Stella sitting on a sofa with a colleague, looking at a laptop

My First Six Months as a Junior Content Executive

Earlier this year, I handed in my dissertation after three years studying English Literature. I had become a regular inhabitant of any library I could find and spent longer than I’d care to admit trying to read Russian literature (Tolstoy is tough going).

As an 18-year-old, I knew I wanted to study English. But when people asked me what job I wanted to do I’d reply: “I want to write for companies.” I didn’t really know what this meant at the time, but I knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life not being able to fulfil my passion of writing (and reading).

Fast forward through a turbulent time of being a student during the pandemic, trying to make friends over Zoom and joining virtual careers fairs, I was pretty stumped on what my dream job looked like in the ‘real world’. Then the seemingly universal end-of-university panic set in and I was determined to find the career I had dreamed of for so long.

Does My Dream Job Even Exist?

After battling the self-doubt that made me question whether the role I envisaged even existed, I found WPR’s website and a vacancy for ‘junior content executive’. The opening sentence read: “Do you dream of writing for a living?” Not to sound dramatic, but I actually gasped out loud.

I plucked up the courage to apply and landed myself an interview. And now here I am, six months later, officially a junior content executive.

My writing is frankly unrecognisable from when I first joined. Gone are the days of academic writing with over-complicated metaphors, hidden meanings and ideas connected in the same paragraph with a solitary semicolon. Now I’ve learned that simplicity is the sharpest tool as a writer.  

Yes, the past six months have been a complete whirlwind of new friends, new acronyms, new routines, and new adventures, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Agency life can sometimes feel like a never-ending journey (in a good way!). You finish one writing task and you’re already on to the next. The rapid pace means it is never boring and there is ample opportunity to learn and hone your craft. From different clients to different tones, your writing must adapt to suit a range of audiences. It is a completely new skill, but I’ve been taught all this from experts in the trade.

Growing Into Working Life

The hardest part of my journey so far has been the transition from university life to career life. I, like many other students, was used to each day of my week being timetabled, with a clear routine from week to week. Weeks lay ahead of me on calendars, with deadlines framing every aspect of my life and providing me with clear finishing points.

Terms would start and end and, while studying never stopped, I knew where my focus lay for the next six weeks. Working life has no semester, no timetables, and no definitive end point. While I’ve settled into a new type of routine, my workload changes from day to day and when one project ends, another one starts.

As a student, my life fitted into an academic planner for the best part of five years. Going from this to full-time employment was a huge turning point for me and, I think, many other students. Adjusting takes time and encouragement, from yourself and co-workers. But now I couldn’t imagine myself going to back to lecture halls and seminars because I love the flexibility of working between the WPR office and my home office.   

Defying Degree Titles

The last six months have made me feel like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice ­— soaking up knowledge and wisdom from people who are genuine masters at their craft — learning, growing, and feeling incredibly proud.

If you’re studying a subject that requires a large amount of reading or writing, or you simply love the written word (university degrees aren’t a prerequisite), this might just be the career for you. It doesn’t necessarily matter what that degree is called, or whether people think it is a typical progression route. Discovering the world of PR showed me that my dream job existed and has allowed me to pursue my passion as a career.

The author: Stella Morrall is a junior content executive who joined WPR after completing a degree in English and journalism at Birmingham City University. Now a member of WPR’s content team, she works with a range of B2B PR clients to craft compelling copy.

If you’re interested in hearing more about career development at WPR, take a look at what some of our team – Bex, Dan, Gideon and Nicole – had to say when they reflected on how far they have come since joining our agency, or read more about working at WPR.

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