Getting 'Real Life Ready' at Matalan with Lauren Price

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. Lauren joined Mindless Academy and took part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme in April 2021. Since then, Emily has gone to graduate from the University of Liverpool with a degree in BA English, and now works as a Junior E-commerce Copywriter for Matalan!

In this interview, we'll be talking to Lauren about her love for writing, her experience of the career world so far, and she'll be sharing her advice on how to reach your dream career role and also deal with rejection!

Mindless: Give us a rundown of your educational background, what did you study, and where? How did you find your experience?

Lauren: I am passionate about essay-based subjects, so after studying English Literature, History, and Film Studies at A-Level, I decided to do a BA in English at The University of Liverpool. My course began in 2018 and finished in May this year. I loved this experience, as I learned so much about not just literature, but also a wide variety of important social and political issues, including feminism, queer theory, post-colonialism, and intersectionality. My three-year degree has developed my critical thinking skills and has opened me up to a plethora of worlds I never experienced before.

Mindless: Critical thinking is key! How was your job-seeking experience after graduating?

Lauren: I feel lucky and privileged when it comes to my job-seeking experience. The Matalan role was the first role I applied to, and it was the role I ended up landing. Again, this was down to my experience working with Mindless Academy. Writing about Fashion + Stuff That Matters provided me with much to talk about in my Matalan interview, as my current job involves writing about fashion and homeware. I thought the pandemic would make job hunting much more challenging, but if you know how to apply your experiences to the role you want, you’ll put yourself into a strong position. There are so many online opportunities and tools to help you with this.

Mindless: Wow! That’s amazing. You must be so proud of yourself for working with a company like Matalan from the off! How did you discover what job role you wanted to go into?

Lauren: Thank you! Since writing is what I’m most passionate about, I knew I wanted to go into a field related to this. It was only about a week after finishing my university degree that I spotted a 6-month contract role of Junior eCommerce Copywriter at Matalan on LinkedIn, a platform that I only began to use because of Mindless Academy! For that, I am extremely grateful, and I have sworn by LinkedIn ever since. It was infinitely more helpful than any job searching website I had used before.

Mindless: Your point on LinkedIn is super interesting. A lot of the interns that join us either don’t have LinkedIn, or don’t know how to make use of it. Was this your biggest takeaway from your time taking part in our Digital Micro-Internship programme?

Lauren: Yes! I’d also say that my biggest takeaway was to do things you love doing. I didn’t apply for my Digital Micro-Internship because I thought it’d land me a job with a big company like Matalan. I applied for the role because the enthusiasm of the Mindless Academy team shone through from the outset, and the website covers many topics I have a lot of interest in. It’s so important to do side projects alongside your university studies. Not to the point where you burn yourself out, of course, but fitting in enriching experiences wherever you can really helps you to stand out, as well as give your interviewers an insight into your personality, passions and hobbies.

Mindless: This is so wonderful to hear, and so they say, if you spend your time doing things you love, you’ll never work a day in your life! Can you tell us a little about your role at Matalan and how you’re finding it?

Lauren: My Junior Copywriter position revolves around writing online product descriptions for Matalan’s fashion and homeware departments, as well as responding to customer queries, sending our rewards vouchers and monitoring 1-3 star reviews. Due to the vast variety of products Matalan sells, I find my working day to be very diverse and stimulating. I have something new to learn about each day and my eCommerce team cares a lot about making sure everyone feels supported and included. At the start of the year, I was feeling quite lost and anxious about going into the world of work, but I’ve found a role that suits me well and I’m very grateful to be a part of such a friendly community.

Mindless: That sounds so interesting! It’s great to be able to welcome so much diversity in what you do. I know you said that you never thought that you’d land a role like that. If you could go back and tell your ‘first-year’ uni self something about the career world, what would you say?

Lauren: That the world of work isn’t as scary as my more anxious younger self kept leading me to believe. I think I kept imagining myself in roles I knew I wouldn’t enjoy but would earn me a lot of money, rather than positions that piqued my interest. What I’ve realised now is that I can make a decent living for myself doing something I really enjoy. Again, it’s just about utilising the online tools that are available to help strike that balance between good pay and genuine enjoyment. I just wish I allowed myself to relax more and live in the present better. University goes by so quickly!

Mindless: What advice do you have for landing your dream role?

Lauren: Preparing before an interview is key. Learn everything you can about the company and be curious in the interview by asking at least 3 questions. I also, however, think it’s important to be relaxed, which I realise is much easier said than done. Remember that your interviewers are just normal people and, much like a driving examiner, they want you to succeed and aren’t trying to catch you out. A level of formality is important, but I think taking quite a conversational approach to the discussion puts your interviewers at ease and makes them realise that they will probably get on with you well. At the end of the day, if you’ve prepared enough for the role and have done your research, you should have an answer for whatever the interviewers confront you with!

Mindless: This is such great advice and I completely agree that being relaxed in an interview scenario can be difficult but it seems like you’ve sussed it! How do you personally remain relaxed in or before an interview?

Lauren: I am obsessed with yoga, and I have noticed that, since I started doing yoga daily, my feelings of anxiety have reduced significantly. If you have quite a busy schedule, just finding 5-10 minutes each day to do some breathing exercises and stretches does wonders for your body and mind. I also learned from CBT therapy to make a ‘For’ and ‘Against’ list for any negative thoughts I have about myself throughout the day. It helps you to create a more neutral and balanced view of yourself, making you realise that you are not as bad as your immediate negative thoughts lead you to believe. And, of course, attending Mindless Academy’s Self-Love Stories provides you with a nice mental boost!

Mindless: We love seeing you at Self-Love Stories (our free weekly mindset workshop) each week! I know we’ve covered topics at Self-Love Stories around resilience and challenges. Have you faced any challenges in the career world so far?

Lauren: There have been some challenges and learning curves within my job, but again, I feel very lucky to have a supportive team. If I’m struggling with something or simply don’t understand something, I always ask one of my team members. My colleagues much prefer me being honest with them, and I end up feeling quite proud of myself for asking questions, as they encourage me to grow within my role.

Mindless: Your team sounds brilliant and we’re so glad that you’ve got such a strong work culture within it! To end on a piece of advice, what would you say to anyone facing rejection for a job?

Lauren: Keep yourself busy with other activities. Learn from the feedback your interviewers gave you, amend your CV where necessary and apply for other roles. One thing I would heavily advise against is scrolling through any social media sites when you’re feeling low, as people tend to only post about their successes. This won’t help to motivate you – see the rejection as a learning curve, do the things you enjoy doing most to unclutter your mind and apply for all the roles that interest you. By opening yourself up to more than one opportunity, you’ll be much less disheartened by one rejection, and you’ll remind yourself that there are many other roles out there for you.

You can find Lauren on LinkedIn here to follow her journey! Are you interested in writing with us?? Get in touch to find out more or to nominate our next interviewee at!