February 11, 2015

1 week at Livity changed my life!

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Before my placement at Livity, I was that girl who wouldn’t put her hand up in class because she wasn’t 100% sure whether her contribution would be useful. I didn’t think that I would be able to articulate myself in a way that others would understand, along with many other false conceptions of myself…..

Having grown up in a neighbourhood that was always in the news for gun and knife crime, I knew that I never wanted to be a product of my environment. I wanted to get out of my situation and help others like myself who didn’t believe they could…but didn’t believe there was a company out there that truly wanted to do be doing the same thing. I had read up on Livity and must admit that I was quite sceptical because of the mind-set I grew up with.

I was first introduced to Livity whilst working for a major sports retailer. I met one of the employees in the midst of a marketing campaign that was going on in the store. After talking for a while, I let them know that I study marketing and they replied, “Cool, you should check out the company I work for,” and gave me a tiny bit of background. I ran off for a pen and a signup sheet used for the campaign, to write down all the information I could.

From time to time Livity would pop up on my radar, for different reasons; maybe a piece of work they did, someone I know working with Live Mag UK, another being helped with space from somewhereto_. My initial perception was being turned around, so when my university placement was approaching I got in contact. A few emails were exchanged and after a few years of no response, 3 months ago now, I realized my final email had remained in my drafts!! Fortunately, I managed to get a placement with my sister who had just set up a Healthcare Recruitment company and I helped her with marketing.

Finally, I finished my degree and was left with that horrible question: “What do you want to do next?”. In a stressed state I got into a panic and started frantically searching for jobs. 10, 40, 150 applications later I finally got a job working for a financial services retailer. Although I was glad to have job, I knew it was not what I wanted.

Feeling unfulfilled I re-visited my network, after sending a few emails I waited for a week and only heard back from 1…… Guess who? I was given a load of information on the marketing industry; information that my university did not even give me, or maybe I never sought….

I was then invited to the offices for a coffee and a chat. Once I got into the office I was greeted by what I would describe as a ‘sexy chaos’.  Loud music playing, people focused on their computer screens with ear phones in, others walking from desk to desk, looking like they were exchanging great ideas….I stopped to take it all in and laughed to myself in amazement. After a chat with Tom and Stacey, we organised a week’s placement to take place in the New Year.

The Placement:

The projects I was able to work on and tasks that I was set really did make me feel a part of the Livity family. The freedom I had really boosted my belief in myself. During the week, I got a a first-hand look into how organisations work together with Livity to change the lives of young people. I was invited to meetings and was able to contribute in discussions with senior clients, which gave me a lot of confidence in myself and my ideas. I also worked on social media campaigns which allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the process of a marketing strategy and how it works.  Working with the Livity production team, I was able to see how ideas come to life on set. On somewhereto_, I researched new empty spaces for young people and looked for new avenues to connect the space to young people.

I didn’t only receive work, but I also received inspiration from the following:

  • Collectively: an amazing movement that forced me to look at my life so far and question how I could be doing more.
  • Livity Working Girls Group: a safe space created to allow females to share experiences in the work place. I was shown the importance of being authentically myself!

My journey to get here took a while, but what I have gained from the experience will continue to aid me along the way.

To sum up my experience, I think the biggest thing I have taken away from this experience is that your true greatness will never show until you force yourself in to an environment that allows greatness to unfold.

As you can see, a totally different tone than that of the girl explained in the first paragraph of this blog……..A life changed!

Thank you Livity Family x

11.02.15, Annie, Livity work experience