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James Collins

Where are you doing now?

After seven years working for large multinational organisations, I'm currently taking the opportunity to work for a leading digital marketing agency to upskill within digital strategy, working in conjunction with new and existing international clients to enhance their e-retail or e-commerce success at a strategic level.  This involves a lot of market, customer and organisational analysis along with identifying viable commercial opportunities and solving complex problems.

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

After my first two years at university, I found I had a keen interest in both marketing and the internet, but also loved the creative side of brand marketing, so i decided to stick with more traditional marketing and see where it went, securing a role at Nestle Rowntree on my placement year. I subsequently selected marketing as my pathway subject for my final year which enabled me to get a grounding in all channels and flavour everything with Strategy and a clear understanding of organisational makeup.  The blend of course content framed with the experience gained during a placement year provides a huge advantage over others when applying for graduate jobs. I also find, unlike some of my peers, I still apply the academic aspects I learnt at university in my day-to-day job.

What was the best thing about your course?

The mix of the course content within the final year marketing pathway and an excellent placement year made this course perfect for me.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

It's hard to single out specific people, as all my tutors and lecturers offered something slightly different along with a wealth of experience.

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

Strategy, consumer behaviour and, surprisingly, financial management and interpretation are all used every day, but most of all the combination of an understanding of all aspects of an organisation is central to what I do and to my success to date.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Aside from the course content and the opportunity to do a placement year with a multinational FMCG business, Northumbria (and the city of Newcastle) offered a vibrant social life and loads of opportunities to meet new people. The friends you make at university are some of the closest friends you'll ever have, and Northumbria is a great place to do that. Newcastle always feels like a second home, every time I go back.

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

Make sure you will enjoy studying what you choose to study. Three or four years of your life is a long time to do something you don't enjoy and the more you love it, the better chance you'll have of succeeding.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Fun, Friends, Life-changing.

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