Sheryl is a marketing officer at the Sports Office at The University of Manchester. Sheryl has an English degree and has also achieved the Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Certificate in Marketing.
I studied English at university and after I graduated, I took an admin role just to tide me over. Within that role I helped out with the company's marketing and really enjoyed it. I did some research into the marketing industry and realised that marketing would be a good career choice for me as it involved writing, which is something I really enjoy and it requires good commercial awareness.
I chose to do the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Certificate in Marketing as I wanted to some formal qualifications and make contacts in the industry. Doing the CIM really paid off as it helped me secure a place on the Littlewoods Shop Direct Graduate Marketing Scheme. My interviewers were impressed by the fact that I paid for the course myself - it showed my commitment to marketing and helped me stand out from the crowd.
I stayed with Littlewoods for two years and then moved to the IT company, Business Objects. I am now marketing officer for the Sports Office at The University of Manchester.
My current role is very hands-on, which I love. I am responsible for writing copy such as advertising materials and leaflets, managing the brand, event management, researching news stories and liaising with the university's media department. I am also responsible for developing and managing the website.
The fact that I work with such an inspirational and dynamic group of people, plus I really believe in the service we offer, means I put a lot of enthusiasm into my work. I also get a lot of freedom as my boss is open to new ideas, which is great.
Working in marketing means that many people can be involved in approving the marketing materials. Therefore I have to answer to so many people and trying to keep everyone happy can sometimes be a challenge.
I plan to stay within the higher education sector for the next few years and just see where it takes me. In the future I may decide to do marketing for a charity or within the public sector. Whatever I do, I really need to believe in the product or service I market as that's what is important to me.
For anyone thinking of going into marketing, think about ways to help you stand out from the crowd. For example, helping a local community group or sports club with their marketing activities will really show employers you are committed to the profession.
In interviews don't talk about the glamour of marketing, as it really is not that glamorous. A good tip would be to find marketing materials that inspire you and take them along to your interview. Tell your interviewers why they inspire you but what you would also change to appeal to the target audiences more. This will show that you have really thought about the marketing processes.
Always remember that marketers need to have faith in themselves, be commercially aware, confident and have good communication skills.
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