to carry out placements in the industry while at Leeds Trinity gave me an insight into what a job in the industry would be like. What's more, my lecturers at and mentors were very supportive, helping me to understand what career path I wanted to take.
I'm looking forward to another hectic year at Shrewdd, and building a successful career in the marketing industry.