Amongst the free periods and gradual taste of adulthood, came the stress and hustle of A-Levels. Following this, I was left to answer everyone’s favourite question: what next? For the majority of my peers, this meant University, however, that was a route I decided not to take. Instead, at the age of 18, I was under pressure to decide my career path – a challenge that I believe is greatly underestimated.
Singling out subjects
Having chosen English Literature and Language, Media Studies and Psychology when applying for Sixth Form in Year 11, it was clear that, having chosen such a broad range of subjects, I didn’t have a specific career path in mind. I had always been fond of English, since my earliest years of school, and I quickly took a shine to my two other subjects – in particular: Media Studies.
Throughout the course, we studied various ways in which media products target different demographics (a fancy word for audiences that I learnt in my Media lessons), industries, and representations. After mocks and termly exams – and a big thanks to my Media teachers – I was quickly able to demonstrate my understanding and enjoyment of the subject. Then, as a result of my mock grades for Media Studies, the Public Relations and Communications career path was suggested to me by my teachers.
The build up to A-Levels was not a smooth run and, as I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, the pressure was on. Both my media teachers and career advisor were pleased to hear that I was considering Marketing and PR, as they were certain on it being an industry that I would flourish in. However, I still had to decide which area of the sector I wanted to go into – all while revising for my exams.
After months of studying for my A-Levels, I am pleased to say that I left Tolworth Girls School and Sixth Form – at which I had been a pupil for seven years – with an A* in English, an A in Media, and a C in Psychology.
Having finished my exams and left school, you would have thought that I would have known what my next steps would be, but I still had not found somewhere that I felt suited and interested me enough to dedicate my life to, full-time. This was partly due to my lack of experience, as I had previously only worked part-time due to school, and none of those jobs were ones I wanted to pursue a career in.
I had been searching high and low, surfing what felt like the whole of LinkedIn and Indeed, and had yet to find anything that appealed. I felt myself panicking and worrying that after dedicating myself to A-Levels for two years, I would have nothing to show for it.
Until my careers advisor sent me an opening for the role of Junior Communications Co-ordinator at an integrated communications agency in Esher. Reading through the job description, I realised that I had finally found something I wanted to do. It almost seemed too good to be true.
I was invited for my first interview, where I was made to feel very welcome and relaxed – a feeling I had never had before at a job interview!
After my second interview, I was thrilled to get a call that evening, from AD, telling me that they would be delighted to have me on the team! This news was also a hit with all of my friends and family, who had no idea that I had gone for the interviews!
So began one of the most important weeks of adulthood so far, starting at AD and also receiving my A-Level results. My first week was full of welcomes and congratulations, and for a bunch of people I had known for all of four days, it was heart-warming to see their reactions and happiness for my results.
Overall, two months in, the stress of choosing a career path and not opting for university feels worth it. I’m getting to grips with agency life and what’s required of me, which I would not be able to do without the full support of the team here at AD. I suppose you could say since June (exam season), it’s been quite a ride! But I am pleased to say that I have finished school with no regrets and feel as though my hard work has paid off. I now look forward to the future and my new career.