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Cullen Evans

Career Path: Project Manager, The Hakim Group
Location: Bolton, UK

I've never really thought about doing anything else other than to study Business Management and progress into some sort of consultancy role, whatever that may be. Since studying at GCSE level, it's just been a no brainer that's what I wanted to do so I continued to study business at A-level and then at Northumbria, taking on part time work with small business back home to help them with marketing, operations etc. Once I'd finished my degree, I already had a lot of experience working with all sorts of companies of different sizes but my Northumbria placement in third year was where it fell into place.

What are you doing now?Cullen Evans

I'm currently managing several projects at the Hakim Group in Darwen - recently voted the UK's best company to work for as per the Sunday Times. I work in the digital department, with my main projects focused on running an e-commerce website as well as web design and development for small companies up and down the UK.

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

I felt Newcastle was an amazing place to spend my student years but the accreditations and opportunities the Business School offered to help me progress was the main reason I wanted to come to Northumbria.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

It was very diverse both culturally and academic. There was a good balance between seminars, lectures and also independent/team projects. I also felt there was a lot of preparation for important employability skills through presentations, placement work, the consultancy project, etc.

How connected was your course with industry?

Our course was very well connected with industry not only were there guest lectures from top influencers in our field but there was also hands-on projects. There was even the consultancy project in place of a dissertation where we worked with a real, small business in Newcastle. On top of that, there were modules which simulated sales of a product you created, I even had chance to go on a study abroad and a placement in my third year.

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

I think my placement year was the most impactful part of my four years at Northumbria University. The opportunity to work with the UK's best company was massive for me and I was able to play a massive part in shaping the company's new Digital Department, creating websites for 100 independent Optometrists up and down the UK. I even got my hands on my own projects which included an e-commerce website, Lens Lounge, and setting up a nationwide directory for patients to find their local optometrist. Overall, the confidence and skills I picked up over just nine months of working was unparalleled, but to be offered a job there once I finished university just highlights the opportunities Northumbria can create for its Business students.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about the course was definitely the diversity, it was never the same thing every day.

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

The study abroad, placement year and consultancy projects gave me an edge over others in my career as I already had a wealth of experience behind me by the time I had left Northumbria.

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

Presentation skills, working in a team, cultural awareness, communication and commercial awareness.

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

For me this was probably my study abroad to the Netherlands and my placement year.

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

Look into your course properly and all the opportunities it offers, most likely compared to other universities there is a lot more.

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

Diverse, enriching and supporting.

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