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The Exec scheme and me, Liam Arnold

My story is a little different for how I got into the Exec scheme. I had done a lot of jobs since I was 18 years old including lifeguarding, insurance, fitness instructing and casino dealing. Both my Mum and cousin worked within GroupM and so I had heard a lot about the pros and cons of the media world. I applied to MediaCom specifically because they are the largest agency within GroupM and I predicted that I would get a lot of variety within the workplace which included training and networking (a huge focus for me). However, because I didn’t have specific “media” experience, I had to use my finance experience from working in insurance to apply for a more finance related role in a team whose client was Dell (computers etc.). I got into this Junior finance role after a quick and simple interview process with the help of the GroupM talent acquisition team and worked in that role for a year. I knew I didn’t want to continue working within finance and so I asked around regarding any entry level roles within MediaCom that would get me media side without any previous media experience. This would prove quite difficult. However, just as I thought that I would be working in finance for the rest of my days, the talent team informed me of a rotational Executive scheme that MediaCom offered. I looked into it and you didn’t need any prior experience. The application process was quite easy and more personality based questions (including a terrifying 30 second video you had to upload!!) instead of the usual, “what are your strengths?” questions. Once my application was accepted, I was invited to an assessment day which was along the same lines as the application’s personality questions just with a basic maths and English test included. Afterwards, I was offered a space on the Exec scheme and the process of moving sideways from finance into media was smooth and easy.

What team/s have you worked for here?

Prior to starting the Exec scheme I worked for Dell finance. Since being on the Exec scheme I have worked with the PPC and Comms Planning teams for Centrica (a company whose brands include British Gas, Hive, Local Heroes).

I’ve had great exposure to the client and stakeholders since working within Comms Planning and that is something I want to continue doing further into my career.

This includes day-to-day tasks in which you take ownership of and get recognition for pretty quickly and also contributing to meetings by putting together slides in a presentation and/or presenting these at meetings. You receive personal support from your direct team in a way that suits you. If you like to shadow people in order to learn while taking notes, then all you have to do is ask.  If you prefer someone to show you a process before letting you try, that can also be implemented. Alongside all of the day-to-day things you’ll learn, there is an abundance of outside training from GroupM University, Systems Planning, MediaOcean and external talks around things like LGBTQ+, Climate Change and Mental Health, many  of which provide free lunch while they proceed and can be very engaging and even hands on!

The social atmosphere at MediaCom varies from sports teams to nights out, all of which are totally inclusive and welcome everyone with a smile (and sometimes a beer!).

However, the biggest takeaway that I’ve learned from MediaCom is the old cliché of “work hard; play hard”. But even then, the “work hard” bit is still enjoyable, it’s easy to collaborate with your team and be really innovative to achieve goals both internally and for clients. The advice I would give any new starters to MediaCom is talk to everyone! Networking is so easy and beneficial to your job and advancing your career. A task your team might be struggling with could be helped by someone you chatted to one evening on the roof terrace who works in a specialist team or creating a name for yourself and getting amazing references by people you don’t necessarily work with but have met and talk to at the tea point occasionally. Networking or as I prefer it, “extending your web of influence” is my favourite part of the job and working at MediaCom in general.

If the Exec scheme sounds like something that would suit you, you can read more about it and apply here! 

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