WPP's Taylor Lawrence talks through his experiences so far, three months into the Health Fellowship programme
Taylor Lawrence is one of six Health Fellows that joined our teams via the inaugural WPP Health Fellowship in August 2018. Three months into the two-year programme, Taylor tells us about his experiences so far and what it’s like to be part of WPP’s world-renowned creative community.
Q> What attracted you to the WPP Health Fellowship?
Taylor> I graduated from university in the summer of 2018 with a degree in Medical Sciences (Human Genomics). Although I wanted to stay in science, I didn’t want to do postgraduate medicine or pursue a career in research. So I signed up to ‘The Debut App’, looking for opportunities in ‘science’ and ‘communications’. That’s when I learned about the Health Fellowship. Until that point I knew little about the advertising sector and had no idea I could move from a medical degree into something like health communications.
The WPP opportunity opened my eyes to new possibilities. I researched the industry to see what else was out there and discovered that although there were lots of entry-level roles in PR, advertising or market research, the Fellowship seemed to be the only graduate scheme that would give me a taste of health communications in its entirety. The prospect appealed to me. Not only did it speak to my passion for science and communications, it also promised exposure to all facets of the industry and some of its most talented creatives. I’m three months into the programme and can happily say it’s living up to that promise!
Q> What have you done so far?
Taylor> Health Fellows rotate through three agencies – covering advertising, PR and market research – across a two-year period. I’m currently based at my ‘home’ agency, Sudler London, learning all about advertising. It’s an incredible experience. I’m effectively an Account Executive, supporting the day-to-day running of accounts as part of the Client Services team – the point of contact between the client and the rest of the agency. The core work is project management; creating timelines, making sure activities are running on time and on budget and ensuring the right resources are appropriately booked in. I also get involved in briefing.
One particular project has been really exciting because I’ve been with it from the outset and have seen the whole thing through from concept to delivery. This included converting client requirements into a detailed brief for our creatives – and then getting that back to see how it translated. We’re currently at the production stage and it’s nearly finished. I can’t wait. It’s been a steep learning curve but I’m working with some brilliant people who have been great at sharing their expertise.
Projects are really varied. One minute I’m working on materials for HCPs, the next I’m developing communications for patients. My projects so far have been for a client that works in diabetes, which is great because the science is very familiar to me. This means that I can focus on things that are completely new to me like marketing, the way the business runs and the different systems and protocols we have to use. Every day is a school day. I’m learning all the time.
Q> How would you summarise your experience to date?
Taylor> I’m loving it. Everything about it has been brilliant; the culture, the work, the people. Everything. I’ve got so much to learn so I’m trying to grab every opportunity. The scheme really allows you to do that. I want to learn as much as I can.
Q> What would you say to anyone considering applying?
Taylor> If you love science and enjoy communicating – whether that’s creating presentations or simply talking to people about health and science – 100% apply. Health communications is a vast industry with a multitude of opportunities. The WPP Health Fellowship puts you in a perfect position to take advantage of those opportunities – and to learn from some of the very best. I feel so lucky.