If the below tickles your fancy, and you are either a recent grad or about to graduate, get applying to work for STEAK… vacancies here.
My life began in middle summer of 2009 when I graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Geography. Having spent two of those three years freeze-drying soil samples in sandwich bags, I decided not to pursue a career in this area and began searching for a more exciting alternative.
During this period I worked in a financial research company as a Marketing Assistant for nine months. The marketing side was interesting to an extent, but it felt very ‘Sega Master System’ and one dimension, and I needed variation in the work that I did.
At the same time, the creative and tenacious light began to break through my cloudy mind and I began applying for advertising internships. With some success I managed to secure a two month internship at McCann Erickson in late 2010 (two weeks after my charity trip to Nepal) followed by a five month internship at Dentsu London.
It was after Dentsu London that I was given the opportunity to further increase my bulging encyclopaedia of knowledge at STEAK as a New Business intern. On my arrival, I was immediately given a list of learning resources by Duncan Parry to fill out pockets of digital air that lingered in the corners of my ageing cerebrum. Before I knew it, I was asked to help out on one of the accounts on SEO. Under the guidance of the Account Manager and the Account Executive, they taught me everything I needed to know to carry out the link building for the whole account as well as weekly reporting to the client. Sitting opposite the SEO Director meant I could naturally absorb his knowledge through the theoretically unproven process of ‘passive knowledge osmosis’, however, I found the process of ‘active knowledge osmosis’ (whereby I ask and he answers) much more effective.
At STEAK, I’ve been learning about SEO every day through my fellow colleagues and the numerous SEO pioneers on Twitter. I have a dedicated mentor who I can approach at any time to discuss anything from cricket to career advice; the former usually takes place in a pub (the discussion, that is). I’ve also had the opportunity to learn about the other disciplines through STEAK’s all-staff training scheme. I’ve even setup my own Google AdWords account so I can put into the practice the things I’ve learnt in Paid Search, making me ‘bi-searchable’ in the world of search marketing.
A Day In a Life at STEAK
I get in early to avoid the kerfuffle of kitchen collisions and grab my bowl of cereal, toast, tea and fruit, courtesy of STEAK (I’ll be very busy so I’ll need a lot of food).
8.45 – 11.00
I check my emails to see if the client has made any comments on any reports or emails that have gone out, if so, I’ll talk to my Account Manager to define what needs to be provided and I’ll get on with this later. I check my ‘Alerts’ folder to see any new mentions of our brands under the Virgin Holidays Group, I let the client know if it’s important. During Mondays, I am responsible for the weekly/fortnightly reporting for four out of the six brands under the Virgin Holidays Group. There is usually some form of popular music being played behind me to ease the reporting period, but I usually zone out if it’s Steps or S Club 7.
11.00 – 2.00
Under my ‘Link Building’ folder in Outlook, I go through all unopened emails and action anything that is required. This can range from providing blog content, payment and making copy changes. After I’ve done this, I spend a small amount of time searching for new travel related bloggers and websites. Colleagues think I’m looking for holiday inspiration. I’m not.
2.00 – 2.20
I mime drinking/eating soup to a few guys around me and we grab some excellent, 9.7/10 homemade soup from a café around the corner in Covent Garden. I drink/eat this with excitement. I get the odd tea request from a distant Account Director, having lost a bet with him a while back.
2.20 – 4.30
I work on more specific and technical tasks such as offsite analysis and identifying duplicate content (a big no-no in the eyes of Google). During this time, I try to find out new link building techniques, what works and what doesn’t, and the most effective and legitimate way to improve our client’s ranking positions. I more often than not take a walk round the office to other SEO-ers to find out what they’re doing for their clients and any tests they’ve carried out. This is ‘active knowledge osmosis’.
4.30 – 5.30/6.30
Throughout the day I may get client requests and if it’s not urgent, I work on these during this time. I go through my to-do list for the next day and finish off any loose ends before nagging the PPC Director for a game of table tennis before we get locked in.