Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Graduate: Beth

Name: Beth

Age: 22

What did you study, and where?

Public Relations and Digital Communications Management at MMU.

Why did you decide to go to university?
I won't lie, it was a last resort. When I was 13, I was headhunted for a Great British rowing scheme to get tall people into rowing (I'm 6ft). From age 13 - 17, this was my life alongside school. 6am starts, out on the river, and evenings in the gym, with school sandwiched inbetween. It was very intense, and training camps and competitions took away most of my weekends. When I was in the sixth form, it all became too much for me. My training partners were slightly older, and were improving as they could focus on rowing full time; my school friends were getting better grades as they weren't rowing in any every spare second they had. I had to make a decision and, for personal reasons, I chose education.

I always thought that rowing would be my future, my career. So, now, faced with the prospect of university, I was a little dazed. I'd never imagined myself at university because I hated sixth form so much. One of my brothers encouraged me to apply and then deal with the decision of whether or not to go on results day. So, I did - and, when I got accepted, I just kind of took the why the hell not? approach. What else was I going to do?

So, I know that you did a placement year as part of your degree. Can you tell us a bit about that?
I had been working one day a week at a digital marketing agency during my second year, and continued here full time for my sandwich year as their Content and Outreach Executive. This involved creating unique, engaging pieces of content: from blog posts, outreach articles, website copy, press releases, and copy for SEO purposes such as meta descriptions, to outreach campaigns to improve visibility and reach for clients. It taught me more in one year than my degree taught me in three. It was real hands on experience that gave me a true insight into the day-to-day working of the industry. It also helped my approach to work, and working in an agency. I must say that employers are far more impressed and/or intrigued by my experience on my placement year than my First Class Honours degree!

What are you doing now? Was it always your plan?
I finished uni in May, and jumped straight into work at an Inbound Marketing Agency in Manchester. This wasn't my plan.

I'd been playing with two options:
1. Move home, get a waitressing job and save money to go travelling
2. Jump on a plane to South America and travel until I had no money left (around 8 months)

My friend, and now housemate, had a few interviews with more lined up. She accepted an offer from an agency, and cancelled an interview she had later that afternoon - but put my name forward instead. I was invited to an interview a couple of days later, and accepted the job offer straight away. It was miles away from my original plan, but I got such an amazing vibe from the people and the agency as a whole. I'm a big believer in fate, and that everything happens for a reason and, as this was such a weird set up, I had to go with it. So now I am a Content/Inbound Marketing Executive working on a range of B2B clients.

Have you always wanted to work in marketing?
No. I always wanted to do something with animals. I'm a dog mum, a bunny mum and a gecko aunt, and I LOVE THEM ALL. But I'm happy I found marketing. It's a great way for me to channel my creative side and, as a Content Executive, I get to write a lot - which I love!

Tell us about your travel plans! Why are you so keen to travel?
I'm quite an inquisitive person and get bored sooooo easily, and travelling has always appealed to me. I'd been saving all through uni to move to Indonesia and work in Orangutan sanctuaries, but in my final year I fell in love with the idea of South America, and that's what I'm working towards. I'd like to stay in my current position for at least two years, save up some money, build up my CV, expand my knowledge and skills, and make my mark. Then, pack my bags and trek through South America until my purse is empty. I'm hoping to be able to do freelance work whilst I'm out there. That's the great thing about this industry, you don't have to stay in one place. I was in Australia last year and met a digital market who travelled for months on end whilst still doing amazing freelance work. All he needed was his backpack and his laptop! That's the dream right there.

What advice would you give to current students, or recent graduates looking to get into marketing?
I don't regret going to uni, but I don't think it's a necessity. I learnt the most during my placement year, and most of the skills and knowledge I utilise in my day-to-day job were learnt here rather than at uni. Just do what's right for you! I definitely recommend getting in touch with an agency, and trying to get some experience before you jump into anything feet first!

Beth, the PR and communications graduate.
Marketing Executive.  

1 comment

  1. The NEET 2019 is conducted annually by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to provide admission to the eligible candidates in MBBS/BDS Courses.


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