Case study

Marketing manager — Elle Macleod

From a sociology degree to marketing career, follow Elle's top tips for getting that first job after graduation

How did you get your job as a marketing manager?

I studied for a BA (Hons) Sociology at Leeds Beckett University, graduating in 2017. After graduating, I applied for a part-time marketing assistant role advertised at the university Job Shop. After three months in that role, I landed a full-time job with my current employer.

How relevant is your degree?

Learning about people and social groups helped me to better understand behaviours and why people may act in a certain way. This can be particularly useful for a career in marketing.

What's a typical working day like?

A typical day involves implementing and managing marketing and PR campaigns, both on and offline. I also update all the relevant digital channels we use, coordinate design and print, and account manage digital and PR agencies.

What do you enjoy most about being a marketing manager?

I love seeing a campaign evolve from an initial concept to a strategic, well-executed promotion that has positively impacted the business.

I also enjoy the feeling of empowerment I have every day, knowing the board and wider management team has faith in me to develop our marketing and PR strategy.

What are the challenges?

The two main challenges I face are budget allocation and making sure we're marketing through the right mediums, so we're not missing out on any opportunities to raise our profile.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I hope to be in a role that challenges me and makes me happy. I try not to set a deadline on these things, as by doing so it's easy to look at how far I still need to go and feel the pressure. Instead, I try to focus on how far I've come in the last five years.

What's your advice for others looking to start in this career?

  • Work can sometimes become your 'home away from home', so do something that makes you happy and that you truly enjoy.
  • Finding your passion/a job that makes you happy won't happen overnight and it may take time. Test the waters, and try things out through part-time or volunteer work - I had originally planned to study midwifery, but changed my mind last minute and I'm so glad I did!
  • Don't let unsuccessful job applications shake your confidence. Applications can be hard work, time-consuming and tedious. After a few unsuccessful attempts it's easy to lose faith and start to question 'is this just not for me?' However, perseverance is key. You’ll get there eventually.
  • Whether you've moved back home to save for travelling and are working a part-time job, or are leaping head first into your dream career, don't let other people's opinions shadow what you want to do. Life has no set schedule.

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