I liked the idea of doing a ‘degree on my doorstep’ and the fact that I could carry on living at home at the time, minimising the amount of student debt I would accumulate. I’d been a student at the Great Yarmouth campus when it was Great Yarmouth College and was happy with the facilities there. Staying local caused minimum disruption to my life; I was able to continue with my part-time seasonal job and stay close to my friends and family. I already knew many of the tutors from my BTEC course so having those relationships was a good grounding for starting the degree
The marketing and the commercial modules of the course were most relevant to the career I have since pursued. We had the opportunity to undertake work experience and work on some live projects. The project briefs were quite open and there was a lot of self-directed study time which reinforced the importance of independent working and self-motivation. The tutors provided advice on getting into the world of work as well and were happy to help with CV’s and covering letters. The end of year exhibitions gave us a taste of project management and working to deadlines to output a high-quality final product which are essential skills for the workplace.
The work placement was useful as I got to experience what it would be like to work in a design studio. Separately I also got to work on some live projects for local businesses through the industry links that the tutors have. This involved designing menus for a café during the course and at the end of the course my tutor recommended me to a hair salon which needed design work and as a result I did some freelance design for them.
I was lucky enough to secure a full-time role as the in-house designer at Great Yarmouth College just weeks after graduating. I stayed in that role for three years where I greatly developed my skills and confidence. The highlight of this stage in my career was creating all the branding when Great Yarmouth College and Lowestoft College merged to become East Coast College. This project is something that I am still extremely proud of and the brand is now well established in the East of England.
Although I thoroughly enjoy design work, I decided that I wanted a more rounded marketing role and gain experience in B2B marketing. I moved to Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, part of Acteon Group Ltd, as a Brand & Marketing Coordinator where I was responsible for implementing and growing an inbound marketing model which actively attracts traffic to the Claxton and cluster brand websites and generates leads. The industry can be challenging to influence in terms of marketing, so I had to develop a strong set of skills to drive brand awareness both internally and externally, encouraging customers and colleagues to become brand ambassadors.
In early 2020, marketing became a centralised service within Acteon Group, where one team would manage the marketing of Acteon and it’s 21 operating company brands. Through internal promotion I moved to a new role as Marketing Campaign Lead in Acteon where I am now writing and delivering on marketing strategies for various campaign areas.
My favourite part of the course were the open project briefs and being creative on a daily basis. The coursework was an opportunity to explore various elements of arts practice and discover my specialism, which was design and marketing.
My proudest moment was my final year degree show where I presented copies of the magazine I designed and had professionally printed. Having a professional final major project to present to potential employers really helped me secure my first role in design and marketing just weeks after completing the degree.