On 11 October at the National Liberal Club, the OA Club relaunched its in-person career events after an almost two-year absence. Harnessing the entirety of the Abingdon Community these events aim to draw in parents and OAs alike. Thus allowing us to offer networking and career opportunities to all of those associated with the school.
With the National Liberal Club providing the perfect backdrop for such an event the great and good from Abingdon’s Media Community descended on London for the evening. Representatives from Journalism, PR, Marketing, Social Media and Communications to name but a few all attended making for greatly varied and intriguing conversations throughout the night.
The media and entertainment industry is set to reach £90 billion in revenue by 2025. With such growth expect in the next few years the evening was a perfect opportunity to discuss the potential areas of development within the sector.
As has become customary for these evenings we were treated to a number of ‘soapbox style’ speeches from some of our attendees. As always these did not disappoint as a range of OAs and parents delivered their insight into industry trends as well as offering invaluable advice for younger OAs making their way in the sector.
Kicking things off Mark Pluck (2006) spoke passionately about the challenges and benefits of the freelance world.
‘be confident, email people; reach out to people they always want to give you a hand’
He noted the kindness and support that he received in his early years in the industry helping to inspire the next generation of OAs.
‘that’s the main thing about working freelance, you just need that one person who brings you in under their wing and after that, it really snowballs’
Then we were lucky enough to have two parents currently working at Facebook Jamie Green and Ben Wood specialize in recruitment and advertising respectively. Both were able to offer excellent insight into current trends in the sector.
Ben noted ‘the pandemic has definitely been a tailwind for that business [Facebook advertising], for all the right reasons businesses have been aggressively pivoting to a direct consumer digital-first approach’ when speaking about the impact of the last 18 months.
Whilst Jamie spoke about the importance of diversity in recruitment.
‘We are hiring teams that can represent the world because we are building products for the world’
Finally, PR expert John Thompson addressed the room on his experiences first as a journalist than in the communication sector. John noted the importance of ‘the pace of change and keeping up with change’ in order to maintain the position at the forefront of the industry.
He also pointed out the resilience it takes to be successful in media. John said ‘it took a lot of pushing and lobbying, and just not taking no for an answer’. Whist also noting the various routes one can take in this field.
‘there is always more than one way to be successful’
Career guidance and support are central to the OA Club’s mission and this evening was a perfect example of the power of the Abingdon Community. We hope to continue more of these events as well as offer more opportunities to our community to connect and grow together.
Please see a short video of the evening below.