Abbie Clark

Marketing BSc (Hons)

My advice for all students seeking a graduate job is ‘network’.

Tell us about your first job after graduation.

As an Account Executive for Carat, part of Denstu Aegis Network (DAN) my day-to-day tasks varied. I was heavily involved in planning and participated in ideation sessions and worked with DAN stakeholders across markets to develop activation plans.

I worked on client accounts where my job was to support and work on a brief from a client, manage the process from the brief to work with the specialist teams to produce a media plan then, once approved, I activated and implemented that media plan. I was also responsible for the during and post-campaign analysis which involved establishing the key learning from the campaign. I am about to start a new role as a Senior Account Executive at Merkle (another Dentsu company), which I’m really looking forward to.

What was the process of finding your graduate job?

The process of finding my graduate job was not exactly linear. I attended a career insight day during my second year called Think It Possible, a day where young people can meet with industry leaders and network with them. I was introduced to someone who worked at 360i (a sister company to mine). At the end of their presentation, I went over and asked as many questions I could think of. I connected with them on LinkedIn but did not think it would lead to anything.

A few months later, I got invited to be a member of the Queen Be Programme, a spin-off to Think It Possible. This was a seven-month female leadership programme where I could network with a wide range of industry leaders who are female. Although marketing was not a main focus of this programme, I attended every session. I learnt so much during this process and contacted the 360i speaker again, asking how I could really get into the media industry. The speaker emailed me a link to the Denstu Aegis Early Career Programme.

A few months later, I registered my interest in the DAN early careers programme. A few days later, I received an email inviting me to play interactive games on the DAN recruitment app. These games included tests on personality, English, Maths and Critical Thinking but one game was designed to test you. This game had no time limit but was designed to highlight your dedication to complete the task.

The next day I received a personality report summarising what the games discovered about my personality traits. It was insightful and gave me food for thought. A few days later, I received an email inviting me to an Assessment Day. The Assessment Day is typically with up to 10 other individuals and involved: pitch work, speed-interviewing and other group activities. The speed-interviewing was the process I was most nervous about. Essentially, you have 2 minutes with a manager to answer a question. This is just to make sure you answer the question honestly and without much preparation.

I really enjoyed the assessment day and sent my thank you note to the host. Minutes later, I received a phone call stating I had made it into the talent pool, which meant I met their criteria and could be put forward for specific interviews for roles within DAN. I was asked when I could start my career with them; as I was in my first term of my third year, I said this would not be anytime soon!

Luckily, as soon as I received my First I reached out to the host again, who put me forward for an Account Executive role within Carat. I attended my interview and secured the job a week before graduation.

Any advice for students looking for a grad job?

My advice for all students seeking a graduate job is ‘network’. Make sure you have connections within your chosen industry and attend as many career days as possible. I would also say don’t give up, it is very hard to deal with rejection, but it will make you stronger in the long term. I have helped two Kent students secure a place in the DAN Talent Pool and I am looking forward to helping more!

How did you find the transition between university and working full time?

I found my 6am wake-ups a little brutal to start off with! but I believe having a routine and maintaining it for the first couple of months is crucial. Making sure you keep up the things you enjoy gym, seeing friends is so important.

Sum up your memories of Kent.

Highlights would include meeting my friends, my own growth in confidence, which meant I began to question and analyse what I was learning. I still use these skills every day in my job, asking for raw data to justify media recommendations, challenging specialist team media plans and of course managing client expectations.

Other highlights include being a Pitch-It Finalist two years in a row, becoming the Lead Mentor for Marketing and a student rep. The most overwhelming highlight is Graduation Day. Seeing your family, friends and other course members in the beautiful Canterbury Cathedral celebrating all your hard work is, as many KBS students will agree, is something to be cherished.