INdustry: My route into marketing - Henry Welford
Our Senior Media Executive, Henry Welford, is sharing how he got into the industry.
Even before I started my GCSE exams at school, I knew that further education wasn’t for me.
The sooner I got into full-time employment, the better. Going to university never interested me in the slightest, so I went down the apprenticeship route.
When the topic of apprenticeships was brought up at school, a lot of my peers were thinking about trades, such as plumbing or engineering. But as someone who doesn’t know the difference between a spanner and a screwdriver, I didn’t think that they were for me.
After receiving a GCSE in Media Studies, I managed to land myself an apprenticeship in Social Media & Digital Marketing at Made Television (now Local TV Ltd), a network TV channel with various stations based around the UK. I initially took the job to get my foot in the door at a TV station, with the hope of learning about production and transitioning into that department once my apprenticeship had ended, but the marketing gods had other plans for me.
I learned a lot in my eighteen months at Made Television – the wider marketing team took me under their wing and taught me so much. Being a 16-year-old, working in a fast-paced TV network meant I had to adapt quickly – going from spending every day messing around with my mates to working in a professional environment was just as hard as learning the intricacies of the role. Once my apprenticeship finished, I joined the company full-time, but a host of redundancies meant I was running the marketing department at 17 years old. Therefore, after six months of feeling like Creed in that one episode of The Office (I hope someone understands this reference), it was time for a change.
My next role was at Northern Media, a full-service agency based in Wakefield. This role introduced me to agency life, and I’ll be forever grateful to the team there who helped me grow as a young professional. Due to it being a full-service agency, I worked across several marketing channels, such as SEO, copywriting, and paid media, with the latter being where I found the sweet spot and what ultimately led to my current role at IMA-HOME.
I was once asked if I was interested in a role in ‘media buying’ and I turned it down because I didn’t know what it was. After two-and-a-half years in the media team at IMA-HOME, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined and made friends for life, meaning I look forward to coming to work
almost every day.
I feel very lucky that I managed to ‘fall’ into a career in marketing at such a young age; but recognising that by the time my peers at school had left university, I had over five years of experience in a work environment, confirmed it was one of the best things I ever did. I’m now 23 with seven years’ experience, ready to take over the world.