These days the competition for jobs is tougher than ever – especially for graduates. A lot of people ask me how I came to work here at twentysix. So sit down, get comfortable and let me spin you a tale…
During my years at university I had a part time job working for a catering company who provided their services to weddings, corporate events etc. One of my jobs was working on the new office opening of a digital agency in Leeds. Amongst the crowd of hungry, increasingly inebriated employees I spotted one of my tutors from my course (I studied New Media). He spoke highly of the company and suggested I enquire about work experience. I did a bit of research and found out that my boss was married to one of the directors here at twentysix. A few phones calls later I had managed to talk myself into three weeks of work experience.
During my time at work experience I was set to a range of tasks from client research and competitor reviews to stock image sourcing and harassing members of staff into introducing me to the ins and outs of their various job roles. The important thing was not to fade into the background – I didn’t want to be the anonymous guy in the corner making all the tea!
By the time my 3 weeks were up I’d decided that life at a digital agency was definitely for me. Beer O’Clock on a Friday, a relaxed dress code and a host of young, creative people in the office were all huge positives. As time passed I kept in touch with the CSD at the time, trying not to flood her inbox and a few months later I got a phone call offering me a job in the agency!
After a brief stint in Search I moved across to Client Services – where I’ve been ever since. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many exciting clients since joining. One of the most high profile of these is Proctor & Gamble, who we work with on a variety of companies including their iconic hair care brand Wella. Working with P&G, every day is different. One of the things I like the most is how much we are pushed by our clients’ requirements. Wella, for example, are a highly established brand and are really focussed on projecting a modern, cutting-edge image. As P&G’s education agency we are responsible for all learning material and always push to provide better and more innovative content.
One example of a piece of software we are particularly proud of is N3D, standing for ‘New 3 device’. N3D is essentially a CMS with a beautiful presentation interface. It was specifically built to meet the clients’ needs and is used all over the world by the 8 Salon Professional brands (including Wella, Sassoon and Nioxin). The programme itself allows countries to edit and translate their own presentations across multiple platforms (iPad, touchscreen and desktop). The front end of tool is stunning; content is presented in an innovative, inspiring, and most importantly user-friendly way.
It’s often said that the simplest content can be the most difficult to design – especially when it comes to combining fresh, striking visuals with a user-friendly experience. Rising to this challenge with the help of an enthusiastic team on both ends is what makes Wella such an exciting account to work on – even if it can be stressful at times!
The account has also allowed me to travel to Geneva as well as many places in the UK. Getting to meet the clients face to face and being at kick-off meetings really helps to understand the bigger picture and realise how much work goes into launching a new product. I have also been on training days to experience how users interact with the content we create; this was extremely valuable and enabled myself and the team to really relate to the user demographic.
Working on Client Services enables me to work with many different technologies. Predominantly I work with our Flash team, creating interactive educational content to work on desktops and iPads (yes, Flash on an iPad!) Other technologies include HTML 5, creating Facebook campaigns and developing microsites. Having an overview of each technology is very useful when solving problems. Our clients love it when we suggest using a technology they may not be familiar with, and always see us as the experts. This trust enables us to continue to expand the type of work we do, which helps the agency to grow and evolve.
I’ve been on the Client Services team for around 2 years now, and thanks to numerous nights out and team-building sessions it really feels like we’re a little mini-family within the agency. With the agency growing as much as it has, I feel like one of the old veterans now. As with every family, we have our ups and downs – but deep down we all love each other, and I’ve never regretted badgering my way into that work experience!