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Gabrielle Sharpe

Career Path: Online PR & Content Executive, Ascent Digital Media Group
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I always wanted to do something creative as I have always had a talent for art and design, but then I did business studies at school which I found I really enjoyed and wanted to learn more about. This led me to complete a Distinction in Business at A-Level. From sixth form I decided I liked the idea of marketing, and worked in a number of varying job roles and environments, whilst completing placements at marketing agencies to help guide me to what role in marketing I wanted to be in. I loved the idea of becoming an Account Handler as I feel it has a great balance requirement of creativity and logic, I chose my university course because I felt the same applied there.

From graduation, I set my sights on getting into the marketing field applying and contacting many companies before being contacted by Ascent Group, a digital marketing agency specialising in SEO and PPC. Having grabbed the opportunity with both hands I am now working here happily as part of an amazing outreach team.

What are you doing now?Gabrielle Sharpe

I am now the Online Public Relations & Content Executive for Ascent Group, working within the Outreach department.

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

The course I chose had a variety of paths to go down. I initially wanted to go into business and marketing, but found that the Communications & Public Relations course offered that and more enabling me to branch out my knowledge of marketing and advertising in a different way that suited me more.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There was a mix of lectures and it was a very relaxed work space and ethic about being there. They had great facilities but unfortunately they began constructing a revamp in my final year which disrupted a lot.

How connected was your course with industry?

Final year I had the opportunity to work with the Northumbrian Wildlife Trust, pitching a PR campaign of my design to their representatives at the end of the year. I did do brief work placements with Newcastle based marketing agency, Decide, in my holidays as opposed to a placement year. I would definitely recommend doing placements over the holidays instead of a full year placement.

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

The placement I did was very helpful for when I went back to University after the holidays for applying what I had learnt to my work. However, I believe because my course was a new course, lecturers opinions and knowledge often clashed with what you yourself have experienced in the real world of work.

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

Northumbria helped me to round up my knowledge and broaden my understanding. Due to the originality and uniqueness of my course many employees are intrigued by it, so it definitely gave me an edge.

What was the best thing about your course?

I liked the flexibility of the course and the amount of trust given to you to get on with your tasks. I also loved the variety of the course as the different topics kept it interesting.

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

Time management and organisation are the main foundations of what I learnt which I use 24/7. Other skills and knowledge I learnt from my course that I use on a daily basis, include the research techniques and programmes I was trained to use.

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

I enjoyed the social life with my friends and the many hot chocolate study meetings we had.

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

Go for it, but be prepared to apply yourself! Do placements over the holidays as these can generate the answers to your coursework questions and build on what you have been learning. Enjoy the amazing nightlife and social side, but don't get too absorbed in it!

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

Challenging, stressful and rewarding.

For more information about me see:

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