PPC Account Manager at Brainlabs
BA American and Canadian Studies and English Literature, 2017
What does your role involve? How did you find it?
My role involves everything from reviewing how the agency can work to help a client achieve their long-term internal strategic goals, to reviewing the efficiency of extremely granular search terms on Google. My time is split between creating new digital campaigns, communicating with clients, managing £1m+ budgets, conducting in-depth, data-focused analysis pieces, devising tailored strategies, and delivering client presentations and new business pitches. My clients are quite varied, so I manage campaigns across a whole range of platforms including Google, Bing, Facebook, and Amazon. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to client offices throughout the UK and Europe. I found the role on the jobs site, Targetjobs.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
No two days are the same. The scope of work is incredibly broad, meaning that I meet new challenges and learn something different every week. There’s a good balance between long-term projects to collaborate on and shorter autonomous tasks and responsibilities – mixed with a fair few ad hoc client requests. Also, I’ve had the ability to progress really quickly, attaining a lot of responsibility right from my first couple of months in the role, which is something I really sought from my first post-university position.
What is most challenging?
Organisation and time management, due to the nature of working in an agency rather than client-side. You’ve got to keep on top of a range of internal and external client deadlines, often communicating between departments, whilst balancing day-to-day tasks and general account performance. It can be a real challenge, especially during highly seasonal periods such as Black Friday, but a lot of it comes down to managing expectations and taking a flexible approach to your workload – and being comfortable knowing your week is never going to turn out how you plan it on a Monday morning. There are a lot of pretty technical and number-heavy aspects to the position too, so getting comfortable with numbers and excel formulas again after a four-year arts degree took a little while.
How did your time at Birmingham help prepare you for this role?
Birmingham provided me with strong communication, interpretation and analysis, and inter-personal skills, which are all imperative for this type of role. My time at University also helped me to develop my presentation technique, which is a key facet of any marketing position, especially when you’re trying to showcase your knowledge to a client’s CEO. More broadly though, it enabled me to develop my ability to dissect large volumes of information in a short space of time, determine what’s of value and how to use this to give context to a topic.
What advice would you give to students interested in getting into your industry or role?
Make the most of your time whilst at university, particularly during the summers. Such a small part of an interview comes down to discussing your course, so the more experiences you can talk about and the more varied examples you can give to situational questions the better. I made the most of my time by taking up part-time jobs, enjoying summer programmes, and travelling. For most graduate roles, you’ll receive great training that will teach you all the technical nuances you need to know, but it’s really important to understand the shape of the industry and justify why you want to go into a specific area; particularly to distinguish between media types and whether you want to be in-house or in an agency - a little research goes a long way. Also, start working on your excel skills and your life will be so much easier when you do start.