Case study

Agent's assistant — Rachel Winter

Rachel explains how long hours and busy days are worth it for the rewarding work of helping people secure roles in the entertainment industries

How did you get your job at a talent agency?

I was able to secure an initial opportunity in the industry through a personal contact and then continued working in agencies for a couple of years. After that, I applied for this job having seen it advertised on an industry website, The PMA.

What are your main work activities?

There are many activities in my work and every day is busy. I'm constantly on the phone and emailing, dealing with and supporting clients, pushing them for roles, setting up auditions, processing all job-related admin, managing diaries, keeping client materials up to date, and much more.

Is your degree relevant?

A degree is not a requirement for my job but having studied English literature is helpful in terms of reading scripts and writing breakdowns for them. Also, the non-subject specific degree skills of dealing with a large volume of work and reading quickly are useful in my field of work.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The sense of working as a team towards shared goals and the feeling when a client lands a job that they have worked hard for. I also enjoy reading scripts and researching projects before they're out there in the wider world and getting to regularly attend the theatre for work is great too.

What are the challenges?

The main challenges are the very long hours and the work can be particularly intense and stressful at times. Extreme multitasking is required daily and it's like keeping many, many plates spinning at one time. You also need to be constantly ready to stop what you're doing at the drop of a hat to deal with a client issue.

How has your role developed at the agency?

As my career has developed and I have demonstrated my skills and abilities I've been given an increasing amount of responsibility. This allows me to form closer professional working relationships with clients.

Any words of advice for aspiring literary agents?

  • Interning is the best entry point - there are lots of schemes with bigger agencies, and some with smaller ones too.
  • Be prepared to work very hard and put in the hours - this is not a 9am-5pm job.
  • Gain experience in complimentary areas of the business, such as casting and theatre administration, as this will help you build contacts and get a feel for nuances of the industry.
  • A family contact helped me secure my first role and, whereas others might not have family links, it's common for people to use contacts to help them enter the industry. If you don't have personal contacts already, building them as soon as possible will be beneficial.

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page