Alumni Stories: Jacob Pritchard – a creative career approach for a Creative Advertising grad
29th April 2021
Careers beyond Covid…
I graduated in May 2020, after studying BA (hons) Advertising. Since graduating I became a bit of a ‘yes man’ to any opportunities regarding creative thinking. As we were in Covid times, no opportunity seemed permanent, so I took an unpaid placement which ended as a freelance contract for a couple of months. I took a job as a freelance graphic designer for a hotel company and worked with a family friend to run the social media channels of mortgage brokers.
I kept optimistic, relevant, and passionate. This then led to having a meeting with a director at a large, yet independent advertising agency in London. I didn’t know what to expect, other than having a networking-type conversation. The meeting went super well and a few days later I received a delightful email, offering me a job with a starting wage of £25k!
I’ve been there a month and have already worked with clients such as Sky, Guinness, Captain Morgan, Pringles, and still every day I pinch myself. There are a lot of schemes in my industry to help people who have never studied creative subjects, but I know without a doubt, if I had not attended Uni of Glos, I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Who knows where each opportunity might lead?
My advice to other students is to take any opportunity, because you never know where it may take you. I got my offer by being proactive in participating in industry organisations. Specifically ‘Group Think’ (a strategy organisation ran to bring strategists together and talk everything creative); they put a post on LinkedIn asking for volunteers. I applied, yet my inexperience meant I wasn’t suited, however they were happy to have a chat with me. That meeting led to me being referred to the Strategy Director at an agency called RPM who were looking to strengthen their team — and a conversation with that director resulted in me starting my dream career.
Another point I’d tell my ‘old uni-self’ is to not just follow agency names, such as Orgilvy or Saatchi&Saatchi, but more so to follow the people. A strong leadership team of people who inspire you and you want to inspire means the best development for you in a comfortable and productive environment.
Has the University of Gloucestershire helped me get my dream career? Yes.
Being at the University of Gloucestershire has without a doubt been so helpful. It allowed me to learn the ropes, understand what my job would entail and get a head start in understanding terms and processes. Starting off working remotely has meant that sometimes I need to take more initiative and problem solve on my own, as opposed to having a team leader hold my hand (which is obviously great for my colleagues who job isn’t to constantly hold my hand!).
My Creative Advertising course also allowed me to have the freedom to do placements, which gave me the safety net to check out jobs and positions without any permanent contract – this made me more comfortable taking risks in the pursuit of my career. The tutors were also great in allowing me find my best role, understanding where my strengths are.
I know if I hadn’t have gone to UoG I would have stayed in my home bubble and not seen and experienced as much of the world as I have done. I would also say that socials, the range of people I met and also living without my parents around taught me so much about life – sculpting me to be the best I have ever been.