Our Infectious Media ‘Career Pathways’ series of interviews aims to highlight working life, as well as the the career options available to our staff. Here, Talitha Okirie, Campaign Executive, in our London office, tells us about her apprenticeship journey at Infectious Media.
1) What did you do before you began working for Infectious Media?
I was at Uni for two years and did two different courses. I felt like I was going to uni for the sake of it, it was the next thing you did after A levels. My friend had started an apprenticeship the year before and recommended as an alternative route to university. After doing some thorough research, digital marketing was the most relevant course for me. I found an apprentice provider and made the move from Birmingham to London. Shortly after, I was offered an interview at Infectious Media, it was my first interview. At interview stage I wasn’t expected to know anything about programmatic advertising, I was mainly tested on my ability to plan and organise my time. Based around the job role in Ad Operations, I was given a small test. The job role was explained clearly and I instantly felt I belonged here; I felt like I would fit in and felt confident I could do the job.
2) What should new joiners expect when they start at IM?
When you start a new role, you take on lots of information, so you need to be on top of things. I took lots of notes. Don’t feel like you can’t ask questions, no question is a silly question; Everyone was open to explaining anything I didn’t understand. Programmatic is still growing, so there’s lots of opportunity for those who want it - it’s what makes working here so exciting. Dive straight in - don’t hold back!
3) Tell us about your Infectious Media career journey
I started off as an Exec in the AdOps team. I didn’t have any previous knowledge of the programmatic space but I’m continually building my knowledge and I’ve been taken on more responsibility. The AdOps team isn’t client specific - you work across different clients which was pretty cool. Within 6 months I was able to traffic independently.
Recently I have moved to the activation team. I was looking for a change, and I wanted to progress and have the opportunity to be more client facing, to build up my communication skills. I spoke to my manager about moving teams and found the right opportunity for me. What I do now fits perfectly with what I wanted to do, 50% traffic and 50% optimisation. To build up my optimisation skills internally, I have been shadowing some of my colleagues. It was a great challenge to have. I’m also now training some of the Campaign Executives on how to traffic campaigns. It’s great to learn and teach at the same time. Next I will be looking at how to plan campaigns, the next step in my Activation career journey.
Talitha, Mitesh, Connor and Paddy - the OG AdOps team!
4) What are the advantages of being an apprentice? Would you recommend it to others?
An advantage of being an apprentice is learning on the job. I’m tested as part of my apprenticeship - I have to complete online courses and I have 20% of my time set for learning. There’s a mix of online courses and there are four projects I need to finish.
I think apprenticeships would suit people who enjoy getting stuck into the working environment, and who are interested in working their way up.
5) Describe a typical working day.
My days can vary. I need to keep up to date with client questions, especially with trafficking, and campaign planning. My day can be a mix of apprenticeship work and IM work, so there’s a good variety. I’m really pleased I made the internal move to Activation.
6) What has been your biggest success to date?
My move to activation. I was able to prove I could do the AdOps role, but I could also take on client responsibility and training other campaign execs. I’m treated like any other colleague, I get as much responsibility.
7) If you could describe the team at IM in 3 words, what would they be?
Fun, work as a team and we get the job done. It’s not three words!!
Seamus & Talitha in the 2019 Summer Social egg & spoon race!