Keeping up the momentum (Blog 4)

As planned, I haven’t had direct contact with Cilla since I last met her as I have been completely busy with my dissertation, revision and all the stress of final year. I have however, been working on some of the suggestions that she gave me at our last meeting. Following her advice on trying to gain local work experience within Advertising and Marketing, I have been continuously searching the Careers’ Network website for any opportunities. After having applied for many internship positions, I have finally been successful in securing a month long paid Marketing Internship which I’m convinced was down to my work experience at AMV-BBDO. At the interview stage they were very keen to hear about my experience and what I had gained from the week. While I was on work experience, various people at the agency had given me career focused advice such as keeping up-to-date with the most recent ads and reading about new and successful global marketing campaigns. I took this on board and it gave me loads to talk about at my interview, particularly when they asked me about where I thought the future of Marketing was heading!

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“It’s great to finally know what my plan is for when I graduate and that I’m on the right track.”

Last month I was fortunate enough to spend a week gaining work experience at Cilla’s advertising agency: AMV BBDO. While it was incredibly exciting for a girl who’d always lived in The Midlands to be going to work in the biggest advertising agency in the UK, I was a bit daunted by my daily commute into London, something which I soon became comfortable with.

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‘Strive for excellence rather than perfection.’

Since I last met with Cilla in November time, I’ve confirmed the details of my week’s work experience at AMV BBDO, started to update my CV and LinkedIn profile in line with her suggestions, and tried to focus on some of the advice she gave me. One of the main things Cilla had told me to focus on was my attitude towards things. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but Cilla taught me to strive for excellence rather than perfection. Thinking about things in this way has definitely helped with the academic stress of final year. Continue reading

First Meeting Success (Blog 1)

My first meeting with Cilla was on campus; she was coming to Birmingham for the evening to talk at the ‘5 years of mentoring’ celebration event, and suggested we met up beforehand. I must admit I was very nervous about meeting her as while planning what to ask and my first session, I’d read a lot about her which did little to rest my nerves! Knowing I would be meeting with such a powerful industry leader seemed overwhelming!

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Feeling Excited About The Future

Going in to meet Cilla, I had a set of expectations. I expected Cilla to offer me really helpful advice about my CV, job prospects, and career plans (which she did do). I expected to get lost in London (it was a good life experience). However, I didn’t appreciate the true range of topics that we would discuss, nor how helpful and insightful Cilla would be concerning all of them. We covered so many things, from how to increase my confidence (and why struggling with confidence can be a big positive in the long run) to what exactly makes a good leader. Continue reading

Celebration event at the House of Lords 2015

The House of Lords is a very grand building. In the middle of the evening rush hour, it feels every bit like the centre of the UK. Tourists surround it, admiring it from the outside, but they aren’t usually allowed in. Imagine my excitement then, when I was invited into the building for the ALMP Celebration Event. Of course, the grandiose architecture didn’t help my nerves. I was about to go to a two hour networking event with some of the most successful people in the UK. Like meeting my mentor for the first time, it was quite daunting. Continue reading

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know.

So I’m pretty much at the end of everything now. The Celebration Event is next week (it’s in the House of Lords, which I suspect I won’t get the opportunity to visit again). I’ve just clapped through my graduation ceremony. And now that there’s some time to reflect, I realise how big a part of my life the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Promgramme (ALMP) has been for the past year. I’ve had four meetings with Cilla, yet the Programme has been so much more than that. As Cilla said at the start, the idea of the ALMP is that the mentor only gives a ‘light touch’ to help guide their mentee, with the mentee doing most of the work. Continue reading

Black Tie Dinner at Claridges Hotel (Blog 3)

After having met Cilla about a month previously, you would have thought I was much less nervous for this second meeting. This was not the case. This was due to the fact that I had been invited to a Black Tie Dinner at Claridges Hotel in London. I was incredibly excited, yet nervous as I had never been to anything like this before in my life. To make matters worse (or better), Cilla had arranged for me to meet up with Peter Buchanan (who used to work very high up for COI advertising industry) beforehand for a chat about my future career in radio. This was a lot to take in before hand and I made my way down to London, with my grandad’s dinner jacket slung over my shoulder, full of nervous trepidation.

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Expanding my network through my mentor (Blog 2)

24th October 2014

The majority of the communication between Cilla and I is done via email. Keeping her up-to-date with my happenings is now part of my weekly routine. It’s sometimes a bit disconcerting when the reply you receive is somewhat brief, but I remind myself that she is one of the most important and busiest people I am ever likely to meet. The most recent development is an invitation to the Young Creative Entrepreneurs along with Cilla where hopefully I can meet some more useful contacts and gain a greater insight into my chosen field. Before this I also have a meeting with a member of BBC Central which Cilla has so kindly put me in contact with about my plans for the Radio Network here in Birmingham Uni and for jobs after my graduation. It’s set to be a very exciting and interesting day!