Name: Emily Churchill University: Lancaster University Subject Studied: Theatre Studies Current Job Title: Junior Account Executive Company: Nexus Communications PR Agency
What position did you find yourself in at the end of your final year of University?
I graduated university with absolutely no plans. All I had was an old waitressing job lined up to keep me busy over the summer while I figured out what I wanted to do. I watched my friends from uni go on to amazing grad schemes and further education and I, reluctantly, moved home!
How did you end up in your current job?
It's actually a bit of a crazy story. I quit my waitressing job to start a teaching position at an after school drama program. My mom is a teacher and I did a theatre degree so I thought it would be the perfect job for me. Turns out that I'm not a natural teacher, so I quickly moved on to acting. I knew it wasn't something I wanted to do but when a job came up for a phone commercial, I took it. The commercial was created and filmed by a consumer PR team at an agency called Weber Shandwick. While filming, I started to pick their brains about working in PR and quickly figured out that it sounded right up my street. I applied for internships straight away, interned for a short stint at an agency called Lexis and then began applying for jobs. I was lucky enough to get an entry role at Nexus Communications – where I am now – pretty much straight away. Nexus specialise in food and drink PR and over the past year I've worked across both consumer and trade accounts with clients including McCain, Dorset cereals, Signature Flatbreads and British Lion eggs. My job, put simply, is to make sure my clients are visible across a range of media, so we create large scale campaigns, put on events, sell in stories to / liaise with journalists, run social media accounts and work with bloggers. It's a really creative, fast paced industry and every day is different!
What came first, your job or your food blog?
I've always loved cooking, writing and taking photos of my food but it was when I got the job at Nexus that I realised the power of social media and that being a full time blogger is the actual dream. We work with tons of bloggers who create content for our clients so I guess I saw it as an opportunity to be able to work on both sides of my job. My blog technically came before my job but I definitely became more invested in it because of my job. I struggle to find the time to write blog posts but I'm really dedicated to keeping my food Instagram running that I started after I got my job and has been active for almost a year now!
What is your favourite part of the job?
I love the creative process of brainstorming an idea, pitching it to a client and then making it happen. The exciting thing about PR is that you get to see how the world reacts to the work you do. Also getting to eat the leftover food at a photo shoot is pretty great.
If you could give one piece of advice to recent graduates, what would it be?
Take every opportunity that pops up, even if you don't think it's something that you want. It's crazy how one thing can lead to another. If I hadn't taken that acting job, I might not have ended up in food PR!
What is your favourite thing to cook and why?
That's hard! I love it when I've got a fridge full of leftovers and I throw them together into a soup or a pasta and it turns out to be the best thing I've ever eaten. That's only happened like once, but it was great.
Follow Emily’s cooking experiments and recipe ideas on Instagram @emilymaykes or on her website emilymaykes.com.