This time last year, I was wearing my grown and hat, about to hit the stage and receive my reward for 3 years of hard work by graduating in Media Studies. The years had passed by so quickly and I was not sure where I would end up after graduating. I did know that the working life would be approaching fast when I was in my last 6 months of my studies. So here I am writing about what has happened during the last 12 months of my life.
When I was coming up to the hectic weeks of meeting deadlines in my final year at university, I was preparing myself for life after graduation. I had one thing on my mind – ‘I need to get a job related to my degree of study’. The whole point of me to going to university was to learn more about the media and gaining a sense of what happens in the industry. I carefully choose the modules I wanted to study in my 2nd and 3rd years. I choose Public Relations and Advertising modules to study in my final year as I wanted to pursue a career within advertising or public relations industry. I had the opportunity to carry on with photography and video but after having endless conversations with professional photographers, they shed some light on how competitive the profession has gone as well as the technological development of smartphones.
So quickly, I established that I wanted to focus on applying for jobs in the advertising and public relations sectors. Soon graduation day was approaching and still I was waiting to hear from employers with countless applications from graduate schemes to jobs advertised on websites and other sources. I had to rethink my strategy for getting myself out there in the market and stand out from the crowd. I set up my LinkedIn account, chopped and changed a lot things on my CV and rewrote covering letters. I was hoping someone would reply even if it was a ‘no’. On 22nd July 2011, graduation day was here! This was a moment I was proud of and celebrated with those who helped me throughout the lengthy process, my family. It was a personal achievement and a dream. A college teacher once said, “You won’t get to university if you don’t put your head down” and here I was obtaining a degree!
After a few days of celebrating, I needed to step my game up with finding employment. I kept e-mailing employers and getting replies of being unsuccessful and I lack experience. In the mean time, I was helping other people to keep myself occupied and stay focused. At times I was standing behind the DJ, taking requests, unrigging equipment and trying to understand how to DJ. I enjoyed myself when it came to playing music to others and seeing how there was energy from music to people. Whilst at university, I signed up to having a blog and Twitter (@Krazykish14) account but never thought much of it or did not think I would allocate time to write material for my blog or tweet on Twitter. I was deciding what I should do with these two things that I did not have time for. Slowly, I started to use my Twitter regularly and understand it a bit more. I found myself tweeting every hour and gaining followers. I did not realise how information could be sent so quickly by hearing news first via the trending topics.
On the other hand, my blog was unused for months. I would write a random post about football and share my thoughts on one or two issues within the game but that was it. By mid October, I was very active on Twitter, using Facebook to catch up with friends and family and LinkedIn to connect with people from the media industry. I wanted to start blogging again, on a regular basis like once a week so I was thinking of areas on what I could write about. There were a few ideas that came to mind like football, politics and news in general. Then it hit me, why not write about how to use social media tools for business? I did study business studies at A-Level, I have background knowledge on marketing and how businesses work on a budget. Since then, I have written blog posts about social media tools for businesses and to this date, I have had 1,750 views and a reach of 36 countries. I am very pleased with the response I have been getting from my blog as it has gained me many followers on Twitter, currently standing at a shy 389.
People started to realise what I was doing and were approaching me on how to handle their social media accounts and giving me the chance to showcase what I could do. Then a breakthrough came in February as a social media marketer for a start up business for 8 weeks. I took this opportunity as I needed experience. I was applying to 4 to 5 jobs and I had no luck with any of the applications. This work experience went by quickly and I learnt so much about myself in the working environment. You can read about my experience in my previous blog post. I was still looking for work, hoping I would get a ‘yes’ or an interview. I did get the chance to shine at interviews and then I would be disappointed as the positions where getting filled. It annoyed and frustrated me by getting the same thing sent to me and the response being “You did not fit the criteria as the client would like someone with 1-2 years experience”. In my head, I kept thinking, “How can I get experience, if you are not willing to give me a chance?”. But then, I would tell myself, I need to get voluntary work. I e-mailed small businesses that were advertising, public relations and marketing agencies to ask if I could do work experience at my own will. The response was not great, I received 3 e-mails to say they have no positions available.
I had to keep myself active on my social media accounts, I was becoming quite bored of the routine I was getting myself into. Every day waking up, looking for jobs and then waiting for replies. What kept me going was Twitter, every day I was engaging with people. I still love using it, tweeting where I am going, what I am doing and anything random that comes to mind. Even so, my whatsapp is going crazy at times with the conversations being about anything from news to internet meme’s. I have stayed in contact with a lot of my university, college and secondary school mates and try to drop a text message whenever I can. A lot of my mates are in the same position as me and looking for work or at the start of their careers. One of my mates, Rahil, sent me a message if I would like to be a Euro 2012 pundit for a radio station as the opportunity came about for him. He told me that it would be for the BBC Asian Network and he knows how much of a football fan I am so he came to me. I accepted this opportunity along with him and Ben Marshall to share our views on England’s chances at the Euro 2012. It was an experience I would never forget as I never thought I would be on a radio station yet alone be on BBC Asian Network which I wrote my dissertation on.
Time has gone by where I have spent hours and completed application forms eagerly waiting for that reply for an interview. It has been tough trying to go through this process but I have set sights on doing training or courses if I do not achieve to get a job within advertising or public relations. Until then, I will continue to network with people on my LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I have started to use Instagram (@krazykish14), showcasing my hobby of photography and uploading photos that capture my perspective on life. As well as all of this, I will still use my blog to channel my thoughts on issues that are floating in my mind. So what is next for me? I hope I do get a job soon and then continue to be who I am.