|Advertising, marketing and PR
Like this profile?
Add this profile to your favourites so you can return to it later from your account.
A day in the life of a Account Director in the United Kingdom
It still surprises me how many transferrable skills there are from a psychology degree to a career in PR.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
FleishmanHillard is a leading integrated communications agency delivering public relations, reputation management, brand marketing, digital and social strategy, public affairs and brand strategy to UK, EMEA and global clients.
What do you do?
I am an Account Director within the technology practise at Fleishman Hillard UK. I work with a variety of global technology companies, including Salesforce, Cisco, TikTok and more, to support their external communications campaigns. My role involves developing PR campaigns to position my clients as thought leaders within their industries, this requires creativity, strategic thinking and strong written/verbal communication skills.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
In my third year, I began applying for graduate schemes in PR and marketing, many of these schemes included writing tasks and participation in interviews/graduate days which involved tasks to test your ability to work well in a team and present your ideas to a panel of judges.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
It still surprises me how many transferrable skills there are from a psychology degree to a career in PR. From my ability to extract key information from a highly technical academic paper to the data analysis skills (thank you SPSS), I have applied all these skills and more to my day to day role.
Describe your most memorable day at work
My most memorable and rewarding day at work was hosting a press programme for Salesforce at its annual London event, we had 20 journalists in attendance who participated in a full programme which allowed us to secure 80+ pieces of press coverage, including articles in The Times, Daily Telegraph and more. Our client was thrilled with the results, and noted it as our most successful event to date!
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
This role is highly demanding, you have to be able to spin many plates simultaneously and effective time management is essential.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
We have a very collaborative culture, I am fortunate to work in a very supportive team - if you ask for help it is always received and my colleagues are always there for me at the end of the phone. We have a hybrid working model, since the pandemic I typically spend 2-3 days in the office and 2 days at home. The office days are spent collaborating with team members and attending meetings with clients across London.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I spent a year as Marketing Director for The Yorker, this provided me with invaluable skills both in writing and largely the lessons I learnt from cold-calling local businesses to secure advertising slots to support the production of the magazine - this has been incredibly helpful when I've had to have the odd difficult conversation with a fussy journalist or client!
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
The PR industry is notorious for being small and well-connected, attend industry events and network, network, network! All of the big agencies have graduate schemes and many offer paid internships, keep an eye out for these roles and keep applying. We hire for skills not specific degrees, if you can demonstrate that you're a hard-working, team player that is keen to learn then this industry is for you.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Ask about my industry, working in an agency versus in-house and how to get your foot in the door.
If you like the look of Rebecca ’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Rebecca a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Rebecca to be your mentor.