Media and Communications Officer Sam recently left soundLINCS for pastures new after four years of working with us. Here he shares some thoughts and memories of his journey from a six month internship through to becoming an integral part of the team.
It was April 2014 when I first saw the advert to work with soundLINCS. I had been out of university for almost a year and had struggled to find a company who were willing to take a risk on a 22 year old with little practical experience and a degree in an unrelated field.
In many ways the Creative Employment Programme seemed like the opportunity I had been waiting for. It was designed to give people their first entry into the industry they had a passion for, and also gave charities the opportunity to explore new roles and opportunities they may not otherwise have been able to justify. I excitedly applied and, despite making clear that my days of public instrumentalism were over,
soundLINCS offered me the chance I had been waiting for.
After starting in the role it quickly became clear that the six months ahead would be an exciting challenge for both me and the Company. During my first meeting with
Nikki-Kate she explained to me that they had never hired a permanent marketing or communications officer before, and that the onus was on me to prove that both the position, and myself, were indispensable to soundLINCS going forwards.
I managed to prove it! And ended up hanging around for 42 months more than initially planned. Somehow I ended up as a ‘poster boy’ for the Creative Employment Programme and featured in a national government video about the scheme, as well as being a chosen case study at several conferences. To say that I was always more comfortable on the other side of the cameras is in no way an understatement!
What I loved about working for soundLINCS was the wide variety of responsibilities and scope for growing the role that meant two days were never likely to be the same. I quickly learnt that the job was much more than just social media and press releases, helping to create interactive online maps, design posters, banners and other publicity, and to get behind the camera creating videos and photographs to bring the Company’s work to life.
The fact that in my first ever communications position I was able to take real ownership over soundLINCS’ media output and the opportunity to present the progress and development achieved to the Board, was an invaluable experience that gave me the best possible start in my career. Growing social media was something I made a real focus of mine whilst at the Company, and to see it grow by 300% over my four years there is something I take a lot of pride in.
There was also the more tangible and real side to the Company that will stay with me. Attending events like FAB! every year, the annual day of activities and awards ceremony for Looked After Children in Lincolnshire, showed me the real purpose of soundLINCS and the undeniable and emotive impact the work has. Seeing the profoundly positive effect their work can have on people going through challenging circumstances will stay with me for a long time.
Whilst I am very much looking forward to this new chapter of my life and the brand new challenges that it will present me with, I am also incredibly sad to be leaving a great bunch of colleagues who helped make my time with soundLINCS so memorable, and who have supported me on a journey of development that has made this next step in my career possible. Thank you.