Tell us a bit about yourself…

NT: Hey, I’m Normandie (Normy for short) and I’m an intern-turned Junior Account Executive as of last week! I grew up in Hertfordshire but I’ve now moved to North London with friends and you’ll find me reppin’ Tufnell Park hard. I recently graduated from Durham University with a degree in English Literature and I am very proud to say that I am one of the newest additions to the Splendid family.

CT: Hi I’m Chelsie – the Digital team’s most recent intern-turned Junior Account Executive. Hailing from Portsmouth, I made the move to the big city in September 2016.

Tell us about your Splendid story…

 NT: After graduating from university, I was absolutely gutted to leave and it took me a good couple of months to get used to being a real adult. So after a wicked summer, I knuckled down with the job hunt and decided that I wanted to find a placement in PR (rather than a permanent role from the offset) to ascertain that PR was the right career for me. I came across the 3-month PR internship at Splendid which I found advertised on LinkedIn. Within a few moments of reading through the company website and client base, I knew it was the right agency for me. Their approach to ‘people-first’ creativity massively appealed to me and seemed like a really authentic way of approaching PR. My interview was the first interview I have ever done that I can honestly say that I enjoyed. A lot of my experience prior to Splendid was music-related and within minutes of the interview, I found out that music was a massive passion point at the agency (literally everyone here can DJ apart from me..). They also took the time to ask about the traveling and volunteering I had done during my gap year. From that I knew that they were interested in knowing about what made me me, rather than just purely focussing on my professional assets and experience. I was so set on Splendid that I actually turned down a different full-time position and took the internship instead!

CT: I graduated from The University of Edinburgh in July 2016 and immediately embarked on a six-week American road trip. Having had six weeks of over-indulgent fun, I returned to the UK and attempted to figure out what it was that I wanted to do in life. I had always considered PR as a career path having completed an internship in 2015 at another agency where, funnily enough, I was recommended the Splendid Futures program as something to consider as my next step. I applied for the program in 2015 and 2016 with no luck and hit a post-graduation panic where I questioned whether PR was even for me. Fast forward 18 months (12 months were spent studying law…)and I revisited the idea of PR. In May of last year, I found myself applying for (and landing) a social media internship at a fashion and beauty PR agency. With social media not being something I had considered previously, I was apprehensive. Two weeks in I realised that this was the career for me. Although I loved social media, I knew that my trainers and jeans aesthetic was not made for the fashion industry. I began looking at agencies which had a more rounded client base. It was during this time that I came across a Facebook post calling for new Social Interns at Splendid. Splendid had always been on my radar, with its real-world approach to all client work and the opportunity to intern within the Social team made it the perfect fit. Despite the two previous attempts to apply, I knew that I had to go for it. I guess perseverance does pay off after all!

 I’ve been part of the Splendid family for… 

 NT: Just over four months

CT: Five months 

I can’t start my day without…  

 NT: A good cuppa and a banging tune

CT: I’m with Normy there. A great cup of tea and a blast of Radio 4 and I’m ready to get going with my day.

 Talk us through your typical day… 

 NT: No day is ever exactly the same, although there are some tasks which I do on a daily basis. Every morning starts with a news review. The PR team will skim through the national media and flag any stories that may be of interest to our clients or our work. I’ll normally write this up and then crack on with logging coverage that has come through over the past 24 hours. Other things I get up to on a daily basis include creating media lists, liaising with journalists, selling-in brand stories or product launches and participating in creative brainstorms.

CT: I’m not sure there has ever been a ‘typical day’ within the digital team! Although my days are often varied in terms of what I’m doing and what client I am working on, there are some daily tasks. First thing I do when I come in (post checking emails) is community management; checking social channels, replying to messages and checking for any mentions. Then it’s onto the Daily Digital Edit . Here’s where I round up the top three news stories within the digital, social media world and then share across Splendid social channels. After that goes out, I could be creating content for Big Yellow Self-Storage, writing up monthly or weekly status reports, working with the creative team to assist on shooting content, or even running to Greggs to source bakes! I knew I wanted a job in which every day was different, and being part of the digital team definitely fulfils that!

 The best thing about working at Splendid is… (i.e. why did you choose Splendid over other agencies?)

NT: I love how much emphasis and effort is placed on the company culture and how you can really tell a lot of thought has gone into making Splendid a great place to work.

CT: Hands down it is the people and the culture. With such a mix of personalities, it’s an incredibly dynamic place to work.

Describe the agency in five words…

NT: Welcoming, Exciting, Music-loving, Real, Splendid (if you hyphenate words they count as one, right?)

CT: Dynamic, Authentic, Creative, Passionate and Collaborative.

 What I like about Splendid people is …

NT: They are friendly, vibrant and most importantly know how to have a good time.

CT: Everyone is so welcoming and supportive, they’re great people both in and out of the workplace. They are the first to champion and shout about your achievements, even when you are slightly shy about them.

What makes the work interesting is …

NT: No day is ever the same! A massive part of the role is reacting to what is going on in the world at the time, so it’s always exciting and feels current. There’s always a trend, news story or occasion that’s informing what we do.

CT: The variety of clients. My previous agency was a fashion and beauty specialist, so coming to Splendid where the work is so diverse was a huge breath of fresh air.

 If I’m out for lunch, you’ll find me at…

NT: On the Bab – a great Korean place just round the corner that Courtney from the Digi team showed me. It’s seriously good (thanks Court).

CT: Cay Tre – fantastic Vietnamese food, just a stone’s throw away from the office.

 I like working in Shoreditch because …

NT: There are so many cool bars and restaurants right on our doorstep.

CT: It’s brimming with creativity, both the people and the area.

My go-to music style for the office playlist is… 

NT: I’m really into artists at the moment who are championing the old school soul/jazz/funk sound and hybridising it with other genres (like hip hop) to make their sound feel relevant and enduring in today’s pop landscape. Tom Misch and Loyle Carner is a collaboration forever to be reckoned with. I once (literally) bumped into Loyle Carner at a Jordan Rakei gig and it was honestly the best moment of my 23 years on this earth. He didn’t stick around for a chat though…gutted.

CT: Early noughties pop… need I say more?

 Other highlights of the working week are …

NT: Never underestimate the power of the mighty Friday Splendid breakfast. I wake up on Fridays and it is genuinely the first thing I think about.

CT: I’d have to say Fridays, but not for the reasons you might be thinking! The Friday breakfasts, as Normy mentioned, are amazing but it’s that paired with Splendid Loves in the afternoon which just make Fridays the best. Come 3.30pm, it’s tools down and everyone gathers in our socialising space, the Watering Hole, to catch up and discuss how our weeks have been and the Splendid Loves entries of the week. We debate cool campaigns, trending topics, interesting events, and pick our top three. This all happens over snacks of course, and maybe a glass of wine or two. 

If I were to offer advice to someone wanting to get into this industry, it would be…

NT: Don’t jump at the first opportunity that comes your way! So many of my friends came straight out of uni and took the first position they were offered and ended up being miserable. I’m so glad I did my research before deciding to apply to the PR agencies I did, as it led me to finding Splendid.

I would also really recommend considering lengthy PR internships/placements as they form a great stepping stone between simple work experience and full time positions. I’m so glad I went through the internship before landing a permanent position in PR because it gave me the space and time to learn the key, core skills that are expected of a Junior Account Executive. As my dad said, “You’re being paid to be educated – how great is that!”.

CT: Take time to figure out what it is you want from a job, and find an agency that matches this. For me, I knew that I wanted to get stuck into real work straight away and learn as much as I could, even if it meant bring pushed out of my comfort zone. Hence, I knew that a huge agency, where I was simply a head amongst many others, was not for me.

I’d also say don’t give up. I applied to the Splendid Futures Programme twice before joining, and whilst that might have been tough at the time, in hindsight I’m so thankful. Had I been accepted onto the PR programme, I may have never discovered my love for social. Also, having two years to figure out what it was that I truly wanted… even if that did mean doing a law degree and interning at another agency. It meant that when I did arrive at Splendid I had a far better idea of where I wanted to be, and what it was that I wanted to do. It may have been a longer journey to get here than anticipated, but I guess it proves that my gut feeling – that Splendid was where I belonged – was right.

Find out more about the Splendid Futures Programme here.