25 June, 2012

First Impressions: Hannah Flaherty

It's that time of year when exams are over and graduates everywhere are flooding on to the job market. This week, our B2B PR and Marketing Assistant, Hannah Flaherty, gives her first impressions on the journey from university to life at Global Personals.

This Thursday will mark a very special occasion. It will be my one month anniversary with Global Personals. Perhaps more importantly, it will also mark the anniversary of my transition from student to working as a grown up.

Six weeks ago, I was sitting my last exam at university; last week, after an anxious morning at my desk, I got my final degree results; next week, I will be donning a cap and gown for my Graduation ceremony. So whilst my friends clung on to student life for the last month of Summer term, I was becoming accustomed to early mornings and a nine to five, being thrown full throttle into the crazy world of online dating.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the current graduate market is tough. After applying for what felt like thousands of Graduate jobs and going through countless interviews, and assessments, I found myself at Global Personals. Quickly drawn to the prospect of free breakfast, a coffee machine and as much Diet Coke as I could drink, the online dating industry and particularly Global Personals itself, seemed like a breath of fresh air from the ultra competitive, PR Graduate Schemes I’d applied for. Whilst there is no doubt that Global Personals is a great place to work and the industry itself is one of the most interesting I’ve come across, the work environment is really down to earth and there’s a strong focus on getting things done - exactly what I was looking for.

I think it’s fair to say that I knew quite little about the online dating industry before I started at Global Personals. The introduction I’ve had so far has been incredibly insightful; I wasn’t even aware that 7,500 dating sites even existed, without even thinking about the huge variety of sites and relationships that we actually cater to. I had been told that in-house PR and Marketing roles often get boring quite quickly, however, my experience to date has been quite the opposite. With the huge range of sites that we have at Global Personals, it means that every day is different and there’s always something new to keep me on my toes.

The Global careers site defines the company as a place where people come to ‘find a job helping people find love’, which I admit, did appeal to the romantic in me, but what I like more is that we help so many people find love. What’s more astonishing is the sheer volume and range of sites... like horse-riding, for example! Struggling to find someone who shares your penchant for all things equestrian? Well look no further than Love Horse. I think this might be my favourite, because it’s beyond lovely.

Getting thrown in at the deep end was one the best things that could have happened. It meant that I had the opportunity to get stuck in right away and thankfully, everyone was more than happy to bear with me as I found my feet. Whilst looking after blogs, social media and pitching stories to the press are nothing new, working my way through the press inbox brings up a whole barrel of questions on a daily basis. This is mostly because of the amount of unusual and oddly specific media requests that we receive. Apparently, there’s quite a high demand for cougars in the press at the moment. Who knew?!

It’s a bit intimidating walking into my first job from university, in a brand new industry and working within a team who seem to be infinitely knowledgeable, but the leap from student to full time worker bee has been made much easier thanks to the lovely team at Global, who have been exceptionally welcoming. It’s an exciting time to be working with a company at the forefront of their industry and as I begin to navigate my way between niches, cougars and dating industry awards, I’m looking forward to the months ahead and getting to grips with the world of online dating!

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