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Spotlight on a Business Development Assistant

Published on 12th August 2018

Karina was working as a Marketing Assistant for a technology company when she decided it was time to make the move into the legal sector.

Karina was placed by Ambition at a leading international law firm as a Business Development Assistant last year. We asked Karina some questions about her career journey in Professional Services and she offers her advice to others starting out in their BD & Marketing careers.

This overview of Karina’s experience in-house provides a fantastic insight into what a career in Professional Services could offer you!

How did you start your career in Marketing?

My interest and career in marketing began with me completing a few internships, I quickly realised that the area suited my personality. Although I really enjoyed marketing, I also wanted to use my law degree so felt that moving in-house, to a law firm, would be a great fit for me.

From previously working at a software technology company liaising with law firms, how did you find the move in-house?

It was a comfortable transition for me, as the scale of my last company was around 100 people and the move to a large law firm was very similar. Initially, it was challenging to learn all the different processes of the teams within a law firm, however, everyone was very supportive, which made it easy for me to get up to speed. Within the first two weeks, there was a lot of training and catch ups with Practice Area Partners to build relationships and break the ice!

What was the biggest challenge you found with your role as a Business Development Assistant?

I wouldn't necessarily say it was challenging, but understanding the scale of the practice areas in the firm was different from anything I had done before. I had to get up to speed quickly and understand all the areas and the different strategies they use to go to market. What I found helped in this situation was signing up for online alerts. This helped me to keep up to date with the market news and I also find the work examples really helpful with piecing things together.

What does your general day look like?

I wouldn’t say I have a general day, not all two days are the same in my role – if you get a pitch in then that will change your day completely. I do try and do floor walks daily to see if there is anything I can help with and attend weekly practice area meetings.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I like the variation, being able to gain exposure in the company and having the freedom to gain knowledge of other practice areas. The variation keeps me motivated as I’m not doing the same thing all the time, at the Assistant and Executive level you do have the opportunity to see where your skills can be transferred in the wider business.

What words of advice would you give to anyone looking to start their career in Marketing & BD?

The main piece of advice I would give to someone starting their career is to find out what practice area you are interested in and make an informed decision! If you like Corporate or Tech then have a look at the firms that specialise in that area. I believe that if you are in a role where you are passionate about what it's covering you will try harder and in turn have more success

If you are looking to start a successful career, similar to Karina's, at a leading professional services firm, please do get in touch! We have a number of fantastic opportunities that could be the perfect fit for you!

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