Marketing and media for PPLS grads- hear it from Whitespace agency….


You’ll find PPLS grads making great careers in advertising, marketing and PR – your skills developed from your studies, as well as some of the content of your degree lend themselves to these areas (check out the ‘options’ information for your subject for more on skills and jobs related to your studies)

You can also check out blog posts from recent PPLS grads:

So I was delighted to attend a recent careers event where

gave us great insights into how to get into these areas, from gaining experience as an undergrad, to the essential art of networking (as Charlie from Whitespace put it – work hard – be nice to people – essential for success in these areas)

Via my next few posts, I’m going to let you into the secrets of success they passed on to us – there’s just too much good stuff for one post! – so I’ll start with Charlie from Whitespace…. first – a bit of bio:

Charlie Bell, Whitespace, Design Director, career history:

  • Graphic design degree, Dundee
  • Iris Creative insights – designer
  • Headhunted for Whitespace – senior designer
  • Blonde digital – senior designer
  • Returned to Whitespace as design director

Whitespace – the company: Founded in 1997, now has staff of 87+ in Edinburgh with Scottish and UK clients, including RBS, Scottish government, Mary’s meal, Innis and Gunn

Motto – ‘Work Hard, Be nice to people’

Structure of Whitspace – the departments – 

  • Planning (3) provide nuggets of insight and strategy to set alight the creative spark
  • Account management/client services (25) build the relationship with the client
  • Digital marketing – 7
  • UX – design the experience of a digital product, including the navigation, look and feel of the product
  • Creatives – copywriters, art directors, designers, illustrators, animators, artwork, photographer
  • Digital production – ‘shiny, techy, digital stuff’ using macs and snazzy software.

They recruit staff to the creative team from varied backgrounds, and have grads from law, design, psychology, music, English lit – and more………

How they recruit

  • Recommendations, word of mouth, networks (hence – Work Hard, be nice to people!)
  • Reputation (it’s a small world!)
  • Twitter/linkedIn – very important to have a social media profile – they will look!
  • Social events/networking
  • Work with creative courses across Scotland, use internships to recruit
  • Never use agencies

Interview advice

  • Be enthusiastic
  • Informal style, though you need to be up to date, informed, enthusiastic and able to sell your skills and experience
  • Bring a portfolio of your work for creative, UX, developer roles
  • Have relevant examples to talk through for other areas eg account executive. They look for creative problem solving, creativity, collaboration

Whitespace’s 10 top tips for getting into the industry

  • Pimp yourself! It’s both what you know and who you know! Go along to industry events, careers events, follow relevant groups and people on Facebook and Twitter, join conversations, make yourself known.
  • Get a placement or internship. Approach people in the industry directly with your CV and cover letter, be enthusiastic about what you can do. Many agencies will offer 1-2 weeks work experience to informed, enthusiastic people
  • Research – get personal, tailor your applications, send them directly to relevant people, make it easy for the reader – use LinkedIn for your research.
  • You’ll be judged by your worst work (so leave it out of your portfolio!)
  • Volunteer – offer to work on projects for charities, church groups, friends, student societies etc
  • Be really good – and get as good a degree as you can….
  • ….or be really annoying (ie persistent ), in a nice way…..keep writing to people, speaking to them at events etc
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – and then fix them
  • Work Hard; Be Nice to People (it’s a small industry)
  • Do what makes you happy

Whitespace Internships –The Oven –  now open for application! (March 2016)

The Oven – 3 month internships at Whitespace

  • 2 intakes of 6 each year (May , Sept)
  • Work available across the 6 teams
  • Work with peer group
  • Treated as White-spacers
  • Given live briefs
  • Programme of lectures and talks
  • Given feedback, CV, application and interview advice
  • Paid above the living wage
  • For new grads and students

So you’ve had the benefit of Charlie’s insights and advice for getting into marketing; now watch out for up-coming posts with insights from more media professional on how to succeed in this field.

And check out all our careers resources for this area here.

This entry was posted in career areas, English language and linguistics, General interest, Philosophy, Psychology, work experience and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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