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Au'guest' Blog month -Breaking into Digital

Our third instalment comes from our very own Arren Wilkinson with his account of how he broke the graduate unemployment cycle and came to work for us.

Arren Wilkinson, @aa_wilkinson works as our Wired Sussex Marketing and Events Assistant

As I made my way towards The Funky Fish Club on a bleak January morning, the sky overhead reflected how I felt about my current job prospects. As one of a growing number of unemployed graduates it can sometimes take a concerted effort to feel anything other than a mere statistic.
Having left University I was eager to enter into digital media, one of the thriving UK industry sectors. Having written letters to numerous digital companies throughout the city, and despite holding some lovely advice ridden conversations with some very helpful (and obviously busy) directors, I was ultimately unsuccessful. Following this, for no other reason other than to receive some money to keep my head above water, I decided to admit defeat and sign on to job seekers allowance. Little would I realise how the benefit of doing so would stretch far beyond receiving £53.45 a week...
Barely a week after signing on I was informed of a jobs fair. Having arrived at the fair I received a sheet of paper detailing all the companies that were present, and lo and behold but who should be present there but Wired Sussex. Fantastic I thought to myself, having trawled their jobs board on a daily basis for weeks previously, I had the chance to head over for a chat with my soon to be colleague Jo, and the rest as they say is history.
I joined them through the now defunct but successful government funded Future Jobs Fund programme on a 6 month basis. Now 6 months down the line, having had my contract made full time and extended by a further 3 months I think I can call myself an integrated (and hopefully valued!) member of the team. Through the hands- on facilitating role Wired Sussex plays within the local industry, I’ve been able to embark on a crash learning course of exactly what digital in this county is all about. Who would have thought I’d have ended up developing working relationships with many of the companies I wrote impromptu application letters to all those months ago. These days it is not unknown to be meeting them for a drink after the day is out.
As my role encompasses everything from admin to events to networking to social media marketing, I have been able to rapidly develop the necessary skills to progress within this ever evolving industry. I owe this platform completely to both FJF and Wired Sussex. It’s not just me that will benefit in the long term however; we can’t forget the lucky agency that gets to have me once I leave Wired Sussex!
Whether I’m helping to deliver value to one of our member companies or having a post work pint in the pub, I certainly feel like I’m one of the lucky ones to have got a break at cracking the industry. If I hadn’t have done I’m not sure where I would have ended up. I’m going to avoid the cliché of in jail or dead, but perhaps selling burgers on the pier or cleaning up one of our cities beautiful parks? (No offence). So onwards and upwards and thanks to all involved in getting me to this desk right now!

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Director of Innovation and Projects at Wired Sussex, I deliver our portfolio of regional creative technology projects and support our innovation hub, the FuseBox.

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