Internal Communications Manager
I’m Internal Communications Manager at Freshfields Brickhaus Deringer. Freshfields is a magic circle law firm, which means it’s one of the biggest law firms in the world. Part of my job I look after communicating information internally within the firm. So we’ve got 5000 people and my job is to make sure that they know about everything that’s going on. They know management announcements and I run things like an internal newsletter to keep them informed and to help everyone feel engaged and feel part of a team. It also usually involves doing quite a lot of video and film work. it use to be very much about writing but in the last couple of years video has massively taken off, so it’s all about connecting people within the company.
I think I had a really good experience at school, I liked being at school. The subjects that I particularly enjoyed were languages, so I really liked English language and I was pretty good at French and Spanish as well. When I was at school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but the thing that most interested me was journalism. I haven’t obviously ended up as a journalist but I think lots of the same skills are involved in my job now.
So my first job in terms of full time office job was working at Delliot which is a big accountancy firm. I worked in the Reading office for a year before I went to University. I got the job because my business studies A Level teacher told me about this scheme that Delliott run. You apply to work in one of their offices for a year and then they support you through University so they sponsor you with your tuition Fees. I really enjoyed the experience of working in a big company, wearing a suit and travelling a lot, I really liked that side of it but I didn’t like the content of the accountancy work, which is what made me veer away from that and more towards the communications role.
I did a joint honours degree of international management with a modern language, which was French. So I studied at Bath for three years and did a year in Paris as part of that as well. Then when I left University after that, I went to work in a PR agency in London. I did that for two years and then I came in house at Freshfields and I’ve been here for four years now.
My dad was in the army and my mum is a civil servant, so they both work in the public sector. They were very supportive of my choice of degree because I think they thought that doing the management element of the degree would help me to get a job in business afterwards, and that has proved to be the case. When I first started working I wasn’t very confident in myself, I didn’t have a lot of confidence and that was probably a bit of a barrier to progress at first and as time went on I got more confident in my role, I knew what I was doing and I felt a bit happier about it and I think that’s really helped me to perform better. It is very hard work sometimes which I think would be problem if you didn’t enjoy what you were doing, but I really do so it’s not a negative for me.
The best bits of my job are the ability to be really creative and innovative. I get a chance to come up for new ideas for things all the time, which I really like and I have a large amount of autonomy which means I get to make decisions about the work that I’m doing and I think that’s really valuable.
I would say that my current manager Kate is my mentor as well as being my boss. She has taught me an awful lot about working in the business world, so things like thinking strategically and being able to pursued and influence people and to help them in their decision making.
I wish that I had had more faith in myself when I was a bit younger. I wish that Id had more belief in me. I think that I really believe that everyone is good at something; you just have to find out what it is. I think that as soon as you find out, even if you don’t know what it is yet, I think as soon as you find out what you’re good at you can just bring your career to life.