29 January 2019
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Name: Holly Owens
Job Title: Marketing Executive
Location: Liverpool

Hey Holly! Tell us a bit about your background...

Hi! Well, I’m 23, originally from North Wales but my home has been here in Liverpool for the past 6 years. Wow, I’ve only just realised how long it’s been! I went to Liverpool John Moores University where I graduated in 2016 with a degree in Business Studies, Honors in Marketing and some of the best memories.

But, to sum me up as brief as possible… I’m a voluntary dog walker at North Clwyd Animal Rescue, I have a pet rabbit called Bonnie and I love experiencing new things and places. Everything is an opportunity in my eyes.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the program last year, but hearing about Bonnie was definitely a favourite moment of mine!

And today, what is it that you do?

I’m Marketing Executive at Ph.Creative. We’re an agency who specialises in employer brand.

I oversee and control our internal marketing activities. This can range from producing our own content such as blogs and podcasts (Getting Goosebumps: The Power of Storytelling), pulling together case studies on all the great work we’ve done for big clients, attending strategy workshops, organising speaking events for team members to attend and speak at, and putting the decks together… to name a few!

What skills have you found are essential for your line of work?

Flexibility. We’re a marketing agency so being the marketing department, anything can land on my desk. I’ve got to be flexible with my time; whether that means travelling down to clients or to our other offices, or picking up some work that has come through as a priority.

Teamwork is a big one, I know A LOT of people who will always throw this in but it truly is important. We have a high volume of client work and you need to collaborate to get the job done. It’s about utilising the team’s strengths – you can’t do everything on your own.

Finally, emotional intelligence. I think everyone needs a good level of emotional intelligence in anything they do and I know it’s not the standard skill you’d pop on your CV, but it’s becoming more and more necessary. Working in an agency, it’s like a big family. You have the biggest laughs and some of the best times but there’s also a range of personalities. You need to be aware of those around you, and in this role, I’ve learned to appreciate the point of view of others and the position they’re in. As a result, I react a lot differently to situations.   

I think you're absolutely right, teamwork should never be underplayed and emotional intelligence is becoming a necessity within teams.

As you know, we loved having you on our third course! What made you apply?

Thank you! I loved every minute of it. I applied mainly because it was the chance to try something new. To get a feel for different areas of the creative industry and meet people with a similar eagerness. It always good to meet a variety of people and to build relationships, I knew by being a part of Catalyst I would get this chance.

Through Ph. I had heard some great things and fortunately, they introduced me to it all. I never knew the course existed!

Now I can’t stop recommending it.

What were 3 key things did you learn about yourself or the industry during your time on Catalyst?

I learned through some of the exercises we did in teams that I do like to take on the role of leader in a group… thinking about it, I bet my friends wouldn’t be surprised by this! I also appreciate the level of communication needed to get results.

During my time on Catalyst, I started to see the different approach it uses and how it could benefit friends of mine. It’s such a unique course and I describe it as a stepping stone. It bridges the creative gap between education and a career.

From my small town back home, I can say the careers advice was very generic. There was never any talks on creative roles in the digital space. Catalyst helps people gain an understanding they might not get so easily elsewhere.  

How would you describe your experience and what benefitted you the most?

You’ll never know what you’ll come across and how it could alter your profession and way of thinking. I learned the basics of coding and tools to help me get better, it felt like being back in school! Yet, I noticed I enjoy it and thought this is something I might want to pursue further.

There were weekly guests who came in to tell you about their journey, what helped them, what went wrong and what their advice would be to someone who might need some guidance. I think this really helped me to get a genuine answer and know that it will work out for you if that’s what you want. It was truly inspiring.

Were there any significant moments for you on the programme… if so, what were they?

For me, it was all the wonderful people I met. The alumni is a real thing, we all stay in touch and try to meet up as often as possible. We share interesting content, events someone specifically might benefit from and even just catch-ups.

It’s a wonderful thing, being with people who think the same way you do.  

What advice would you give to those who are thinking about applying?

Go in with an open mind and you’ll come out with some great knowledge. I didn’t really know what to expect but any sort of presumption I had, barely touched the surface.

For me, I just want to continue to learn as much as I can about the creative and digital sector. There is so much you can get involved in and so many things I might unknowingly branch off into and to me, that’s exciting.

Catalyst acts like a bridge that will connect you to these possibilities.

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you?

I’d like to continue this line of work but experience a different culture and work abroad… To travel around and visit new places in my spare time. Luckily with Ph. we have a few offices in different locations so I’m hoping this is something I can work towards.

No matter where I am or what I’m doing, it just has to be something I love. Having that sort of passion for something, it’s bound to drive you to success.

Article by
Robyn Dooley
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