Degree subject and year of graduation:
English Literature and English Language, 2006
My current job
I am the Marketing Executive at EventScotland, the national events agency. EventScotland’s overarching aim is to develop and strengthen and promote the events industry in Scotland, and my role is to support the events that we support and to position Scotland as a world-class events destination.
My career history:
After graduating in 2006 I joined a Chartered Accountancy trainee programme with Tenon Ltd (now part of Baker Tilly) which I did for two years before realising that it wasn’t for me! After that I joined EventScotland as their Communications Administrator before being promoted to Marketing Executive at the beginning of 2010. At the end of February 2012 I am leaving EventScotland to join a creative agency called Tayburn as their new account executive.
How I’ve used the skills and knowledge developed during my degree in my career:
Unsurprisingly English degrees are very well respected by employers. They tell an employer that you have good communication skills, both written and verbal, are quite intelligent (especially coming from an institution like the University of Edinburgh) and that you’re adaptable.
The most useful skill has been being able to string a decent sentence together – you’d be shocked by how many people can’t do that! In my office I get things thrown under my nose to read over and look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and general flow of copy.
Experience that helped me get where I am now:
For me it’s just been learning as I work, and of course having a good degree always helps.
My career path to date (2012):
I am the poster child for what not to do! I didn’t give my career any thought before I graduated – all I knew is that I didn’t want to be a teacher or a journalist. Training to be a CA was not a wise move; however mistakes aren’t always a bad thing because I learned from the experience, and then by a process of elimination discovered what I really wanted to do.
My advice to students wanting to get into my area of work:
As with any field getting experience is invaluable. My biggest regret is not having more variety in work experience – I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life and if I’d been a bit more proactive I would have probably found my way a bit quicker. And if you have experience an employer won’t feel like they have to start from scratch with you.
Marketing is a competitive field and so if you have any additional qualifications this does help. I’m currently doing a course with the Chartered Institute of Marketing which I’ve found invaluable in helping me to understand the theory behind what I do every day.
My advice to students making career decisions today:
Firstly I would say don’t panic – deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is a daunting task and as most people will tell you, just because you embark down one path doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. And don’t make a career decision for anyone else – they’re not going to be doing the job, you are so you have to make sure it’s right for you.