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Life at Croud: My journey from carefree student to young professional6 min read

The transition from being a carefree student to a young professional certainly has its challenges; however, it really wasn’t as bad as I had first imagined, and working for Croud has had a large part to play in the ease of the transition.

From January until May last year, I pretty much lived at my university’s library, determined to achieve the top marks, and receive that majestic first. I spent those five months locked away, juggling my dissertation, in between writing reports, and revising for a three-hour exam, all whilst maintaining an active social life. Needless to say, it was incredibly difficult yet weirdly rewarding.

However, my persistence paid off and last spring I achieved my goal of gaining a first class honours degree in Marketing – all the hard work, all-nighters, and alcohol-induced comas (due to the insane amount of workload) had been well and truly worth it.

Leaving university

Looking back, I realised that the majority of my life had been spent in education, and would like to think that it’s an environment in which I flourished. I was a good student and loved the university lifestyle, and it was because of this that I was somewhat hesitant to leave it all behind. The transition into the adult world seemed incredibly daunting, and words like council tax gave me the shudders. To my horror, I realised that now it wouldn’t be acceptable to live off a diet of pizza and tinned beans, and now I would probably have to wear normal shirts to work instead of my beloved Hawaiians! (see picture, can you tell who the students are?), but what I really feared most of all was the working world.

Ben Jackson Croud

I desperately wanted to avoid contributing to the statistic of people who were newly graduated but couldn’t find a job. The reality of this statement seemed to become more evident as my social media feeds became increasingly congested with a torrent of complaints from my peers who were also struggling to gain employment.

Another thing that troubled me was the possibility of ending up in a role that was completely unrelated to my degree. Having spent all this money on my education, and attaining the top marks, but then not being able to apply that knowledge in a relevant role, would mean that all of that hard work would have been for nothing. With all of this in mind, it put a fire in my belly and I was determined to get a role in marketing.

A step into the adult world

A few months passed and thankfully I found myself in a unique position; much to the envy of my friends – I had been made two job offers before I had even graduated.

One was working for the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Scheme, where I managed to fight off 800+ applicants and impressed the decision-makers so much on the open day that I was offered a role. I was hugely humbled by this, and the best bit of all was that I was also offered a fully-funded master’s alongside the role – meaning that I would be able to maintain my student status and enjoy two more years of free student cheeseburgers and 10% off everywhere! Sounds amazing, right? So why not jump at the chance and take it? One word, Croud… and the fact I still had a student card for the next three years… but mainly Croud.

My big dilemma

The graduate scheme offered me the opportunity to be nurtured and moulded, but to me, this seemed too processed and possibly tedious. Croud, on the other hand, seemed like a real challenge, and being thrown into an adult setting, in an area of marketing which I had very little experience in seemed daunting but at the same time very appealing.

I remember the interview at Croud so clearly, as I genuinely couldn’t believe that I was in a real working environment, and neither could my friends –  and for the record, they still don’t believe me.

The more I researched, the more I wanted to work there. Looking at their business model I couldn’t believe how simple yet effective it was. Croud managed an endless list of multi-national clients, including household names and market leaders such as Netflix, Victoria’s Secret, and AMC, to name but a few.  The fact that they are still a young but rapidly growing company was something that really enticed me and something which still excites me today.

I deliberated over which job to take for a few days, called some of my best friends for advice, and even wrote a pros and cons list for each of the roles, and eventually I concluded that my pros list for Croud massively outweighed the pros for the Welsh Financial Services. I had a genuine interest in Croud and the more I researched, the more I wanted it. Croud won by a country mile.

Life at Croud

Croud is everything I want from a job, from the culture to my personal development. The culture is very laid back, and I think Croud identified that if the staff were relaxed this would lead to greater productivity. It certainly seems to be working because the case studies show that Croud as a unit is a well-oiled machine. Just being in the working environment and being part of the team, you can see that there is a clear direction. Everyone clearly understands their role, and everyone has a shared goal to do the best they can every day to meet the client’s objectives. It’s refreshing to see such motivation and it inspires me to become a valuable cog in the machine that is Croud.

I’m also happy with how much I am progressing and learning every day. In the beginning, being submerged in a new area of marketing was incredibly daunting but being surrounded by such an unbelievable team makes it easy to learn and to leave your inhibitions at the door.

Growing together

Even though I was presented with an incredible opportunity with the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Scheme, I think I’ve been given an even greater one here at Croud. I am under no illusion as to how lucky I am to work at such a great organisation. One of the main reasons as to why I wanted to work here was because I can grow with the company. Croud is only seven years old, and could easily be considered the new kid on the block. Having only just graduated that is exactly how I see myself. If I apply myself and learn from my colleagues, I am sure I will succeed in this ever-changing world which is digital marketing.

I am looking forward to the future and hope that Croud will be a considerable factor in the development of my career. But I’ll never forgot the times I spent in the library, listening to The 1975, Sundara Karma and Oasis, bobbing my head and racking my brains trying to find the answers to life’s most important question at that moment (which usually revolved around my dissertation). From being on this planet for 24 years, I have come to realise that hard work always pays off and that it’s now time to hang up the Hawaiian shirts (for the time being) and focus on the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

 

If you’d like to find out more about working at Croud, or are interested in applying for a graduate scheme, visit our work for us page.