Read Rukaya’s journey here on how she moved from a career in fashion to one in Media...
Rukaya Jones changed careers from fashion to joining Dentsu Creative as a Client Creative Executive through The Princes’ Trust!
‘Dentsu Creative provide the opportunities for progression without
limiting you to the role you are in, so instead of leaving you can move
around internally to another role.’
How it all began…
Rukaya was born in Birmingham, moving to London at six, where her schooling was described as ‘a strange experience’ due to her learning style and preference for practical based and visual learning. During her school years she started to figure out she preferred the creative subjects over academic subjects, and this reflected her GCSE choices and successful completion of exams taken in Dance, Art, Textiles, History, Maths, Science and English.
Where did your creative interests take you next?
‘I started a Diploma at college in Art & Design which allows you to choose to specialise in Fine Art, Graphics, Interior Design; or Fashion which I chose. I then decided to do a degree in Design at Coventry University which included a year abroad, so I went to Paris. I had the chance to meet so many different people from other cultures as the programme combined other international students, so it taught me a lot, especially about being adaptable.’
How did you progress to a career in fashion?
‘I completed some internships, then decided to do a Masters in Fashion & Marketing where I learnt about luxury marketing - after finishing I worked for a sustainable PR company for about six months, working with sustainable fashion designers and body positive influencers with a focus on wellness and positivity. I then worked at Debenhams in Oxford Street doing visual merchandising for three years.’
How did you change your career to one in Media?
‘I saw a programme through The Princes’ Trust advertised called “Get Hired” on how to get into Media for those at entry level. The help they offered was tailored to what you needed, and there were loads of roles available, so I progressed to an interview with Dentsu Creative in the TSL department (The Story Lab).’
How was the interview process?
‘It was a two-stage interview - the first stage covered your background and about you, then the second stage was tailored to the job role and your suitability. It was a simple process, and I was just asked about my knowledge of media and my interests - I then got a call within a week and got offered the role! Training is a big focus for the first six months and getting you to the level you need to be to do the job successfully.’
What was starting in ‘The Story Lab’ department like?
‘I started in lockdown, so it was harder to learn remotely but now training is in-person as much as possible there is flexibility and hybrid options. For new joiners it is hugely more beneficial to be in the office to learn.’
Did you have a buddy when you joined?
‘Yes, I had a Buddy allocated which was great because we had a weekly check-in to go over any general personal queries - your line manager is someone who checks in on your professional goals, so you need another perspective. The objective is to match you with someone you can relate to, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and it’s usually someone just one level up from yourself. You have a Buddy for a whole year then you can choose to continue or not.’
What is the culture like at The Story Lab?
‘The culture is very sociable, and there are a lot of events where you can meet people and make bonds outside of work. We also have monthly work sharing meetings called “TSL Lives” where we talk through updates with the agency and the campaigns we’ve worked on and proud of. We also include a session called “Peer love” which is where someone who has been supportive gets a shout out – this is done through submitting a quote about a team member.’
What social events have you attended with your Team?
‘One of our activities was organised with one of our media partners where we went to Hijingo in Shoreditch which is an immersive bingo experience - the event also included entry into a competition prize and someone from our team won a holiday to wherever they wanted to go to in Europe!’
What sets Dentsu Creative apart from other companies?
‘Dentsu Creative provide the opportunities for progression without limiting you to the role you are in, so instead of leaving you can move around internally to another role. This is a good thing as many companies don’t encourage this but here it is an open conversation.’
How are the discussions on Learning & Development approached?
‘There are very open, honest and positive dialogues about how you feel, if you are unhappy, burnt out or lack of motivation this is taken on board to see if your role can be adapted or if anything else can be worked around to resolve this.’
Finally, with internal mobility and career progression high on the Dentsu Creative agenda, are there any other departments you might like to work in?
‘It’s too early to say but I am open to it. If I get to that stage, I will definitely have that conversation before looking outside. I have also had conversations with HR about various initiatives where I might like to be involved and move into in time.’