Welcome to Mindless Interviews! Join us as we speak to our wonderful campaign partners, our past interns, industry professionals, and deep dive into Careers + Stuff That Matters.
Today, we'll be joined by one of our lovely past interns. Emily joined Mindless Academy and took part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme in June 2020. Since then, Emily has gone to graduate from the University of Brighton, with a degree in English Language, and has worked her way up the ranks at Monsoon and Accessorize. Stepping into the doors as a Freelance Copywriter, over the past year she has gone to work as a Junior Copywriter, and now as an E-commerce Product Copywriter!
In this interview, we'll be talking about how Emily got started, her passion for fashion and writing, and she'll be sharing her top tips on how to reach your dream career role!
Mindless: To get started, please give us a rundown of your educational background, what did you study, and where? How did you find your experience?
Emily: During GCSE and A-levels, I found a real love for using English Language to study the way someone’s social and personal identity impacts them, and the way language has a huge influence on this. I continued to study this at the University of Brighton doing a bachelor's in English Language. Brighton for me was my home away from home so I loved it there and found comfort in the area. In terms of learning, I found some modules a lot more interesting than others, an example being; I loved learning about how the English Language can be influenced when you’re young or how language can be used to research into intersectionality (returning to my interest from GCSE and A-level). I didn’t enjoy so much learning about technical parts of the language, for example, phonetics and phonology.
Mindless: Brighton sounds wonderful. I've never been myself but I've heard great things. So you studied English Langauge, you graduated, (congrats by the way!), and then you took a leap into the career world... How was your job-seeking experience after graduation?
Emily: Thank you! It was really tough. I applied to loads of jobs but this was mid-pandemic and I was just getting nowhere, like a lot of others! I put myself out there on LinkedIn explaining my situation; a recent graduate who wants to get into copywriting – with no experience. Thankfully, someone saw my post at the right time and offered, not only some help in ways to progress into the career itself, but also offered me to freelance alongside them as an employed copywriter. I was then fortunate enough to be promoted to Junior Copywriter, then again a few months down the line to E-commerce Product Copywriter.
Mindless: That is incredible! Thank you for your honesty and openness around job seeking. It must've been really tough, especially during a pandemic as you say. It sounds like you really found your feet though! Can you tell us a little about what you're doing now and how you're finding it?
Emily: Absolutely! My current role as E-commerce Product Copywriter involves owning and being guardian to the copy process throughout Monsoon and Accessorize brands, mostly focusing on product copy. I work closely with all teams throughout the business from buyers and merchandisers to trade and e-commerce. I ensure that each piece of copy executes the correct tone of voice whilst creating accurate and SEO-driven product descriptions. I also help alongside other parts of copy throughout the site. It was a lot of pressure to jump so quickly from junior to a senior(-esque) role, however, I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m really proud of myself for how punctual and reliable I am in my role.
Mindless: Wow. Your experience as a recent graduate is truly fantastic. Massive congrats on your role and your progression in such a great company like Monsoon and Accessorize Brands. How did you know that this was the type of job that you wanted to go into?
Emily: I love fashion and I’m pretty good at writing. I came across the concept and career path of copywriting one day, then realised this could be something I could do – writing about fashion! My first go at this was at Mindless Academy funnily enough, with the added benefit of writing about Stuff That Matters.
Mindless: You never would have known that your experience with us at Mindless was your first fashion writing experience - it seems to come so naturally to you! With that being said, what was the biggest takeaway from your time taking part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme?
Emily: My biggest takeaway was probably learning about SEO, storytelling and the flow that is required throughout my writing. These were all things I learned and really pushed to execute on every piece during my Mindless Academy experience.
Mindless: We hear that a lot actually. SEO is such a highly valuable skill, yet for the majority of interns who join us, our Digital Micro-Internship programme is the first place experience that they've had exploring SEO! Did you find yourself using SEO or any other skills learned during the digital micro-internship in your current career?
Emily: Yes! Thankfully I was taught basic knowledge of SEO during my internship, it subtly prepared me for how important it would be as part of my online-writing-based job. Also as mentioned, the general flow of writing and storytelling is sooo important when I write. Things not only have to make sense and be descriptive, but they need to be pleasant to read!
Mindless: It's great to see you applying your takeaways from our Digital Micro-Internship into the real career world! Okay, this is a fun one. What key things do you wish your 'first-year' uni self knew about the career world?
Emily: Sounds silly, but I wish we were given more information on career routes that our degrees could develop into. I had no idea what copywriting was until after I’d graduated and I feel like I would have been more driven throughout my degree if I had a real end goal whilst learning.
Mindless: That's a really interesting point. Throughout my time in education, I believed that the 9-5 route was the only attainable option for me, and it was only after graduating that I realised that this wasn't the case. A huge part of what we do at Mindless is reimagining the world of work, and an element of that is career routes, options, choices; making the 9-5, freelancing, remote work, whatever you like, more attainable for all.
What advice do you have for landing your dream role?
Emily: Just put yourself out there! Push out of your comfort zone, work hard and you’ll be so surprised what comes back in return. You can put achieve anything you put your mind to ☺
Mindless: Great advice! Were they any complications in achieving your dream career and how did you overcome these?
Emily: Of course, starting off with constant rejections from jobs – but I found it much easier to look at it as every interview with an employer/recruiter was another chance of practicing how I’d go about answering different questions! Another one is imposter syndrome, especially the way I managed to find the right person at the right time via LinkedIn or how I was promoted only due to my previous ‘senior’ leaving, creating a space for me to jump up a level when I’d only been copywriting for 10 months. But whenever I find myself feeling a tad imposter, I remind myself I work really hard and hope people see that in my attitude to work. I have loads to learn and this is only the start of my career ☺
Mindless: Thank you so much for sharing this. Imposter syndrome is something so real and prevalent today, feeling like we almost shouldn't be where we are today, but always remember that you are where you are because of YOU. Your future self is 100% thanking past you for all the hard work and passion that you put in up until now!
Before we go, are there any tips that you'd like to share on how to help achieve your career goals?
Emily: Platforms like LinkedIn are really useful, you can connect with anyone that is relevant to your career path. It’s a whole world of possible connections and most people are willing to connect! Also, creating portfolios of your work! I’ve found a lot of recruiters and employers value them, it’s an easy way for you to display your work (or showcase what you could create given the chance) and an efficient way for employers to see it all in one place.