Having originally set his sights on a career with a large, blue-chip company, David’s placement year in the marketing department of a national supermarket chain ultimately steered him in another direction. He said: “One of the main things that attracted me to Bournemouth was the placement year. At the time BU was one of the few universities offering such a programme and I doubt I would have secured the placement without the help of the university.
“For most people this was pretty much the dawn of the internet. Yahoo was still the most popular search engine and Friends Reunited was the social platform of choice. This made it an exciting time to be working in online marketing. The experience was incredibly valuable and I would recommend any graduate wanting to work in either sales or marketing to spend some time early in their career in this sort of organisation. However, in the end the experience led me to realise that after graduating I wanted to work for a smaller organisation, where I could get more involved in a wider variety of roles.”
After graduating, David worked for a number of small companies including a marketing agency, a leisure business and an HR software company. He said: “The benefit of working for small organisations is that you get opportunities to take on more responsibilities more quickly. I now lead the marketing function at CIPHR. The organisation is still relatively small, with about 120 employees, but for me they strike the right balance of being fast paced and agile while offering great opportunities for personal development and career progression.
“I would urge anyone wanting to work for smaller organisations to invest in a university education. If you are the only marketing hire the company is going to make, you need a broad skillset and the ability to think strategically. This is where my degree has really helped.”