Case study

Assistant marketing manager — Jennifer Clare

A marketing degree helped Jennifer to secure her first job. Find out what she enjoys about her varied role as assistant marketing manager at Optical Express

How did you get your job?

I was lucky to get my first job in marketing straight from university. I had been working at Optical Express part-time in their customer contact centre during my studies and just as I was finishing my BA in marketing and communications, a marketing assistant job became available in their head office. I jumped at the chance.

Try and get as many placements and as much work experience as possible while at university

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My degree gave me a good grounding in the fundamentals of marketing as well as covering many other aspects of business from HR, risk management and accountancy.

I think having a degree in marketing really helped in securing my first job.

What's a typical day like?

My days are always varied, which I love. I could be meeting with our creative agency to discuss new concepts for a TV campaign or window point of sale, speaking to our PR agency about media releases, pulling together reports for senior management or writing copy for our promotional paper mailers or emails.

How has your role developed?

After two years as an assistant, I was promoted to a marketing executive and I have recently become an assistant marketing manager. I currently work in our offline marketing team but I have completed a six-month digital marketing course and hope to expand my knowledge of all things digital with further courses.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I work with a few external agencies and with a great team in-house who all specialise in different aspects of marketing i.e. search, e-commerce and social marketing.

I love to learn and I feel like I am always picking up something new from them which is great.

What are the most challenging parts?

Managing my time efficiently and prioritising tasks can be difficult when there are lots of things to be done and deadlines to be met; it often means early starts or late nights but it's all part of the job.

What are the best things about this sector?

Being able to channel your creativity and ideas into something tangible, watching a campaign come together and seeing the end result.

The effect it has on the business gives you a great sense of pride.

What advice can you give to others?

If I could go back and do it all again I would try and get as many placements and as much work experience as possible while I was at university.

I learned a lot while I was there but I feel that I have learned the most about marketing in my first year on the job.

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