Charles Jackson graduate profile
Why did you choose Plymouth University?
At the time of completing my choices for university, there were very few institutions that offered a marketing degree that was an extension of business rather than just looking at the advertising side of it.

Why did you choose this particular course at the University? What did you expect to gain from it?
I have always had an interest in business and commerce; I felt that marketing was the most ‘human’ side of the business world.

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 a large Further Education College which, on reflection, put me at an advantage compared to people that came straight from sixth form. I felt that, in comparison, my experiences were broader than people that just came from school.

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.
Overall my academic experience was very positive. One of the best aspects was that we looked at wider business activities such as law, finance, HR and so on. All these are important skills once you start in the workplace and are invaluable once you secure a management position. On the negative side, the first year was a rehash of Business Studies A level.

Did you receive support, both academically and socially while you were here?
I lived in halls of residence when I was a first year as a student – interesting times that’s for sure!

Did the course change your career goals at all?
Not at all – it actually cemented what I wanted to do.

What advice would you give to anyone else considering the same course here?
Do it!  It will give you a solid grounding in all business activities as well as pure marketing. You will be thankful of these extra skills in your career!

Did you undertake any work based learning during your course? If so, please tell us about this.

Yes, I completed a one year placement as a Marketing and Publicity Officer at a voluntary organisation in Leicester.

What are your views on the placement element of your course? 
Great – it really brought to life all of my academic experience and it said to employers that I could actually do the job, rather than just talk about it. On reflection, it was one of the best bits of the degree.

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?
As a student – yes. As a person hiring marketing staff – absolutely.

Did you go straight into work after completing your course? If not, please tell  us what you were doing.
I was very lucky and secured a Marketing Assistant role at a local events company in Devon straight after graduation.  It was very hard work, very low pay, but great experience and really paved the way for my career. 

If you are currently in employment, please tell us about your career path.
After being a Marketing Assistant at the events company, I was promoted to Marketing Manager which gave me staff and budgetary responsibility which was invaluable.  I then moved to the University where I had various roles and was eventually Marketing and Admissions Manager. I am now Marketing Manager for the University of Adelaide, which is a position I have held for the past two years. I lead a team of nine people and manage a budget of many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How has your Plymouth University qualification enhanced your career opportunities and employability? Did it equip you with the right knowledge and skills?
It gave me marketing skills that I use every single day in my career. Some of the lecturers were also a true inspiration to me in my professional life.

What would you list as your greatest career achievement? Do you have any  goals for the future?
Watching my staff grow, develop, and leave to get better jobs! There is no better achievement than seeing your junior staff rise through the ranks. Campaigns come and go, but it’s the people that make the job.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Gain as much real life work experience as possible.  I’ve hired dozens of people during my career and I never, ever, hire anyone straight from University with no work experience.  If they have a year’s work placement then it’s a different story.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University? If so, why?
Of course!  It gives you a rounded view of business as well as marketing and some of the lecturers are true leaders in their field that only you, as a student, can learn from.