Lucy Cottrell, BU alumnaSince graduating from BU in 2016, Lucy Cottrell has gone on to become the Brand Manager for the UK’s number one selling alcoholic ginger beer.

Lucy, 23, joined Halewood Wines & Spirits last year to manage the branding for Crabbie’s. The role draws on the expertise she developed while studying the BA (Hons) Advertising at BU, including a 15-month placement with tequila brand, Jose Cuervo International.

Reflecting on her decision to study advertising at BU, Lucy said: “I knew that I wanted to work in advertising or marketing and that I wanted to follow a degree which could lead me straight into a career. The fact that the course at BU included a placement was important to me. I had already done a number of work experience placements before starting university, including stints at Time Inc and Sky. I realised how valuable this could be – not only in terms of building experience but also in helping to decide the areas I wanted to work in before getting as far as graduate employment. As soon as I saw the options for the placement in the university prospectus, I knew that I wanted to take the full year in industry.”

Having secured her placement as a Marketing Assistant for Jose Cuervo International, Lucy impressed the team so much that her initial 12 months was extended to 15 and she soon found herself representing the company on overseas trips. Lucy said: “I was determined to make an impact and leave a good impression. That sometimes meant taking a risk, speaking up in a meeting to express a different opinion or take on a challenge which took me out of my comfort zone. The approach paid off. While I didn’t end up working for Jose Cuervo, my manager there went on to work for Halewood and approached me when the position of Brand Manager for Crabbie’s came up.”

In her current role, Lucy is responsible for Crabbie’s brand strategy, as well as for developing new products, curating digital content, working with partner agencies and strengthening the brand’s partnerships in areas including grassroots rugby. She is currently charged with re-energising Crabbie’s appeal with the launch of a new Crafty Ginger Collection. She said: “The pace of the food and drink industry is phenomenal – there is always something new and exciting going on which means you never get bored. I love being involved with such a high-profile brand. It is hard work and stressful at times, but you get to put your stamp on something which is extremely motivating.”