Tom Rowell – MSc Marketing Management and Strategy graduate

Current employer: Birmingham City Football Club

Current job title: Head of brand and marketing

Current location: Birmingham

“Before the course I had zero marketing knowledge, so it transformed me from a blank slate to an employable marketing executive in twelve months.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

During the programme I was able to gain two months’ work experience with a former lecturer, Dan Coxon, at the charity Young Devon based in Newton Abbot. During this time I applied and interviewed for a role at Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) as a CRM Marketing Executive which I was successful in securing and started the same month I submitted my dissertation. I was at LCFC for fourteen months before moving onto Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club as Marketing Manager. I stayed in this role for eight months before being hired in my current role at Birmingham City as Head of Brand and Marketing.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Making a decision when offered a new role/opportunity. I have made a few steps in a short space of time, and some advised me not to; but you have to follow your gut and think of the longer term aims and think of each role as a step on a ladder.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

If you are a football fan there is nothing more fun than working on a new kit launch or working with the players on campaigns. Having access to the inner workings of a football club never wears off and you learn something new every day.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

To be honest, I have either been very lucky or have plotted the path perfectly. I think to be fair it is a bit of both! I’m really happy with how the programme and my subsequent career path has panned out, so wouldn’t want to change anything.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Network, network, network! Football is all about who you know and getting a profile for yourself. Hammer LinkedIn and ask nicely, most people will be flattered and willing to help. I probably spend two hours a week speaking to students and helping them if I can.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Before the programme I had zero marketing knowledge, so it transformed me from a blank slate to an employable marketing executive in twelve months.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

The trip to Reims in France was a lot of fun and added variety to the course. I also enjoyed working with a mix of people from all over the world.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Absolutely yes; I couldn’t do my job today without it. It’s a well-taught programme by lecturers with a broad knowledge of the principle and its application.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

The one thing I always say to people is all things being equal (in terms of applicants, qualifications etc.) it’s the one who wants it the most and puts in an effort which goes above and beyond who will always win. When hiring, I always look for passion and hunger in an applicant: their qualifications get them in the room, but then it comes down to their sheer desire and showing how much they are willing to offer and do to be successful in the role.

Tom Rowell

Tom Rowell talks about his career path since graduation, and offers advice to those looking to get into the same line of work.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about our range of courses within the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni are currently doing, please visit the business, law, logistics and management interest area.