From intern to junior brand writer: Allan Yeung.

Writing well is only half the battle; knowing how to communicate your ideas with confidence is the tricky part. Allan talks about finding his place as a writer and how crucial it is to do things that make you uncomfortable.

Allan was the type of kid who always had his nose in a book. He always knew he wanted to be a writer, and he moved from Hong Kong to London to study English Literature at UCL, intent on getting into publishing. While studying, he took on a strategy internship at a branding agency for video games; that’s when he broadened his scope to consider a career in branding.

He landed the role as copywriting intern at DixonBaxi shortly after graduating. Having joined at a time when the voice team had a lull between projects, he got to ease into the role by working on the DB Newsroom. “It’s actually a great way to introduce yourself around the office. Writing articles necessitated a certain amount of hovering around like a spectre to hound people down for drafts, quotes, photos.” To streamline the process of creating articles from start to finish, he learnt skills outside of writing, like grading his own photos. “I took the initiative to learn something outside of my comfort zone and become more self-reliant in the process.”

“It’s a chicken-and-egg situation: to take initiative, you need confidence, and to build confidence you have to take initiative. Sometimes the only way to get going is to just go.”

One of his biggest worries as an intern was how well he’d fit in. “As an introvert, it’s very tempting to stick to yourself and treat your job as a place where you turn up to hand in your work. But creativity can only truly flourish when you get to know and believe in the people around you.” And he says that knowing how to talk to people is about more than just being able to make friends in the office – the same skills are essential in becoming a confident presenter and communicator. Being personable is something you have to train, like any other skill.

“Your work will always be better when you genuinely have fun with the people that you’re creating with.”

Three months later, Allan was promoted to junior brand writer. A week after that, he was put on a new project on his own. “For the first time I had to trust in my instincts and own my writing. It was nerve-wracking to see my words in the designs.” But part of maturing into your role is realising that there’ll always be teammates you can depend on. “It’s not just about trusting in yourself, but also trusting in your teammates to vet your work and give you honest feedback. And if they genuinely believe in you, to trust in that judgement too.”

Like many creatives, he has to deal with impostor syndrome. “It’s easy to convince yourself that anyone can do your job if they have a paper and pen. I always feel like my craft is really plain compared to what the other teams can do.” To overcome that doubt, he directs the urge to compare away from his teammates and towards himself. Sometimes the best kind of reassurance is seeing how far you’ve come since you’ve started.

“To writers who feel the same, you have to remind yourself that your grasp on rhetorics and literary devices is just as technical as anyone else’s understanding of their own craft.”

Allan says that he wants to own the copy of a project from start to finish and prove himself capable of taking that next step of responsibility. He also wants to experiment with different kinds of creative writing. “Obviously there’s always a give-and-take in terms of how much space I have to physically fit my copy. But on a dream project, I’d be able to go ballistic with some crazy prose. I also want to get involved in screenwriting. I wanna experiment with different ways of storytelling.”

“Sure, if you never do something for the first time, you’ll never fail. But you’ll also never progress. Be curious and try everything.”

He still feels green, but he says that he can use this to his advantage. “This is the time to be curious and say yes to things that scare you.” No one ever gets anything perfect on the first go. What matters is that you have a go.