Iola Nelson – BSc (Hons) Sociology graduate

Current employer: University of Plymouth 

Current job title: Student Recruitment Campaigns Manager

Current location: Plymouth

“Take full advantage of the careers team and get lots of practice interviews and help with writing application forms and CVs. It’s a bit of an art-form and they’re the ones to help you get that dream job ahead of all the other applicants.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation:

Since graduating, I’ve worked in a marketing role promoting the University of Plymouth to prospective students, showcasing what a great place it is to live and study.

I started off being the front face of the University, travelling around the country and overseas to talk to students about the benefits of higher education and particularly the University of Plymouth. I now work in a much more strategic role, weaving together a host of marketing activities to showcase the University and encourage student recruitment.

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

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to China and America to speak to international students about the opportunities at the University of Plymouth. As someone who loves to travel, this was pretty perfect.

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

Marketing now has so many faces, and I would say that you should try and get experiences in all different avenues. I had no idea how much I would love using data to make marketing decisions, but there’s everything from copywriting for emails, to social media, to directing videos, creating briefs for advertising, to working with designers. You have a university marketing team that you probably never knew existed – get in touch about some possible work experience.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Absolutely, I picked modules that I knew would lead me towards a career in marketing. I undertook a work-based-learning module in a marketing team, I designed my own website, I wrote about the celebrity brand and the evolution of humans as cyborgs (and this was long before the smartphone - it would be a very different essay now).

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

I hadn’t expected Plymouth to be my first choice university, but when I visited for an open day I was blown away by the city and the campus. I loved the atmosphere, the closeness to the coastline, and how much there was to do here.

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

I’d take full advantage of the careers team and get lots of practice interviews and help with writing application forms and CVs. It’s a bit of an art-form and they’re the ones to help you get that dream job ahead of all the other applicants. Being on lots of interview panels now, you can tell which graduates have been through their schemes.