Interviewee: Laura Thomas
Here at StudentJob UK, we managed to get an exclusive interview from a current employee at MediaCom, at their Manchester Office. We got to ask Laura a number of questions to see what a day in the life of a Social Media Manager at MediaCom North.
Describe a day in your job role in one sentence.
My social media day is meetings, presentations, rationales, schedules, processes, creative, copy and advertising.
When you arrive at work, what are the first 5 things you do?
Clear my inbox, write a to-do list from this and anything else that I remember, complete my timesheets, grab a cappuccino & pint of water and put my phone on silent with no vibe.
What was your very first job? How did you get this? (And how did you get to the profession and position you are now at?)
I worked in a pub down the road from my house – it’d been refurbed and my mum basically dragged me down there to ask for a job. I got one and didn’t look back – it was amazing, I even quit school to work full time there! I worked with an amazing group of people and I’m not sure I’ve laughed as much since. It was fab.
Eventually, I had to move on though – I got hooked up with a one week PR work experience placement, stayed for nine months then headed into digital business development. My amazing boss recognised a natural aptitude for social and enabled me to develop this and (long story short) numerous agencies, my own business and many sleepless nights (years?!) later, I got offered the job of my dreams at MediaCom.
What type of job would you dislike the most to do and why?
I don’t know, to be honest. Probably something where I’m micro-managed and incapable of being creative. But I do honestly think that there’s at least one positive in any job, and there’ll always be someone who’d love to do it.
If you could speak to your 18-year-old self again, what would you say?
18 was a tough age for me, I’d tell myself that it gets better, and all the hard work pays off. To value myself, because I found that difficult back then, I’d tell myself that I am worthy of love, attention and respect.
What is the best thing that this role has done for you? What is the worst?
It’s given me access to people who know so much more than me, people who can teach me about media in a wider sense and can push me to be better than I ever thought I could be. The talent at MediaCom is unreal, and everyone is so willing to chat and share ideas and thoughts. There’s no downside to this job, the only negative is that as you get a new job, you move on from another company and looking back on it can make you see it in another light - that’s never a nice thing.
If you could do any job, just for one day. What would it be?
I’d love to work at my dog’s daycare for a day. I think that, despite it being hard work looking after all the dogs, it’d be so rewarding and fun to just play with dogs all day. I’d love it! Plus I’d love to see how Baxter (my dog) interacts with this alleged new girlfriend of his – apparently, there are days when he only plays with her, I’d love to see that.
What do you enjoy the most about your job? (the coolest, the most fun, the one you enjoy)
I work with an amazing team – everyone always says that their team is like a family but ours actually is. We work hard, but enjoy it whilst we do – but then we go out and have so much fun too. It’s so important to enjoy working with the people you work with, they’re the people you spend the majority of your time with, so you’d better enjoy them! Also, the trips to see our teams in London and Leeds, and Facebook in Ireland are pretty great too.
If you had to give advice to a young professional on how to become to gain a job like yours. What would it be?
Work your ass off, put everything into your job for as long as you can afford to, read as much as you can about digital, advertising and marketing as a whole – make it your business to know everything about your industry. Talk to anyone you can about what you do, be PASSIONATE about it. The world is full of people who want to be social media managers, but too many of those are people who want an easy life – be better than those people by simply knowing your industry and the business you’re working on.
One thing I always ask in an interview is what that person reads – the answer to that question tells you almost anything you need to know about that person and how passionate they are about their work. You don’t need to rattle off a thousand obscure blogs and news sites, but I’d love it if you could tell me your favourite site for social media news and a book that’s influenced you – mine are Social Times on Ad Week & #GIRLBOSS.
If you want to be a social media professional, remember that anyone can write a tweet, a billion are written every two days, but the magic happens when that tweet does something – ultimately increases business value by raising awareness, changing perception or driving action. Be someone who knows that what you do is part of a wider piece of work, social media isn’t the be all and end all.
Laura Thomas, Social Media Manager at MediaCom North
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