I’ve always had an interest in marketing. There’s something about the high degree of creative thinking that jobs in the industry that sparked intrigue in me. As someone who classes themselves as a creative individual, I’ve always felt that it was quite a natural step for me in my career.

While I’ve not long graduated (great timing, I’m aware), my background is in journalism, with a particular focus on culture, music and sport. Having written for a number of publications across these areas, I’ve managed to climb up the experience ladder, earn editorial positions, and secure internships at magazines and radio stations to show a diverse range of industry experience. I’ve worked hard to build up a diverse portfolio to ideally open my career prospects to a plethora of industries.

Then I graduated into a pretty challenging climate. I felt I was entering the job market with an open and well-rounded CV, but the number of jobs in any sector were particularly sparse, given the sad state of events in 2020 (thanks, COVID).

I started to dip my toes into marketing job applications. Of course, as is typical of most job applications, I received few responses beyond the auto-reply application received, although many didn’t even offer that. 

Thankfully, I found a job advert from Story Shop, asking for a creative individual to come and join their team as a first hire.

It’s not very often you can get excited about the application process for the potential role, but the unique task of ‘telling your own story’ through creative means stood out to me and told me a lot of good things about the company and the people running it. So much so, that I already knew the role was a good one, as they wanted to see potential new recruits’ originality and personality, something truly rare in job applications.

With the role being particularly focused on digital marketing and social media management, I told my story through social media, using only photos I’d put up online (which reminded me just how many I’ve shared over the years too). I was delighted when my application was accepted for an interview, over Zoom, of course (thanks again, COVID).

The interview went well, and to my surprise, I was asked to come in for another one a week later – which again, seemed to go nicely. Something that became abundantly clear to me was that not only were Gregor and Scarlett great people, they also read me very well. My experience was varied and across sectors, but they saw me a good enough fit to interview me a couple of times, and as someone who could potentially grow and learn with the company.

While I was really hopeful of getting the role, I knew my lack of experience may set me back against the competition. My gut was right, and while I didn’t get the job, I was taken aback by the kind offer of a summer-long paid internship to work with them instead. They’d never planned to take on an intern and a new hire, and I’m massively thankful of their kindness and belief to create an opportunity, let alone a paid one, simply because they trusted in what I could do.

Of course, I snapped up the offer with both hands and never looked back. And, as expected on taking the role, interning at Story Shop was a really wonderful experience to learn from and work with two of the best people in the business.

Working with Gregor and Scarlett and across their board of clients, they helped me sharpen my skills, working on my copywriting and SEO, getting a better understanding of the industry, its processes and what it takes to be good at marketing and PR. By researching the companies they worked with, I managed to gain a great understanding of so many different businesses. 

Even aside from the work which was highly enjoyable, Gregor and Scarlett were both so hospitable to me, inviting me into their home, socially distanced (truly, thanks again, COVID), to work for the day in their office, offered me lunch, and chat about all sorts.

While I was really sad to finish the internship come September, I left on great terms – and me leaving on a positive note was actually their doing too. Through a connection with their client, Tim Elizondo, Gregor secured me a job interview for the position of Marketing Coordinator at Attis Fitness – and I got the job.

Thankfully, I get to work close to Story Shop on Attis’ marketing, meaning even in my new role, I’m still working with and learning from the best people in the business.

Graduating during one of the most turbulent times in modern history wasn’t part of my plans for 2020. And with such an intense and hectic job market that’s now more saturated and trickier to navigate than ever, I couldn’t have imagined the luck I’d have in meeting Gregor and Scarlett and being taken on as an intern for Story Shop.

In just two months, they helped me learn a great deal about both marketing and PR. They taught me skills I wouldn’t have learnt from a simple rejection letter. I learnt a lot about the industry and what I can do in it in a really short space of time, but without that experience, I would be a lot worse off.

2020 might be an awful year on the whole, but Gregor, Scarlett and Story Shop are proof that there is still a lot of good in the world.

Dylan Tuck.