My First Month at Tech PR Agency, Mantis

Written by Faye Williamson

Arriving as a fresh-faced graduate to my first Mantis interview with Bryony and Lily, I was nervous to say the least. As much as I had two smiling faces chatting away at me on a video call, I could not hear a word they were saying. I scrambled to find the resolution to my untimely technological issue, worried that I had missed out on the opportunity before I had even introduced myself.

Fortunately, patience is a true Mantis value which runs through the whole team – heaven to the ears of a PR beginner and avid questioner. After a friendly first interview and all my questions answered, I was won over. After a chatty second interview with Jo and Caitlin (where they realised, after 40-odd minutes, that they hadn’t introduced themselves), I was having to remind myself that the job was not yet mine.

The sheer energy and ease of talking to these people felt so different to any other interview I had done before. Where interviews are often endured and struggled through, Mantis redefined it as a truly enjoyable experience. I left feeling the warmth of a close-knit team.

Pre-Mantis, I was a freelancer, writing about jewellery, music, art exhibitions, and anything else I could get my hands on. As much as I loved the introvert-friendly set-up of being my own boss, the lack of guidance and discussion of what I would do day-to-day became a glaring issue. There were only so much my friends could take of the freelancer musings.

At Mantis, flexibility is key. No one person leads the same life, and we all have our priorities outside of PR. Whilst I’m not fetching kids from after-school clubs, remote working is my make-or-break on a mental level. I have always enjoyed the ability to choose where I work from my university days, and Mantis is not all that different in that regard. There has been the challenge of not being able to meet everyone in person, but I have learnt to utilise what is available – our group chats. From unpicking publications to defending your love for a certain fast-food chain, working from home never feels lonely.

Ethics and making a difference are important to me. I was part of a not-for-profit initiative whilst at university, volunteering my spare time as the editor of environmental content. Getting stuck into current issues and spinning them to cause readers to reflect on their everyday habits was thrilling, and I really felt like I was part of a wider movement. When I applied to Mantis, I felt a similar buzz run through me and I knew that working primarily with public sector tech would satisfy this integral part of me. Now, having worked with a handful of tech clients, the drive to do good feels like a universal attitude we’re always striving to achieve everyday.

My first month at Mantis has been a whirlwind of discovery and adaption, some of it harder and all of it valuable. Every day is different and unexpected, but the one constant is the team. And within the space of a few weeks, I feel like I have been part of the Mantis team for years.

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