WA new recruit Owen Griffiths shares his journey of applying for an internship and how that led to his new role as Account Executive.
Searching for that first job to launch your career can be a daunting task at the best of times, let alone job searching to the backdrop of a global pandemic. Yet, that has been the reality for many graduates, myself included over the course of the last year – too few jobs for too many applicants. The time spent in 2020 researching and applying for some of London’s top consultancies gave me an opportunity to really reflect on what I needed at this stage of my career.
Having been fortunate to gain valuable experience in another agency already, I was searching for a company where I could hone my skills, focus on an area that suited my passions and learn from some of the industry’s brightest professionals. I was fortunate to have found that at WA. Having been impressed with the company from the exterior, paying above industry average salaries, recently winning the CIPR PR Consultancy of the Year award, and working with an eclectic range of clients in their roster, I had the inkling that this was a company where I would be valued as an individual. A couple of interviews later I was convinced it was.
No conveyor belt here
Any negative preconceptions I may have had about an internship were quickly dispelled from the outset. The infamous hallmarks of internships that turn many people off to them were not present in WA at all. No conveyor belt of mundane admin tasks, picking up odd jobs for people, or spending most of your day refilling the kettle. Immediately I was briefed on the clients I would be working on every day, introduced to consultants from all departments of the company and put to work developing the skills all graduates need to start their careers in this industry.
What struck me most about WA was the value they placed on encouraging candour across all levels of the business. Despite just being an intern, there were expectations on me to commit to learning, to be intellectually curious, and to strive to deliver excellent work for clients.
WA’s greatest strength by far is its people. A lot of firms profess to be a ‘people-first’ firm, but few fully deliver on that mantra. WA doesn’t feel like a team of individuals who simply share an office space; there is a tangible collective drive towards contributing to the company vision. Directors and Executives are equally willing to chat with you, help you manage your time and ensure you get the best out of yourself. There is no sense of hierarchy when it comes to reaching out for support, which as someone finding their feet in the industry, is crucial.
When my internship came to a close, I knew immediately that I wanted to stay on at WA. Fortunately, on the back of many recent successes, WA’s Health department were looking for an Account Executive in their burgeoning team. Fortunate to have been given the chance to apply, two months into my full-time role I am incredibly optimistic about my future here.
For any graduate looking for the best possible start to the industry I cannot recommend WA highly enough.