Q&A with Babel’s newest recruits (double trouble?)
The Babel team is growing, and we’ve recently hired two new consultants onto our graduate scheme – Teddy and Jessie. To find out more about what led them to Babel and how they’re finding their experience so far, they sat down together for a Q&A.
Why choose a career in PR?
Teddy: I love people so I was looking to join a fast-paced working environment which would allow me to work closely with others. Having recently graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature, and having been involved in a range of university drama productions and public speaking events, I felt that a job that relied on confident written and spoken communication skills would suit my interests and skills. After three years of rigorous and streamlined studying, I was also keen to start a career that would challenge me to learn about a new industry from scratch.
Jessie: I originally learned about PR through a networking event at my university. Having previously completed internships in marketing and communications, and being part-way through a degree in English Literature, I realised PR was a great amalgamation of my interests. I embarked upon a part-time tech PR internship alongside my studies, found I really liked it and have pursued it as a career opportunity ever since!
Why work at Babel?
Teddy: Having decided I wanted to pursue a career in PR, I came across Babel in a list of London’s top PR agencies. When looking through the company website, I came across a blog by Babel Director, Sarah Alonze, titled Educating the Next-Generation of PR Superstars. I found Sarah’s perspective really interesting and amusing, and while I hadn’t previously considered joining a tech PR agency, it sparked an interest in the industry. The more research I did, the more I realised Babel had a reputation for being a good agency with happy staff, and it sounded exactly like the kind of company culture I wanted to be working in.
Jessie: I found Babel through a recruiter and was instantly impressed by the case studies that were shared with me. Twenty minutes into my first interview, I knew Babel’s company culture and approach to personalising people’s roles and training was exactly what I was looking for, and I had to get the job. I loved the sound of the healthy work-culture and the range of tech clients were really interesting. So far, it hasn’t disappointed!
What previous PR (or other work) experience have you had?
Teddy: In addition to my English degree, I have completed two internships, both of which have given me communication skills ideal for a career in PR. The first internship was with a PR agency, which gave me the opportunity to dip my toes into public relations and taught me that I needed to prioritise working in a fast-paced, people-centric environment. I also completed an internship with Saatchi & Saatchi, where my insight into account management taught me the value of clear communication.
Jessie: I worked for a tech PR agency part-time during my final year at Royal Holloway, before becoming a full-time team member when I finished my degree in May. It was there that I discovered my passion for tech – I particularly love getting my head around new, complex technology! I also love learning about how technology can benefit individuals and businesses, and transform outdated processes.
Prior to this, I spent my last summer interning in a marketing team, where I gained an interest in marketing that I’m looking forward to building upon in my new role at Babel. An 11-month part-time placement with Gartner Events also gave me great insight into large scale event management. I particularly enjoyed working at Gartner’s largest European conference, the annual Symposium in Barcelona.
How have you found your time at Babel so far?
Teddy: I’ve been really impressed by the standard and frequency of the training at Babel. Having the constant support available from Babel staff has made the transition from academia to working life really comfortable, and I really feel like I’ve fallen on my feet at Babel. Babel ensures that everyone quickly becomes a contributing member of the team, making a measurable impact on accounts.
Jessie: I’m loving it so far! I’m excited to be joining one of the most trained agencies in London, and look forward to the learning opportunities this will provide me with. I’ve only been at Babel for a week, but everyone has been so friendly, and so quick to make me feel like a member of the team, that I already feel like I’m settling in. Things have been so well explained and colleagues have taken the time to introduce things, so that makes Babel stand out, which has shrunk the stress usually associated with starting a new job.
What have you learned so far at Babel? Has anything you’ve learned surprised you?
Teddy: I think tech can have a reputation for being overly complicated and academic. I was surprised to learn that that reputation isn’t really accurate. While the technology our clients are working on is incredibly clever, I’ve realised it’s easier than I thought it would be to wrap my head around and make understandable for the audiences we’re targeting. I was also relieved to learn that pitching isn’t as scary as many people fear (particularly when you’ve had the right training)!
Jessie: Because I’ve worked in B2B tech PR before, I haven’t so much been surprised but more I’ve been really engaged right from the beginning. Last week, I didn’t imagine that on my second day at Babel I’d be at a Masterclass hosted by The Guardian! Not only have I had the chance to learn more about writing from the experts, but I’m already getting a great insight into the process of marketing an agency, and I’m looking forward to getting move involved with this.
What are your tips for graduates looking to go into PR/join Babel?
Teddy: Take ownership of your interests. Take the time to reflect on what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing, and how that could translate into an interesting and enjoyable career. You might find out you have more to offer than you thought!
Jessie: I think I’d say just to try and intern as much as possible to find out what you like. The more you do, the more you’ll figure out what kind of environment you want to work in and what interests you. In terms of applying and interviewing for roles, I’d say do your research and go for something you’re genuinely interested in!