Kickstarting Careers – The All-New World of Brand and Cultural Transformation

Kickstarting Careers – The All-New World of Brand and Cultural Transformation

Kickstarting Careers – The All-New World of Brand and Cultural Transformation

Breaking into the advertising world without any experience is like trying to hop the wall at Buckingham Palace – very difficult and you probably won’t last too long before the corgis tear you apart. That’s why I’m so thankful to the Kickstart scheme, it enabled me to enter a world that I had never really thought was for me. Six months later and it turns out it is.

Copywriting always seemed like something I could do in theory. I love words and I love people –they each have the power to transform the world. That’s why I’ve always surrounded myself with both.

I’m your typical English Literature graduate, poetry writer and lover of a good debate. I adore books, words and talking, so of course others have always assumed that I would become a teacher or work in publishing. While I had no qualms with these career choices, I wasn’t excited by the thought of marking work and editing other people’s manuscripts.


While it’s never been easy to enter the ‘real world’, it couldn’t be more difficult for the students of 2020. Finishing a masters in a pandemic was stressful and, at times, infuriating. So many students were going through difficulties, approaching graduation and wondering what our futures might have in store for us. Writing a 15,000-word dissertation + wondering what comes next = inner turmoil. Despite the pain, I graduated in September 2020 and had to start making moves. A quick peruse of the ‘miscellaneous’ folder on my laptop would reveal over a hundred job applications for roles in publishing, charity, education, media and more. All written with plucky self-determinism and a dash of despair.

Where were the graduate jobs? I certainly couldn’t find them, so I decided to sign up for Universal Credit. As a ‘16–25-year-old’, I was able to apply for the Kickstart scheme. This government-endorsed programme was created to give young people experience in industries that might not be easily accessible to them. That’s exactly what advertising was to me. An unknown realm. And yet, seeing the advert for Junior Copywriter at BBD Perfect Storm awoke something inside of me… I felt I was exactly who they were looking for: A natural writer… proactive in approach and with a genuine understanding of the power of words… I was both enthralled and terrified. What if I wanted them but the feeling wasn’t mutual? How would any job ever compare to this? How should I prepare myself for yet another inevitable rejection?

I applied hastily for the role but was met with silence, and so I gave up on Perfect Storm and instead interviewed for a Charity Admin Assistant role. It seemed like a fine job and I almost accepted it. However, around this time I finally received the email I had been waiting for – an interview was scheduled with Cory Eisentraut for two days later. I was thrilled.

I don’t remember much of our conversation now, for we have since had many, but I felt seen and heard by Cory in a way I wasn’t expecting. To say the advertising industry has a (largely dated) reputation would be an understatement. I was expecting a cutthroat ‘Madmen’ style mob-house where men in suits sit around tables smoking cigarettes, banging their fists and heckling at women. This was not Cory. He met me where I was and never made me feel as though I needed to lie or be someone else.

I haven’t studied marketing or advertising. I had no idea what CTA, OOH and WIP meant, but I thought Cory and I bounced off each other in a way that could only be conducive to good things. I got the Kickstart role and marched in on my first day alongside a few other young, bright faces, armed with aspiration and curiosity.


Perfect Storm certainly threw us ‘Kickstarters’ in at the deep end. I was thrilled to learn about Perfect Storm by getting involved and doing, a privilege I know isn’t afforded to Junior Creatives at every company. While there was no chain-smoking or (much) binge-drinking, there was an electric undercurrent that ran through everything we did. An undercurrent characterised by creativity and urgency as we all worked together to get the best work out there whenever it was needed.

Learning about copywriting not by studying it, but by doing, was so exciting. One of the first brands I worked with was PepsiCo’s Sabritas, chucking ‘joyful’ ideas around with the senior creative team. In my first few weeks, I was also lucky enough to visit our X By Glenmorangie Mix Machine in Covent Garden for London Cocktail Week. It was so fun getting to grips with a camera and learning all about angles with Agathe, snapping some shots of the innovative, multisensory cocktail making jukebox.

As December 25th dawned closer, we had our agency Christmas card campaign to think about. With the support of the whole creative team, I wrote the scripts and helped produce and film Santa’s Red Tape. This was so fun to be involved in, even if it did involve dressing the set of our local pub at 6:00 am and directing a slightly wayward Santa.

I learned so much so fast – and I’m still learning. I’ve been trying to get stuck in wherever I can, taking an active role in Perfect Storm’s social media. Being involved with debuting our PS Values to the world, hunting for the next game-changing #ForwardFriday and finding artists for our new hashtag #ArtistAppreciation. I’ve enjoyed helping to share all the exciting things happening at Perfect Storm.

I’ve helped write headlines for the Heinz Baby, Pure Joy campaign – tackling unrealistic parental standards. I’ve also been a part of the team writing copy and radio ads for Severn Trent, providing their customers with a tone of voice that inspires them to care more for their water. No job has been too big or too small and I’m still learning every day.

There is so much I could say about our office culture and general vibe, but I’ll keep it short and simple. My enthusiasm always feels matched by Perfect Storm. I’m surrounded by friendly faces and a mixture of people, different personalities, temperaments and mindsets – a testament to the good work we produce. By the time the Kickstart scheme was coming to an end it felt right that myself and Minh would stay and keep helping to produce the disruptive, creative work Perfect Storm is known for. Minh is such a great Video Editor with a keen eye for detail. I’m so pleased to have met him and proud to call him my colleague.

If you’d have told me a year ago that I would fall into a career where I not only get to experience the impact that people and words have but I get to create that impact, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, every day I experience what happens when you bring a team of unique, creative individuals together who can bring inspiring ideas to life and change the world for the better.

I have loved being a part of something important. Something with the opportunity to learn around every corner. I’m still in awe that writing words is my job – and that being creative, nosy and loving a good babble can pay off. After just over 6 months I’m happy to be a part of Perfect Storm and I’m excited to see where we’re going next. Because trust me, it’s going to be good.

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