Elsa Bezhani graduate profile
Why did you choose University of Plymouth?
I visited the University during one of the Open Days and knew instantly that Plymouth was the place for me. The student atmosphere was fantastic, it felt like a great student community, safe, central and being so close to the sea was a huge bonus. The course sounded great, the year spent in placement was another plus for me. 

Why did you choose this particular course at the University? What did you expect to gain from it?
The course for me incorporated everything and more; the first year is generally used as a refresher course to non-business studies students. Therefore, it incorporated not only marketing but also economics, accounting and organisational behaviour topics to get a much better perspective. Within the second and fourth years you delve deeper into marketing, touching upon subjects such as buyer behaviour, advertising, brand management, market research and strategic marketing management, as well as offering a placement year – a very well-rounded and intensive course. 

What was your entry route to the course? Did you come straight from college/sixth form? If not, tell us about what you were doing before coming to University.
I came straight from sixth form. 
Your Student Experience
What was your experience of the course? Did it meet your expectations? Tell us about the good and bad bits, and how you overcame anything negative.

The course was fantastic, great structure, and a place where you can put theory to test. It is a hands-on course which is creative and dynamic. Lecturers are always happy to help and incredibly giving with their time. 
Did you receive support, both academically and socially while you were here?
I received a lot of mentoring during my placement year, the placement office were fantastic with regards to recommending great placements opportunities and offering advice on CVs and interview etiquette. Lecturers are always friendly and happy to help. However, I did find that the best support came from my peers. 
Did you take part in any extracurricular activities during your time here? How did these activities contribute to your student experience?
I’m afraid I didn’t, but there are tons of activities that a person could be involved in, from sports to societies. It is a great place to socialise and grow your network of friends. 

Did the course change your career goals at all?
Not at all, I always knew that I wanted a career in Marketing; the course developed this ambition within me and grew it further to become a reality. My placement year cemented my ambition to be involved in online advertising. 
What advice would you give to anyone else considering the same course here? 
Savour enjoy every single moment, although four years may seem like a lifetime it goes by surprisingly quickly. Most importantly pick a Dissertation topic that you enjoy, it will become your life during your final year of study. 
Student Placement
Did you undertake any work based learning during your course? If so, please tell us about this.
I undertook a student placement at Microsoft Advertising working within their Xbox Live Advertising business. Developing and executing innovative gaming solutions and programs for global brand advertisers across the Xbox platform. The first six months were spent in the International team managing multiple markets; the latter six months were spent within the UK local market.

What are your views on the placement element of your course?
It’s such a crucial element, everything you have learnt the past two years you action in real life situations. It matures a person in terms of business acumen, as well as developing your knowledge of your chosen business area. It also looks fantastic on your CV when searching for graduate jobs – it makes you stand out in place of a graduate with no experience.

Would you recommend undertaking a placement to current students on the course? How has the experience gained on your placement helped you in your career?
Absolutely – it helps you gain contacts within the industry and without it I don’t think I would have the job I have now. Companies want graduates but they prefer graduates with experience. 
Did you go straight into work after completing your course? If not, please tell us what you were doing.
After completing my course, I found my current role at AOL working as an International Account Executive in less than two months. 

If you are currently in employment, please tell us about your career path.
The department that I work in is responsible for driving the business forward by creating partnerships and opportunities with online publishers, websites and media owners. By working across a diverse product range including Display, Mobile, Video, Sponsored Listings and Behavioural, we enable our advertising campaigns to reach the most suitable audience in the most efficient way.

How has your University of Plymouth qualification enhanced your career opportunities and employability? Did it equip you with the right knowledge and skills?
Going to University of Plymouth is an experience that I will never forget; you meet your best friends and learn about a subject that is incredibly current in our everyday lives. It equips you with time management skills, organisational skills as well as theoretical knowledge. 

What would you list as your greatest career achievement? Do you have any goals for the future?
My greatest achievement was getting a First for my Dissertation and securing a role with AOL advertising. 
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
The online industry is still a very young industry, it’s growing and evolving on a daily basis, therefore, it’s a wonderful time to be involved within this field for any marketing or business studies graduate. Experience is key, which is why I cannot express how essential it is to have a placement year in industry; of course passion and ambition are also key.
As a graduate are you involved with the University now? For example, have you returned to speak to current students or kept in touch with your lecturers?
I am still very much involved with the University, my younger sister is currently in her second year studying for a degree in Marketing and I will also be visiting the University soon for the Marketing and Business Alumni Reunion. 
Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth?