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3 Tips for College Grads Entering Their First Agency Job

For many communications or marketing graduates, the agency setting is appealing due to the structured nature of the opportunities and the potential to work with established clients. However, this transition can be stressful and overwhelming, especially as a first job after graduation. Having recently become a full-time team member with Pulse, here are three important tips that I have picked up on that have helped me immensely.  

  1. Ask questions! – Even though this may seem straightforward, asking questions will absolutely be the best way that you learn. Asking for help or clarification can often be daunting and uncomfortable, but with all of the moving parts within an agency, it is important to become familiar with how the business operates. Even asking questions like “What is the company culture?” or asking for help on working with the various softwares your company uses shows that you care about the impression you make on people and that you want to understand how to best do your job. The more meaningful questions you ask, the more your employer will see your passion for success.
  2.  Join as many meetings as possible – No matter what your role is within the agency, whether you are in sales, marketing, or part of a creative team, having the opportunity to sit in on meetings is a great way to gain knowledge about the agency’s practices. Speaking from personal experience, even though my role is very sales-focused, I have been able to participate in social media, marketing, design, and client meetings. This has allowed me to get to know the Pulse team on a personal level, and it has made me appreciate my role within the agency as well. Without a solid sales team continually bringing in new leads and clients, the marketing, design, and development teams will not be able to do their jobs effectively.
  3. Keep a detailed log of notes and activity logs –  To be successful at an agency, you will have to get comfortable with taking notes constantly. While it might seem tedious at first, keeping these records will be extremely beneficial to you. Personally, notes help me comprehend important information from meetings with management and/or clients. At an agency, it is easy to get overwhelmed with information and deadlines across multiple different accounts. To help with this, try keeping a running Google Doc or Word document titled “Meeting Notes” and update each entry with the department and date, such as “Social Media Strategy, 6/5.” If you stick to this habit throughout your projects, whenever something unexpected or out of your control happens, you will be better prepared to handle it.

Transitioning to a job in the “real world” out of college is not always as easy as it is made out to be. Oftentimes, the best way to learn in the communications field is to gain practical experience through participation and observation, as opposed to lectures like you might have in school. These three tips have been important for me to be able to “learn by doing” even in my short time at Pulse. I am extremely fortunate to work with such a supportive team that has helped me transition from being a college student to a young professional, and I am looking forward to my future here at Pulse.

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