July was a busy month here at Resonance and with it brought two new starters – Sean and Maya. Sean previously spent 18 months working in music PR, whilst Maya recently completed a master’s at Goldsmiths University. Now that they’ve settled in, we caught up with them to find out what they make of their new jobs and what it’s like being part of our team.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do in your new role at Resonance?
Maya: I come from an arts background – my undergraduate degree is in English and Film, and my MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy. PR has always interested me and I am really excited to be in this role. I am a junior account executive – which means I’m supporting teams on a number of different accounts. Each day is different, one day I’ll be writing a blog on a topic like conversational AI and the next I’ll be pitching stories to journalists. I love how varied the role is and I’m learning a lot. I can’t wait to see what the next few months has in store!
Sean: My background is quite varied, my undergraduate degree was in Computer Science, but I knew quite quickly I didn’t want to go down a purely technical route, I wanted something more creative. I started interning in music PR about half-way through my 3rd year of university, while also working for a sustainability-focused start-up and was offered a job in music PR following my graduation. It’s been quite the ride since but I’m super happy to finally be able to use both my computer science and communications backgrounds which I’ve really enjoyed so far. I joined as an account executive where I assist the account leads in reaching client goals and, as Maya said, you’re never doing the same thing two days in a row – I get to work on my graphic design skills one day and my media relation skills the next, which I feel is quite rare.
How have you found starting remotely?
Maya: The thought of starting remotely was pretty daunting but the team made me feel incredibly welcome. Communication is a key part of the company’s culture and has played an important part in the transition to working from home. We have whole team internal meetings twice a day, so even though we are working from different locations, I always feel supported by and connected to the rest of the team.
Sean: As everyone knows, starting a new job is nerve-wracking enough, never mind when you’ve only met the people you’re going to be working with over camera but, despite my worries, it hasn’t been nearly as difficult as you would expect. The team have been amazing in making sure we’re always communicating and supporting one another, whether that be through Slack, Zoom or Teams, which I feel is key to making this work. I miss the office but not nearly as much as I thought I would.
How have you found the training and coaching programmes so far?
Maya: They’ve been great! I don’t have any previous experience in PR, so being formally taught whilst on the job is really important. I think that the training and coaching sessions are a huge part of why starting remotely has been so easy. Each member of the team is happy to set up Zoom calls so we can pick their brains or ask any questions that might have come up that week. We have one to one coaching sessions every week – which I’ve never experienced before. Aside from feeling totally supported, I think it also means I’m constantly improving and thinking about how to improve. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I feel completely confident in the fact that Resonance will help me get there.
Sean: The training and coaching has honestly been more thorough than any job I’ve had before. With training, it’s not a “you’ve done this and that’s it” situation, it’s ongoing and provides a great environment where I feel like I’m learning and picking up new skills almost every day. The coaching then provides the backbone for this, making sure we feel supported and dealing with any struggles we might have had so they don’t develop into a bigger problem. The whole training and coaching programme show just how much Resonance care about empowering their team members.
What’s your favourite part of the job so far?
Maya: It’s hard to pick just one! As I mentioned before the role is extremely varied. That being said, I am particularly enjoying the content side of things. I’ve been able to write blog posts on several different topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on cash and the future of conversation AI post-pandemic. I really like researching and learning about these topics and the challenge of producing an article on an unfamiliar subject.
Sean: Having come from a media relations job in the music industry, I have loved getting stuck into it from a completely different perspective – it’s obviously completely different to music PR but there’s a lot I can use from my old job and put into practice in this one, a different perspective on things is usually always useful. I’ve also been doing a lot of graphic design and creative marketing, which I never got to do much of before, so I’m super thankful for that.
What advice would you give to other graduates starting remotely?
Maya: I think the most important thing is – don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking for help can feel like a big deal when you’re working from home – but your team are there to support you. Everyone understands that new starters need to learn and that without the office environment this is a lot harder. Slack has become my new best friend and is helping me learn and improve every day.
Sean: Only to echo what Maya said, never be afraid to ask questions, it’s the best way to grow and learn – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s also important try not to get demotivated when starting from home, make sure to take yourself out on walks, exercise, do whatever you do to relax – preferably out the house – as staying at home all day isn’t great for the brain, and it’s even worse for your motivation and general mental health, self-care is important.