Graphic Beauty, Interview and potential collaboration.

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At the start of the easter holidays I had an informal interview/ meeting with a group of students looking to form a group of artistic collaborators. They wanted to make a group made up of make up artists, models, photographers and set designers in order to be able to create images and photos together. The creation of such as group would allow people to have a ready pool of people to work with on projects, whether for a personal or professional project.

I wanted to join the group as a photographer. The questions asked where mainly to do with my experience, at which point I told them about my portfolio and my participation in the photo club society.

I thought the interview went well, I have heard back about a potential meeting in order to meet the other people who also joined the group. But as of yet, there is still designations to be made as to when and where.

I was a little stressed about the interview, not because of what it was for but mainly the fact that I had been in hospital over night and had not be discharged until two hours before the interview. Needless to say there was a little bit of a rush to get there on time, that being said I gain arrived early.

Going for an Interview

Screenshot 2017-05-03 01.12.34Recently I was invited for an interview at OmAwake in Birmingham, for a social media internship. They company is an online based company, working to connect holistic practitioners with potential clients. The platform gives the partitioner tools in order to successfully run their business, such as calendars and scheduling. They had a social media presence already on Facebook and Twitter, but said that they wanted to expand their influence more in Instagram and other visual social media outlets.

First off finding the location was quite easy, I walked from the train station. But I did find a bus route that was located quite close to the building. I arrived very early, which is good on the one hand but I think it through the people giving the interview off a little, they thought I was someone else at first. But once we got past that part the interview went very well.

Some of the questions they asked were along the lines of, what my experience was and why I had chosen to do an internship with their company. I mentioned my marketing module which I took part in at the beginning of this year and told them my experience of working in groups and designing the graphics used in that module. I attempted to put a lot of enthuses on my visual skills, with using photoshop and other design tools, along with my photography.

The reason as to why I wanted to work with their company was relatively simple. I wanted to be able to connect people together on a social level, but also I had an interest in their company on a holistic level too. This is because of my Marfan Syndrome and the fact that holistic therapy was and still is a part of dealing with the pain that creates. So on a personal level I understood the importance of being able to connect to a holistic partitioner.

Overall I was happy with how the interview went, but I feel like I might of talked too much or too quickly due to being a little nervous. There was some reservations about me being at Coventry university  as they had worked with an intern from the university in the past and had some difficulty with communication and commuting to the office. I then mentioned that I was relatively free apart from the one day at university in the coming term and the fact that I lived relatively close to the train station. Making the hours I could work very flexible. They mentioned the fact that there could be communication over Skype and such. However they did also suggest that they might be looking for someone who lived in Birmingham.

The company is based within the Innovation Birmingham Campus ICentrum building. The building is host to a number of online start up companies. And the open layout of the building is meant to promote collaboration and productivity within the companies. It did seem like a very enjoyable environment to work in and it reminded me a little of the layout of my college.

There was one little worry I had when I arrived for the interview, due to the fact that it was raining outside I had not had chance to take my trainers off and switch to my black pumps. It was a silly thing to be worried about considering that I had dressed appropriately in business attire. But never the less it was one thing that I would of liked to have changed given the opportunity.

I hope to hear back from them during the week. At which point I will post about further developments and any feedback they might have from the interview.

Applying for too many things at once. One bad experience.

While on the one hand, applying for everything and anything will indeed get you a response from some companies, it will also make your time available to companies that aren’t quite what your looking for.

This is one experience I had recently, where I applied for a dozen or so companies and got responses from three in particular, all being marketing positions and all of them using the method of ‘direct marketing’. At first I was very excited, I rushed at the opportunity to go for an interview and quickly arranged an one with each of the three companies. I went online to further research each of these companies, and their managers. This was in order to prep myself for the usual questions ‘What do you know about our company so far?’ ‘What made you choose this company?’ ‘Why are you interested in marketing?’, those are the questions I would of expected to be asked.

But as I went online I found that two out of the three companies had been located in the same building, I thought maybe it was an office building, shared by a number of different companies, it didn’t seem odd at first. Then I went a little deeper and discovered that one of those companies had recently moved to the new location and had in fact shared the same office space as the third company. In all they all new each other, this might not be uncommon, but when doing my research all this started to ring alarm bells. I soon discovered a site that allowed you to look at a companies declared finical statues and information about the company. All three were on this site, with one having a declared net worth of £2 and thousands of pounds lost from the previous years. Leading to the suggestion that it was a company on the decline, perhaps the very reason for the relocation.

This dose not include the number of employee reviews I found of each of the companies, going into detail how three step interview process was made in order to entice people into the role with the promise of managerial positions after a short period of four to eight months of team work and training. But in reality very few people make it to that managerial role at all. There were many people who felt that they had been cheated out of their time, as the position was not as advertised in the description and often people would be asked back for an ‘observation day’ in which they would do a full day of work with out being paid, only to find that they were expected to go door to door attempting to sell to home owners. This is what the term ‘direct marketing’ is usually associated with, researching potential customers and where they live so that people can go to their homes, their places of work and in their retail environments (shopping centre’s) in order to gain sales. It goes without saying that potentially vulnerable could be taken advantage of with this type of campaign, which in itself is morally questionable.

There was one more thing that I found while doing my research about the companies, press articles had been released by each of the companies had been released on the same site. This in itself is not odd and completely normal especially for a publication to do with marketing and business. However it was the similarity in syntax that looked oddly familiar in all three articles.

Company 1 ‘long-lasting business relationships between brand and consumer which often leads to increased customer acquisition, brand awareness and brand loyalty for their clients.’

Company 2 ‘long-lasting and personal relationships between brand and consumer which often leads to increased lead generation, brand awareness and quality sales for their clients.’

Company 3 ‘This drives long-lasting and personal business relationships between brand and consumer which, in turn, often leads to increased customer acquisition, brand awareness and brand loyalty for their clients’

Finally after all of that and a little part of me saying it’s a waist of my time, I went to the first two interviews I had organized them on the same day, because they were in the same building. I went into a small waiting room with a desk and lots of couches with people sitting on them. I was told to fill out the information sheets to both companies and then wait my turn. While waiting the two receptionists phone numerous people telling them they had been selected for an interview, all the while people where flowing into the waiting room and asked to fill in a sheet for what I gathered to be four separate companies.

The interviews where very brief, lasting what only felt like ten minutes and mostly going into work the company did and the progression path to a managerially role, as I have said before these are to entice people into thinking they can earn lots of money. But what is not made clear is that the employees are classed as contractors and therefore self employed, meaning there is no safety net in place, if you get sick and can’t work its not the company’s responsibility to give you sick pay. This leads to the final observation when going to these interviews, it is purely commission, meaning there is no minimum wage in these positions.

After all that I had released that these companies where not the type of place I wanted to work for or with. And so I had decided not to go to the third interview.

This might be a long winded post but the main point of it was to show the importance of doing research before you go to a interview. You might not like what you find out.