Agent Academy: The Path I’m So Glad I Found

As someone who graduated from university with a degree but no relevant experience in the industry, with acumen but no application and filled with ideas but no plan of action, I really wish I had discovered Agent Academy sooner!

When I signed up for what I thought was an intensive 12-week marketing programme, I discovered it was much, much more.

We have been given the opportunity to work closely with some amazing people, like the Anthony Walker Foundation to influence social change through an impactful marketing campaign whilst gaining valuable direction and insight, from a vast array of expert speakers that we have met along the way and, respectfully, quizzed throughout the programme.

My ultimate ambition is to eventually carve a career as professional athlete representation. Like many careers, the route is not clearly signposted or linear.

A budding doctor or lawyer can enrol at university with the knowledge that this is the road to go down to reach their goal. Whereas, myself and the rest of the Agent Academy learners have been subject to a less straight-forward journey to where we want to be.

Agent Academy has played a huge part in introducing us to people who are contributing to the journey to our dream careers. Paul Corcoran set the tone from week one with this pearl of wisdom:

“Say yes to every opportunity and sit at every table you can.”

For all that we have learnt over the past few weeks, this is one of my key points to take away so far. It is better to start and develop as you go, than to hesitate for want of getting things absolutely perfect.

Christopher Kenna lived and breathed this philosophy. He took the road less travelled and built Brand Advance from the ground up and ‘advanced’ it into a multi-million-pound company. His story was not only inspiring but has reassured me that there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat!

The reason I chose marketing, aside from having a keen interest and a natural tendency to think strategically and creatively, is that I see marketing and athlete representation as two branches of the same tree. They both involve building a brand, telling a story, influencing perceptions, and I couldn’t have had a better campaign to be involved with than the one we have with Anthony Walker Foundation to help develop this skill.

There is no book that you can read to become a marketer nor representer, which is why I was so engaged by Mischief’s Vishal Rana. He works with the biggest stars in sport, and the biggest brands but like me, his path was far from linear.

Throughout my university experience, we were taught to engage with textbooks and lecturers, and were provided the expectation that this would equip me to operate in the real world. Agent Academy has opened my eyes, and highlighted the human aspect of industry, which is every bit as important, or even more important, than the theory behind it.

Networking is such a transferrable skill and human interaction underpins every job there is out there. Agent Academy has introduced me to a new network of people that I may never have met otherwise. More than this, it has also given me the emotional intelligence to understand the ideas of others and see a variety of perspectives rather than sinking or swimming in my own merit and being confined to my own way of thinking.

Once our campaign is complete and our 12 week programme is over, I will walk away from the Academy far more equipped for the next step in my career than when I walked through the (virtual) door. Not only with new transferable marketing skills but armed with confidence for whatever door may open next.

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