My (work) experience as a copywriter
For the past two weeks I’ve been beavering away at Hive as a copywriter. It’s been an interesting and diverse experience. I’ve taken part in more brainstorming sessions than I have in my whole life, taken on the persona of a COPD patient and written a script from their point of view and spent an afternoon on twitter to raise the profile of this very blog (hopefully you’ll tweet about it too?).
So what’s my background and why am I here? When I came to the end of my PhD in developmental neurobiology (the embryonic development of the brain in case you were wondering) I had to decide what I was going to do with my life. After numerous lengthy discussions with anyone who would listen, I determined that a life in the lab was not for me and that I needed to look for something different, so I began to consider a career in medical communications. At a careers presentation day at King’s College, London I met Hive’s very own Helen Scott and Matt Chorlton. Helen invited me to “drop in to the office sometime for a coffee” if I was interested in finding out more about the world of creative healthcare communications. So I did. I managed to meet with Debbie, the head of copy, who suggested that I come in for some work experience to learn a bit more about what being a copywriter at Hive was actually like.
So what have I learnt? That being a copywriter involves a lot less writing and proof reading than I thought it would, and a lot more creativity (I am on the ‘Creative’ team, something my year 9 art teacher would have been thoroughly amused by). I have also now got a much better understanding of the different kinds of communication work that needs doing for the healthcare industry, from medical education to branded communications. I was also surprised by how many different types of media copywriters have to write for: slides, conference exhibits, publications, audio scripts and not to mention the oh-so-hot-right-now digital stuff! Hive, as a place to work is open, innovative and colourful, and has a seemingly endless supply of communal chocolate and sweeties (although perhaps this is because I have been here over Easter).
As for what lies ahead for me, well I’ve definitely enjoyed the writing and my time here has given me a good stepping stone towards making an informed choice about my career. Who knows, maybe you’ll see my name pop up again on this blog in the future. In the meantime make sure you keep reading (and tweeting!).