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Alumni

Jenny McFadden

Career Path: Co-Founder, Pretty Mama
Location: Sunderland, UK

Brief biography of your career so far

I have worked in retail the majority of my working careers as I balanced working in retail alongside A – Levels and then a university degree. I left my most recent retail job in Fenwick to start a marketing placement within Northumbria’s marketing department as part of a sandwich year at university, this really gave me the most amazing insight into creativity, working with media agencies and creating social media advertisements. After completing my Law with Business degree with a first, I am now working within the financial sector and looking to progress within my job whilst expanding my business Pretty Mama.

What are you doing now?

I am now currently working at Barclays within the mortgage department whilst juggling my business Pretty Mama, on the evenings and weekends. Pretty Mama is feminine designed luxury nursing company, made with mothers in mind for the most important time in their life.

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

I applied to Northumbria as it was the only local university which offered a combined degree of the two subjects which I absolutely loved to study during school, both Law and Business.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?  

Studying at Northumbria has been amazing, offering a mixture of learning styles such as lectures, seminars, team projects, independent projects and acting on behalf of real life clients for The Business Clinic. I have made lots of life long friends who have similar interests to myself through Northumbria because of these different styles of learning.

How connected was your course with industry?

My course was extremely connected to industry as there was an optional placement year available which I was successful with, as I completed my placement within Northumbria's marketing department. Additionally, within my final year I chose The Business Clinic as my major project which I worked closely with a local educational company in order to market a new product and enhance their current marketing strategy.

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

My placement year was challenging and amazing, it taught me how to be professional within an office environment and what to expect from a real full time job. I had the best time within the marketing department whilst learning from professionals. I was supported all the way through which showed in the work I was producing. This helped with my final year studies as I was more productive by set deadlines which I was able to achieve for submissions.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about my course was the mixture of both subjects, the modules would be balanced evenly across both semesters which meant I was able to switch between topics when they were becoming intense to give myself a break.

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

Studying at Northumbria helped me achieve my career goals as I now have the unique opportunity to either progress within Law or Business. Additionally, my placement year gave me the knowledge and discipline to achieve my career goals and giving my degree an edge.

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

My course offered the opportunity to work with real life clients within The Business Clinic, this has been extremely important as lots of jobs are customer facing and this gave me the knowledge and understanding of how to act professionally and to tailor my approach to different businesses.

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

The opportunity to complete a placement year and competing in the Santander Emerging Entrepreneur Programme was what I enjoyed the most, I made a lot of friends for life who are extremely talented, driven and career motivated.

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

Choose a subject or topic which you enjoy and get involved with as many societies and opportunities which Northumbria offers and you'll make lots of friends who have similar interests.

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

Challenging, Exciting and Rewarding

For more information about me visit

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