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Dan McManus

Career Path: Senior Paid Media Executive, ScS
Location: Sunderland, UK

I studied BSc (Hons) Criminology & Forensic Science at Northumbria University with the goal of achieving a career within the Criminal Justice System. Unfortunately towards the end of my second year, the sector budget was reduced by 30%, so there was a lot of competition with already experienced professionals when I finished my course and began seeking employment. There’s no regret for studying my course though as it was very diverse and built upon a variation of core academic fields including Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Law and many sub-fields. This allowed me to have secondary prospects in a large range of related disciplines.

I used my studies on Toxicology to leverage a position working in the pharmaceutical industry for a couple of years where I figured I would wait to see if any opportunities would emerge in the criminal justice system but the effects of budget cuts are still seen today. After deciding the pharmaceutical industry wasn’t for me, I looked for new opportunities and teamed up with a friend who had a Media degree from Sunderland University. We started a Digital Marketing Agency in South Tyneside with the local newspapers keen to report on this venture gaving us a boost and credibility to get the business going. The business started very well and provided an intense and invaluable experience at an early point in my life and put me in good stead for my next career move. To ensure I could be competitive within the Digital Marketing industry, I decided to spend some of the capital from my business venture to support me while I gained a Digital Marketing diploma at Newcastle College to add credibility to the experience I had gained. This enabled me to get a position as a Digital Marketing Specialist for an established firm in Newcastle upon Tyne where I have worked for four years, taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to increase my industry skills. The analytical skills I gained whilst studying Forensics have been very useful throughout my career.

What are you doing now?Dan McManus

I am now building marketing automation systems to increase the return on investment for paid media advertising at ScS in my current role of Senior Paid Media Executive.

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

Northumbria was a high ranking University for my course and was in a region in which I wanted to live.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

With a Life Sciences degree there was a lot of variation between lectures, seminars and time spent in the labs with the occasional off-site project.

What was the best thing about your course?

The science resources at the University were very good and the lecturers were engaged with what they were teaching which made my course more interesting.

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

The vocational elements of the course allowed me to give examples of experience when applying my first jobs after university.

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

I still use a range of skills I learned whilst at Northumbria, my course borrowed from various life sciences which are useful in my professional and private life.

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

The University has a diverse population of students and I think this has been taken into consideration. There are lots of different places on campus with unique atmospheres so you can study or have fun wherever it suits you.

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

Try and keep up the academic pace in your first year, there will be a lot of distractions in Newcastle and if you relax too much you will be in for a shock in your second year because it’s a lot harder!

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

So much pizza!

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