UK Monitoring Content Co-Manager
Dods Parliamentary Communications
I come from the middle of nowhere originally. I’ve always had an interest in film and politics, so it was pretty much a coin toss to decide which I took on as a degree, and linking back to the previous point, whilst at Uni I worked on a student film in my spare time and even took a couple of modules in film during my first year, so it’s a great idea to explore all your options.
I’m currently trying to learn Japanese, although as I’m not great with languages it’s taking me a little while to get anywhere near being able to say I can even speak the basics with confidence. I love football, even if it’s basically just a recurring punishment for supporting Stoke; and I run a really nerdy social media/news website in my spare time to try and keep me sane.
I can’t remember exactly how I found out about my course, but I can remember that I chose it for a couple of reasons. The first being the concept of wild modules, which I knew I would want to take in film and gave me the chance to really explore which avenue I wanted to go down as a career. And the second was because I fell in love with the campus when I came to visit.
As was required for one of my modules during my third year I needed to find an internship somewhere, so although it may not count as extra-curricular I worked for the local Liberal Democrat party for a few months over the summer, which proved to be a lot of fun and helped me to develop quite a few key skills that I needed in the work place.
I also took part in the Harry Potter society on campus, which is where I met my fiance. So definitely take part in societies if something takes your fancy!
Knowing that I wanted to move to London as soon as possible after University I started to look for work opportunities throughout my third year at Kent. Eventually I landed on an Public Affairs internship with a company called Redwood Consulting, who specialise in PA and PR for property stakeholders (I knew I was on to something special when a man wearing a cap with the football team I support walked past just before I entered their offices).
My internship with Redwood was contracted for 3 months, so during my time there I kept searching for full time roles to take on once my contract came to an end. As it turned out I had a very helpful mentor at Redwood and she helped me to find a job with Dods and at the end of my 2nd month I handed in my notice, having being offered a full time job as a Monitoring Content Specialist for Dods.
My job with Dods started in October 2016 (Roughly 3 or 4 months after graduation) and I’m still with the company now, only in a different role. Over the course of my time with Dods I began to take on more responsibility in the team, even crafting myself a new job title by showing some initiative in the social media side of things. Then through determination and a little bit of luck I eventually found myself as the Senior member of the team and subsequently the Co-Manager (which is where I am now).
The core aspect of my job of and the job of my team is to monitor all the various Parliaments/Assemblies in the UK and to relay important information/information we are sent directly by stakeholders (Political parties etc.) either to our team of consultants or to clients directly. Beyond this I also act as a source of contact for queries and issues for both internal and external sources; liaise with various teams throughout Dods to ensure that our product is being smoothly delivered to clients and to identify new areas for improvement.
The one piece of advice I would offer to students today is don’t be afraid to take on extra curricular activities during your time at University or even once you find yourself in work. I wouldn’t have progressed the way I have at Dods if I didn’t go out of my way to identify an issue in our social media offerings, prove that I could improve things and earn a new job title which then put me in good stead for my next couple of promotions. Furthermore, I don’t think I would have been given the opportunity at Redwood if I didn’t already have prior experience interning for a political party during the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years of Uni.
Even to this day as I continue to redefine what I want to do for the rest of my career I am constantly engaging in other ways to develop my CV outside of my actual job (Or even just taking on stuff outside work because I find enjoyment in it). You aren’t always going to be head over heels in love with what you do at work/Uni, so putting the effort in to create something of your own on the side that caters to what you love is often the most rewarding thing that will keep you ticking.