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Helen Bound

After graduation, I managed to get a Graduate Trainee job with Selfridges and spent 5 years in Fashion Retail with Miss Selfridge and then Warehouse. I then moved into the area I had always wanted to work which was market-research. I started a very interesting job with RBL working on an online shopping survey whereby shoppers would add details of their weekly shopping onto Prestel, via a phone modem and their TV, it seemed so technically advanced in the mid 80's. Following on from that, I joined a consumer research group and experienced the full range of research techniques, before moving from supplier to client and joined Bowater Scott (Andrex) as a researcher for their feminine hygiene range (Bodyform). After realising that a woman's role in marketing these products was much more rewarding, I moved over into a traditional brand management role.

I then worked as a marketing consultant for over ten years with many small clients where I was effectively their marketing department. After this,I finally started volunteering at the local school and could see an absence in computer support. Teachers were scared and not trained-up, so I took it upon myself to become a classroom assistant and teach the ICT curriculum which I did for 5 years gaining my HLTA. My interest in online learning lead me to work for 9 years in a secondary school as the Leaning Management System (Moodle) Manager.

What are you doing now?Helen Bound

I project manage online training courses, finally using my design skills from my qualification gained at Northumbria University.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

It had the course I wanted to do at the time. HND 3 year qualifications were new, and it was called a thin-sandwich course because you had work placements at the end of Year 2. I worked in an advertising agency in Leeds and Newcastle.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? 

This was three of my favourite years ever! It was 1977-1980 and culturally Newcastle was at the centre of music, fashion and student life. I had a mixture of lectures and studio time. My course was a traditional Business Studies course but had a Graphic Design element to it.

How connected was your course with industry



We had some interesting guest lecturers from the Advertising and Design world that set projects for us, and we had placements in advertising agencies.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

My placement made me realise that an Advertising Account manager wasn't a glamorous role, but a lot of hard work, running around, keeping the client happy. Ironically,   some years later I became that client and dealt with JWT, so I indirectly used some of my experience dealing with them!

What was the best thing about your course? 

It was new, it was engaging, the combination of structured lectures and the freedom of working creatively in a studio made it for me, the perfect qualification. 

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

It gave me a lot of confidence and that was down to the ethos of the University and the other students there. Having the vast range of vocational courses which was very new territory to education meant we were pioneers to a certain extent, we were being taught a subject that would ultimately lead to a job.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Communication and being creative. Thinking about problems in a creative way. That has really helped me in all my job roles, and something I crave, that challenge and being able to solve it.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Its a fabulous university in the centre of an exciting city with so much culture, music and history on your doorstep with the friendliest of locals.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

 Inspirational, historical and fun.

For more information about me visit:

  • Twitter: @woodrowbound




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