It all began the night before my A-level psychology exam. After months of endless revision (or should I say procrastination in the form of The US Office re-runs), late nights and caffeine abuse, I began to contemplate if I could continue doing this for another year. This is where my research into other opportunities began in a last attempt to save my sanity – cue SBW Advertising.

So it began. I submitted my application on the .gov site, was called in to an interview on 12th floor of the Colston Tower, where I fell in love with the incredible view over Bristol, and then a week Iater I got the call from Account Director Rich, and to my delight, I was offered the job!

So whilst all of my friends were either off to the more traditional path of University for freshers week or enjoying the last few weeks of their summer, I was beginning my first day at SBW. I was introduced to my own desk with a phone, laptop, stapler and other very adult things. As I was getting cosy in my new space for the next year, Richard gently broke it to me that I wouldn’t be getting a 9:30am start every day and had to start at the usual 9:00am just as everyone else. The loss of that half hour extra nap horrified me and I think my face inadvertently showed it.  This was the moment I had come to realise that my time as a student was safely behind me. I was here to gain experience of being an Account Handler in an advertising agency and would be treated as such.

From day one I was introduced to processes and procedures in the office. From job bags, to artwork checks and briefing into studio – not forgetting the all-important answering of the phone within the ‘three-ring rule’…*DUN DUN DUN*. At first everything seemed quite overwhelming, and I was baffled at how naturally all of these things were to everyone. I was also given the task of managing social media for SBW and some of our clients, something which I really enjoyed and never really considered doing before starting at SBW.

Since being here I’ve also been given the opportunity to attend some really exciting events, one of which featured guest speaker Noel Edmonds, George Ferguson and some rather fancy canapés. Along with this, I was given the chance to attend some inspiring conferences with some amazing speakers from leading companies such as Spotify, Bauer media and many more.

Now it wouldn’t be right to continue writing this blog without the mention of some of the out of work events I’ve been fortunate to be a part of. Although I was dreading the infamous ‘Bring a dish’ event due to my serious lack of cooking skills, I managed to whip up a lasagne (enough to feed the whole tower)  appropriate for our ‘Italian’ theme. After seeing the spread of my favourite food on one huge table, I knew I was at home here at SBW. When we were finished wining and dining, we later moved onto the equally as competitive bowling match! It really was a pleasure to be able to play with some of the most skilled bowlers I have encountered – myself being one of them (I’m hoping you can sense my sarcasm), however I’m hopeful that by next time I will have improved!

At Halloween, we got decorative here at SBW with a spooky banquet and some fun and games in which I was proud to be one of the selected team leaders (to the disappointment of my team). Although I didn’t bring any luck or skill to the team (losing both pool and darts in the head-to-head stages) I feel as if my team spirit and commitment to apple bobbing spoke heaps more – although MD Simon didn’t seem to agree. We later had the treat of being led on a spooky pub crawl filled with horrifying facts by Senior Account Handler/ entertainer Martine which was both factual and great fun! My birthday last week also had a little celebration of its own with lovely card, a delicious chocolate cake surrounded by even more chocolate and candles, which was then escorted by Fran whilst she played the happy birthday theme tune on YouTube in the back ground – a very touching moment.

Now, four months down the line and five pounds heavier (and a lot of questions and amazing mentoring later), I can finally feel the account handler inside trying to make their way out. Needless to say my phone etiquette could do with a little more work. However I have learnt so many valuable skills about the industry and more importantly, what it’s like to work in the real world. Overall 2015 has seen some big changes for me; from student, to ‘acting adult’. Even though I still have the occasional student outburst and accredited nickname as ‘Justin Bieber’ (on account of my beanie choices), I feel as if I’ve developed a lot more as a person then I ever did in school in my very short time here, and I owe it all to SBW and all of the amazing people here. Even though I fell in love with the view of Bristol at my interview, it’s the family atmosphere and the lovely people here that I stayed for.