Starting a new marketing job nowadays can often feel like you’ve become Tom Hanks in 'Cast Away' - except instead of finding solace in a volleyball, you’re staring blankly at a confusing spreadsheet and trying not to burst into panic-induced tears every time you hear a chat notification noise.
I can confirm, that after one month at GEL Studios, this was definitely not my experience.
Hi, I’m Beth - I started at GEL in September as a Marketing Executive, and as you’ve probably already deduced, I take pride in my ability to make any piece of writing reference a film in some capacity.
My first month in the role has been a learning curve and a half, but one that ultimately feels fulfilling and gratifying - joining the GEL Studios family has been a huge honour and I’ve enjoyed every minute.
In terms of my background, it’s a mixed bag - switching between industry, freelance and higher education, but maintaining one consistent throughline: creativity. In 2019, I graduated from Bath Spa University with a first-class degree in Media Communications - my focus positioned within Marketing and Design. Following graduation, I was very lucky to have secured several internships across B2B and B2C companies in the southwest, and I eventually settled in Bath at a local start-up, splitting my time between Marketing and Graphic Design.
After two fast-paced years in the role, I decided to take a leap of faith and start a freelance career and a practice-based PhD in Digital Marketing (it was a busy couple of weeks). After only seven months of studying, to my complete and utter surprise, I was offered an amazing opportunity to become a Lecturer of Marketing, allowing me - at the ripe old age of 23 - to teach undergraduate and post-graduate students.
Despite how daunting this job felt, I was incredibly grateful to have been put in such an inspiring position that allowed me to pass on my industry experiences to students, whether that was teaching them strategy, social media, branding, audience research, or two-thirds of the Adobe suite, it was a truly transformative role that I know most people in their early twenties would never get to experience.
However, during my time out of the industry, I couldn’t help but miss the creativity and innovation that exudes from working environments like the one GEL Studios has created. So, before I knew it, I was packing away my tweed-wearing Academic persona, moving out of Bath and sending my CV off to GEL Studios for a new start back in my hometown (much to my mum’s excitement).
And that leads us to now…
What I enjoy most.
Working within an agency environment definitely encourages a lot of spontaneity in your creative and strategic approach. During my time at GEL Studios, I’ve needed to adapt to multiple clients' needs and goals, jumping between projects on an hourly basis.
At first, it can seem quite daunting, but once you become adjusted to the fast-paced workload, it’s a thought-provoking job that keeps you on your toes every single day. In a marketing job, you can’t put yourself in one branded box, you’ve got to invest the same energy and creativity into every client, working to understand their aims (no matter how vague or specific) and build a strategy that fits them wholeheartedly - one that is often wildly different with each business.
It’s a challenging role, but it is equally exciting and refreshing.
What skills do you need to be successful in Marketing?
There are obvious points such as ‘be creative’ and ‘plan ahead’, but if there is anything I’ve learnt since leaving University, it’s the courage to push back and contribute to the conversation that makes you successful. Whenever I have put my ideas forward in the various roles I’ve had over the years, I’ve always felt an intense feeling of fulfilment and often learnt more valuable advice from my peers.
Since joining GEL Studios, I’ve found myself in an environment where the entire team collaborates effectively and without any kind of ego - it’s a group of authentic people who encourage contribution and genuinely listen to one another. It’s a brilliant atmosphere to work in every day and it inspires you to keep progressing both personally and professionally.
What's the most challenging part of the job?
Marketing encourages you to be smart, strategic and forward-thinking - so much so, that you can often find yourself unable to understand a different, more critical perspective when your work does not impress a client. Learning to accept that - despite your best efforts - you are not always going to satisfy everyone else's expectations is definitely the most arduous part of this role (and sector, even).
By addressing this somewhat destructive behaviour, you can teach yourself to be more empathetic toward a client and feel more secure in your decision-making process. If I’ve learnt anything over the last few years, it’s that if you want to handle feedback in a healthy manner, you have to believe in what you’re making so that if it is dismissed, you can still take a step back and feel proud of the work you’ve done.
1 month down and many more to come.
I’m excited to see what road GEL Studios will guide me down and how I can grow professionally in the role. I’m also excited for the coffee. The coffee is really great.
If you need support with your marketing, get in touch and let us tell your story.