From Humble Student to Digital Marketing Manager: My Journey

Sean Williams, 
Account Manager, 

When I first started at Brunel University, I already had an idea I wanted to work in an innovative industry having taken a business management course with marketing, but was directionless in what I really wanted to focus upon within the field or where I really wanted to go. I always said to myself I wanted to do a placement to help my job prospects by the time I finished uni.

Soon my second year had already dawned on me in no time, and in a flash, I swept into the race of securing myself a placement. After many applications and interviews, time has flown by and August was at my doorstep, it started to look hopeless I could find one, even my parents were telling me to just continue on to my final year, that was until I applied for the last placement opportunity, that would ultimately serve as one of the biggest decisions for my future.

I found a placement advertisement for at the time a digital marketing firm called Push, everything in the description seemed ideal, having already expressed some interest within digital marketing in what was an already large and continuously expanding digital world. It only took a week, with one phone call asking for an interview I passed the initial assessment stage and was invited to the office. I walked into the office greeted by a small, but humble, tightly knit team. My interviewer (and eventual manager Monique) greeted me with a charming smile as we went through the usual interview process you could find anywhere but it felt a lot more “homely”, less corporate and standardised.

Time soon went by with myself (and family) anxious to hear back of what was effectively my last chance but as I was walking down my street on a rainy day I got the phone call saying I got the role as I happily cheered and ran back home forgetting my original task of going to the shops to pick up milk!

From there my true Journey began with Push as well as my career, I started in September, introduced to the rest of the team, as someone with no digital marketing knowledge apart from what my University had taught me. It was nerve-racking, to say the least with the 2-week training akin to a boot camp but even more intense, though the team, my own or other teams, were always by my side and my manager Monique always willing to answer whatever questions I had. It’s this mentoring I believe a lot of other organisations lack, a work environment quite unlike any other I had ever worked in, a genuine emphasis on employee well-being, self-development and culture.

One of the single greatest moments was watching as Push transitioned from the small office based in Harefield to a new larger one now based in Denham. Being part of the contribution to that expansion was so self-fulfilling it acted as a motivation to perform even better. Push over the course of my placement endowed me with the skills to truly take off with a digital marketing career giving me the freedom to try new things and present back to the entire team on what I had learned as well as what could be beneficial to Push. Suggestions that are taken on board and not simply lost in a box to never be opened, every member of each team makes a healthy contribution that we all take on board and implement in new and unique ways progressively evolving together as a family. These new innovations help customers grow and there was always a focus at launching new techniques at speed.

Only halfway down my placement year, I was called for a private discussion about my future and where I want to be, I’ve always loved playing and news around video games and expressed a strong desire to apply what I had learned from Push into the industry, as well as an opportunity to go to Japan to teach English for a year, stemming from a deep interest into the culture there. At this time my manager mentioned to me how her and the rest of upper management expressed a strong desire for me to come back after university, it was overwhelming at first with myself at a loss for words, yet knowing how fantastic an opportunity it was.

By the time my final year passed I was still contemplating upon my future plans,  all the while still doing part-time work at Push which was a great help, and kept me in the loop of the industry. Ultimately I decided to stay with Push after university, with no regrets.

The very skills I’ve learned from our regular Friday training and on the job learning gave me the capacity to perform better in my final year than even I anticipated, eventually finding out that I would graduate with first class honours!

What ultimately made me decide to stay at Push? The opportunities they provided with me were unlike any other with even more that will present themselves in the future, from being able to go to different places, to learning many new things about the growth of digital marketing as well as contributing to its ongoing growth and becoming a digital leader. But most importantly, it’s because it’s a work environment you will never see elsewhere, a tightly knit community of various cultures that span the globe coming together to work towards various goals.

Push is a place that has become akin to a second family, and as a fresh graduate, I am greatly looking forward to how much more I can learn, contribute and grow and to take my career/journey to all new heights.

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