“The best thing about my degree was the global nature of the learning – it was a real eye opener.”
Emma wasn’t looking for a job when the position of Group Employee Engagement Manager at Merlin Entertainments landed on her desk. But she was already a fan of the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe and couldn’t resist the opportunity.
After studying BA (Hons) International Marketing Management at Bournemouth University, Emma felt prepared for the role.
"The degree gave me a perfect grounding in business communications and taught me how to manage strategies around this. The strategic and global approach that I learnt through my course is really valuable in my role now."
Merlin runs 123 attractions in 24 countries across four continents and aims to deliver unique, memorable and rewarding experiences to millions of visitors across their growing estate. Although Emma’s role traditionally sits within HR, in reality it involves a lot more.
"It is very much about creativity and communications," said Emma. "I look after HR communications which go out to our 27,000 global workforce across all of our brands. The fact that it is a central role gives me ample opportunity for coming up with new ideas and strategies. On a practical level I run our employee survey, peer to peer recognition and many other things. But my biggest project right now is our employer brand.”
After working in marketing agency roles for several years, Emma then decided to set up her own business in Dorset when she was 26.
“I grew this business and then sold it into a bigger agency, whom I then continued to work with for four years. They taught me an enormous amount about the digital side of the marketing world. I then wanted a new challenge, so took on this more internal communications based role.”
Emma is glad to have studied at BU and would highly recommend the degree to others: “From my own personal experience, and from having met many graduates and placement students in previous roles, I can see that BU graduates come with more vocational experience and a realistic view of what it is like to really be in the working world”.
Like many other BU graduates Emma really values the practicality her course provided: “The best thing about a BU degree is the fact that it’s as true to the real world as possible – from the assignments to the placements.”
For current students looking to follow in her footsteps, Emma recommends making the most of university assignments, as well as looking for relevant work experience.
“Boost your CV with as much supporting work experience as possible – but stick to things which are relevant to your learnings within the course."
"Make sure you make the most of the projects given to you – they are as close to real life as can be within the university environment – giving you time to research, think about your strategies and then present your recommendations. "