Natalie Fern Davies

Natalie Fern Davies

“I went to Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, and now I am a New Release Film Marketing intern at Warner Brothers.”

Natalie, New Release Film Marketing Intern

Years attended:

2007-2014

Job Title:

New Release Film Marketing intern at Warner Brothers

Description of Job:

The New Release Marketing Team in which I am based, develop, implement and manage the marketing strategy and campaign for each new release film, both theatrically and for first release on Home Entertainment. We coordinate the implementation of our devised strategy, working alongside Media Agencies and other distribution departments including Publicity, Sales, Exhibition, Digital, Social etc.

O Levels/GCSEs

Dual Science

English Literature

English Language

Maths

Art

German

Religious Studies

A Levels

History (A)

English Literature (A)

Art (A)

Physics (C)

July 2015:  Access to HE Distance Learning; Business with Management Diploma (Distinction)

University

University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School

Course: BSc Management with Marketing

What inspired you at school?

In many ways AGGS instills a confidence in their students – being educated in an environment where you are encouraged to have a voice, to speak your mind, to work with determination, to know that you can achieve success and being told that nothing should stop you from believing in yourself, prepared me to commit to facing challenges and working with dedication towards a goal. In a society where sadly women are still sometimes deemed less capable or powerful than men and treated unequally, AGGS’ encouragement of strong women has made me confident in my abilities and I have always stood equally beside peers and colleagues – men and women alike.

Any useful tips/advice?

Be persistent and push yourself. You are capable of achieving that which you most want, if you put in the effort required. Saying that, what you want cannot be simply given to you, go out and ask for it. But maybe, most importantly and from personal experience, don’t let others cloud your judgement – take on advice and constructive criticism, but do not allow others to sway or influence your own opinions and values. Be your own person and recognise what you enjoy doing. Granted this might change in the future, but don’t let that scare you – it’s never a straight path, and change is sometimes the best thing that can happen.

What have you done since leaving AGGS to get to where you are today? (eg work experience, GAP year, apprenticeship, volunteering, travelling)

During a Gap year after leaving AGGS I studied a Business Diploma through learn from home scheme (similar to the Open University) and took unpaid work experience at a variety of companies alongside waitressing. I then spent 6 months at the BBC, progressing from a work experience role, to jobs as both a Design Assistant and then an Assistant Floor Manager for TV productions. I started at The University of Manchester as an undergraduate studying BSc Business Management and Marketing in September 2015. Alongside my studies I took on intern roles at a marketing agency in Manchester and The Royal Exchange Theatre with their Young Company. During my second year, the latter progressed to an Assistant Producer role and being heavily involved with multiple productions at the theatre, whilst returning to my job at the BBC as and when I could and being involved with societies at Uni. Having such a variety of experiences in professional environments, alongside the foundations of a broad degree, allowed me to step into my current placement role at Warner Brothers. As much as University allowed me to grow personally, mature and develop independence, filling my spare time with experience in industries that I am passionate about, gave me true insight and understanding of how academic theories are applied in the real world.

How did you get into your current role?

I started at The University of Manchester as an undergraduate studying BSc Business Management and Marketing in September 2015. Alongside my studies I took on intern roles at a marketing agency in Manchester and The Royal Exchange Theatre with their Young Company. During my second year, the latter progressed to an Assistant Producer role and being heavily involved with multiple productions at the Theatre, whilst returning to my job at the BBC as and when I could and being involved with societies at Uni. Having such a variety of experiences in professional environments, alongside the foundations of a broad degree, allowed me to step into my current placement role at Warner Brothers. As much as University allowed me to grow personally, mature and develop independence, filling my spare time with experience in industries that I am passionate about, gave me true insight and understanding of how academic theories are applied in the real world.

What specific qualifications are needed for your job?

To be able to take an Internship at Warner Brothers, you are required to be studying on an Undergraduate Degree that allows for a placement year during your 3rd year of study. Other than this, an interest in film, the company and desire to learn about the industry is all that is essential to the role. Previous experience would help – but this could be anything from being involved with organising charity events or socials at University, to a professional internship, or volunteering.

Are there any particular subjects that have to be studied to be able to do your job?

Having studied Marketing and Business modules in my degree, I had an understanding of the foundations of both before entering my role. Having a creative mind and studying A Level art and continuing to use this skill in internship roles prior to working at Warner, has significantly helped with the creative elements required in my role.

What is a typical work day like for you?

I assist all four Marketing Managers and the four Marketing Execs on a daily basis, with a variety of tasks including Purchase Orders, Release Landscapes, Comparative Titles and research documents such as Territory Summaries and Kick Off Decks. In one day I could be completing different tasks relating to the creation of film trailers, audience engagement research, budgeting for a media plan, developing ideas with the publicity team, strategising with creative agencies etc. In a single day I could complete work effecting the marketing campaign of over 10 films. Currently I am working heavily on Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan), Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg), A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper), Tomb Raider (Roar Uthaug), among many others.

What is the best bit about your job and do you have a particular career highlight?

No two days are ever the same – I am lucky to be in a role that is constantly changing and demands different tasks of me day by day, which allow me to connect with a range of people across the company. Having such a huge amount of responsibility in an intern role is an honour – my daily work directly inputs towards the marketing campaign of every current Warner Brothers’ title. It is a joy working in an industry I am so interested in and care about so much.

What are the worst things about your job?

It is challenging managing such an array of tasks I am given from so many different people – all with different time frames for completion and different levels of urgency. I directly work for a team of 9, but communicate with numerous other teams across the business and sometimes it becomes hard to juggle so many requirements when each individual has their own way of working with me – I have to regularly adjust to different expectations on a daily basis.

What skills help you most in your job (i.e. teamwork, communication, leadership, time management)?

Communication skills and careful time management are crucial for me to be able to complete my daily tasks and work within my role to the standard expected by my team.

What advice would you give to students looking to get into your line of work? (e.g. subjects to study, getting work experience)

Work experience gives you the chance to both discover what you enjoy, but also realise what you can’t picture yourself doing in the future. Before being launched into full time work, it allows you to try and fail, test and learn about different roles in different industries, and perhaps most importantly, learn about the roles you did not know existed. However, for every twenty emails you send enquiring about work experience, you may only get one reply. Email and also call companies, explain to them why you’re interested and if you can, accept any amount of experience they can give you – be it one day a week for a couple of months, or simply 3 days of shadowing. Email as many people as possible and don’t be disheartened if a company cannot take you on. If you want to work within the creative industries be actively aware of current trends and engage with them directly. Read, read and read some more – you can never know too much about work within the industry and the people creating it. Any experience that is even only slightly linked to the arts is relevant – it is still experience. People within the creative industries are ideas people – they want to work with like-minded keen, interested individuals and appreciate that sometimes it is hard to gain experience. No-one at Warner expects interns to have had experience within the film industry before hand, but if you could prove you have developed skills that may be needed (teamwork, communication skills, creativity), doors will be opened.