Life after University and my advice to current students

Posted on
Blog written by Isabelle Peters, UWE Bristol Marketing & Communications Alumni and Marketing Executive at Moxie and Mettle.

Isabelle Peters, former UWE Bristol Marketing and Communications student has written a guest blog with her advice for current students looking to get into a Marketing role after University.

There comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and that includes school and then University. 

Most people leave school and go straight to University without actually being exposed to all their options and end up regretting their course and being stuck with a degree in something useless and not knowing what to do. 

That nearly happened to me.

I was just about to head to Manchester to study History when I stopped and asked myself: what do I need this degree for? I took two years out to figure it out and landed on a Marketing & Communications course at UWE instead (best decision ever by the way).

I studied (and partied) hard for three years to get my degree, and then the realisation kicked in that I had to find a job, and that it should be in the field I’ve spent a lot of time and money on during University. It should be easy right? You study for your degree, and now it’s your time to shine and get your dream job and salary and begin your life…

Well, sadly no.

Getting a job is very difficult, and I wasn’t enlightened about how hard it would be, nor did I listen. I must have applied for over 60 jobs before I even started to get interviews, and my experience still wasn’t enough. This is an essential piece of information that I HAVE to express to current students: if you don’t have actual real-world experience in your desired industry, good luck trying to find a job because it will be hard.

If you are serious about a career in Marketing, PR, Comms, Journalism or anything related, I would 100% suggest doing a placement year or at least a few weeks unpaid work experience here and there during holidays. I’ve found the best way to approach this type of work experience is to build a solid LinkedIn page, do some research and connect with the MD/CEO of the company expressing your interest in working unpaid/work experience.

If you need assistance with finding a workplace/work experience, Moxie & Mettle offer a unique Graduate Plus scheme for entry-level graduates and current students. They aim signpost candidates to their clients who are looking for students or graduates to fulfil a work placement and hopefully help more people get opportunities. 

My second piece of advice is to familiarise yourself with extra marketing blogs and materials on the internet – all posted at the bottom. A big part of marketing is understanding the current market, keeping on top of changes and understanding constant developments. Not only will this increase your knowledge, but it will accustom you to the language of marketing and develop your copywriting skills. 

This brings me on to my third piece of advice. Copywriting is at the heart of what you do. (When I first started at Moxie & Mettle, I didn’t even really know what this meant, and I actually had to Google it discretely). It is the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material. It comes in all shapes and sizes from a blog to a post on social media! Usually, we’re taught to write academically for essays and reports, while in the real world, we should be writing in a style that’s accessible for our target audience. Meaning it should probably be more colloquial, simpler and ENGAGING.

Marketing is moving away from theory-heavy academia and newspapers to digital platforms, which means our consumer is changing the way they take in information.

Blogging is a big part of content marketing; it promotes and raises brand awareness. I know blogging can’t necessarily be taught, but practise helps, and the process of understanding different audiences can be tricky. I struggled a lot when I first started writing blogs for Moxie & Mettle, I was unsure how to lay it out, and the tone was all wrong. My advice is to read a lot of these style blogs and practise writing whenever you can.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to try and build your confidence up as much as you can. University can’t teach you to be a people person but testing yourself by joining clubs and societies can! 

I’m a firm believer in the ‘people hire people’ concept, which pretty much suggests if you leave a great impression you will be remembered. A significant part of my job is attending any slightly relevant events to act as a brand ambassador for my company; this helps us generate leads and meet new clients.

I have currently been working for Moxie & Mettle for almost a year, and honestly, I have learnt so much about marketing and myself; what I’m good at and what I can improve on; but weirdly enough what marketing really is.

UWE Bristol Marketing undergraduates urge fellow students to register to vote

Posted on

Original source: Bristol City Council

Students in Bristol are being reminded to register to vote by a campaign inspired by fellow undergraduates.

A voter registration campaign designed by Bristol City Council has been launched with the help of digital marketing undergraduates studying at UWE Bristol in the Bristol Business School. The campaign reminds new and returning students to register to vote at their new address.

Yvonne Dawes, Head of Statutory Registration at Bristol City Council said “Lots of students don’t know that they can register to vote in both their home town and also the place where they study. Registration is very quick and easy yet some students, when they decide where to use their vote, realise too late that they are not registered in that location.”

Around 200 third year students took part in an exercise to design a register to vote campaign, adding their creativity and ideas into the planning of the campaign.

Yvonne continued: “It’s been so valuable to work with students on this campaign, and receive the insight and recommendations from young people studying marketing. There are over 50,000 students in Bristol which is 11% of Bristol’s population. We want students to know their vote will make a difference and feel engaged with local democracy.”

Tom Bowden Green, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at UWE said “This is the third year we’ve worked with Bristol City Council on ‘live’ projects. For me, it’s really valuable for my students to experience working on realistic campaigns as it’s great work experience. I was particularly pleased to work on a voter registration campaign as I think it’s so important for young people to be engaging in politics.”

It is important that young people and students in Bristol, especially students who have moved house, register to vote by midnight on 26 November if they want to vote in the upcoming General Election.

Following the General Election in December, major local elections will take place in Bristol in May where the Mayor, 70 local councillors, as well as the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner will be elected. Anyone wanting to take part in these elections will need to make sure they’re on the electoral register.

To register visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

City Council to use UWE Bristol student ideas for city’s Sugar Smart campaign

Posted on

Bristol City Council is to use digital marketing plans submitted by final year marketing students at UWE Bristol as part of Sustain’s Sugar Smart campaign. The students with the best pitches attended a ceremony at Bristol Business School this month, where mayor Marvin Rees announced the winner.

Every year, UWE Bristol marketing undergraduates studying the digital marketing module are assessed on their ability to pitch a digital marketing proposal in response to a live brief. The University works with the council, which provides the brief based on a campaign it is working on.

Sugar Smart is a national campaign to raise awareness about health risks associated with consuming too much sugar. In Bristol, the city council works with Sustain (an organisation that campaigns to improve food and farming), and other partners including UWE Bristol, to help people understand how much sugar is in their food and drinks.

Tom Bowden-Green, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, said: “This has been a really successful collaboration, allowing students to put their digital knowledge to practical use and in turn helping to promote an important campaign. I’m delighted that the mayor was able to join us to congratulate the group. At Bristol Business School we’re developing a strong reputation for our expertise in digital marketing, and this is another example of our ability to help students develop real-world skills through practice-based teaching.”

This year the council asked for student input on ideas for promoting the sugar smart campaign to Bristol residents aged 18-25. With a budget of £2,000, the 260 participating students were tasked with finding ways of attracting audiences by using channels such as social media, online search, and advertising. They then had to use creative content to convince this audience to reduce sugar intake.

Students submitted their proposals through a 20-minute individual video ‘pitch’, in which they explained and demonstrated their ideas. Those with the best grades were then shared with the council.

The city now intends to use the best ideas from the students’ proposals in its ongoing marketing of Sugar Smart. During the ceremony, Marvin Rees celebrated their efforts and announced Amy Brown (pictured) as the undergraduate who achieved the highest mark on the project.

Chartered Institute of Marketing: What next? Your Personal Career Plan Conference

Posted on

On Wednesday 31 January, the Chartered Institute of Marketing hosted their “Personal Career Plan Conference” at the Bristol Business School.

The 3rd annual conference was aimed at new and experienced marketers.

The conference aimed to help marketers take the right step to land their dream job and plan their career in Marketing.

Speakers included Clare Kemsley, Managing Director UK and Ireland for Hays Marketing, Sales and Retail. Clare presented Hays Recruitment’s latest research findings. The research explored the priorities of over 13,650 professionals from a broad range of professions.

Following Clare was Artist and Blogger Swarez who shared tips on how to build a personal brand. Swarez helped the attendees understand the importance of a personal brand.

Swarez was followed by Kiran Kapur, CEO of Cambridge Marketing College. Kiran shared the importance of establishing a personal and professional vision.

After a cream tea, the three speakers hosted workshops for the delegates. The workshops gave attendees the opportunity to spend time with the speakers and ask any questions they may have had.