Graduate profiles

Want to know where your Nottingham Trent degree can take you? Here are a selection of inspirational graduate profiles.

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List has 67 notes on 23 pages << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>
Online Graduate Profile Steve McComish 09/11/2020  
Name: Steve McComish
pic: [/view.image?id=6524]

quote: [Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to take risks. I have always firmly believed that everyone gets opportunities but not everyone takes them.]

Course: BA Hons Social Sciences
Year: 1990
Job title: Managing Director
Employer: Motive PR (

Current role?
I'm the founder and Managing Director of digital PR agency Motive PR. We specialise in e-commerce, winning media coverage and high authority backlinks for ambitious online brands across the UK.

Typical day?
It's a cliché but no two days are ever quite the same. I manage a small team of PR and digital professionals and we are currently working with around 20 different e-commerce brands in different sectors of business. It's the variety that makes the job so much fun. You can be brainstorming ideas for a fashion brand in the morning and then pitching stories for a fitness brand in the afternoon.

Career developments?
I always wanted to work with people and went first into social work after graduating from NTU. I went first to Cardiff and then to London, working in different social work roles in both mental health and child protection. It was important work but emotionally quite tough. After six years I moved into journalism and worked my way up through local newspapers before spending another six years at the Daily Mirror as a senior news reporter. I left there in 2008 to start Motive PR back in Nottingham.

Lots of challenges. Learning to cope with stress and making sure there was enough downtime so I didn't burn out has been key along the way. Accepting that some things are out of my control has sometimes been difficult. Starting and growing my own company has probably been the greatest and most rewarding challenge. It was a lot of hard work, particularly in the first three years when I didn't take any holiday at all. Now that I have a team around me things are definitely easier.

Your NTU experience?
At NTU I learned to collaborate with my peers and learnt to work as a team while having fun. My course also taught me how to be a critical thinker, something which has been invaluable across my career. I also found a lasting home in Nottingham. It's the perfect size for a city really. After a couple of years in London I was very happy to return.

How friendly and supportive an environment did you find Nottingham Trent?
It was a very supportive environment with a lot of collaborative team working and a great staff team too.

Any exam revision tips?
Start early. Don't leave it to the last minute. I am always telling my teenage kids this. Also make lots of notes and condense them. I'm old school I'm afraid. I like a pen and paper.

Career highlights?
Career highlights would be getting a staff writing job on a national newspaper and getting to meet a bunch of famous people through that, such as former PM Margaret Thatcher and movie star Bruce Willis to name but two. Then starting my own company and growing it into an award winning agency. In my personal life nothing can beat marrying my wife Liz and the birth of our two kids.

Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?
So many places. First and foremost family, especially my mum who has always been there with advice and wisdom and my wife who has been another rock for me. Then I've been lucky enough to work with some incredibly talented and driven people over the years and I've learned lots from all of them.

Advice for others?
Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to take risks. I have always firmly believed that everyone gets opportunities but not everyone takes them. So take your opportunities, grab them with both hands and go for it. When you leave university you think you have forever but believe me the clock is ticking faster than you think. Don't waste a moment.

Any tips for job seeking / interviews / careers?
This is a pet subject of mine and I have written several blog posts about it on the Motive PR blog. To summarise, do your research and approach prospective employers carefully, address them by name (never dear sir or madam) and then wow them.

Plans for the future?
Motive has big plans for future growth. As a specialist e-commerce digital PR agency we are riding the crest of a wave at the moment. Exciting times ahead.

LinkedIn profile:
Online Graduate Profile Matthew Paterson 23/10/2020  
Name: Matt Paterson
pic: [/view.image?id=6519]

quote: [My passion for learning and self development was unearthed at NTU.]

Course: BA Hons Business Management and Marketing
Year: 2011
Job title: Senior Brand Manager
Employer: Kerry Foods

Current role?
I am currently responsible for managing Denny, Irelands number one sausage, rasher, cooked meats, and meat free brand.

The role fundamentally involves the commercial delivery of our large meat and meat free portfolio, whilst also driving brand equity growth.

Typical day?
The great thing about brand management is there is no 'typical day' - one day you could be working with creative agencies on brand communications, the next you're at the factory working alongside R&D to create the next big product, and the next you're in with the retailers pitching them your innovation.

Career developments?
I was lucky enough to identify what career I wanted whilst studying at NTU. I'd always had a passion towards big brands, and FMCG brands have long been a mainstay of brand management - take Denny for example, this year celebrating its 200th anniversary.

So upon leaving University I set out to work in FMCG, and in the past 10 years I've worked across a number of large UK and Global food brands such as Heinz Beanz, Mr Kipling, Wrigley's Extra, Fridge Raiders, and Denny.

There have been many challenges along the way, the main ones centered around companies I was working at looking to restructure, simplify and cut costs. For example, I was working at Heinz when they were purchased by one of the largest private equity companies in the world.

In those situations you've just got to keep your head down, continue to deliver for the business, and be confident in your own ability, you wouldn't be there in the first place if you didn't have what it takes!

Your NTU experience?
It has helped me a lot. NTU sparked a passion in marketing for me. Many of the modules I studied I now come across in my working life, such as ethics and sustainability, shopper marketing management, accounting and finance - so many of these areas I've been able to apply to my job.

Beyond that it taught me to be confident, be independent, and to strive to achieve great results.

How friendly and supportive an environment did you find Nottingham Trent?
I found it exceptionally supportive and friendly. My passion for learning and self development was unearthed at NTU.

Career highlights?
At a former job, getting Mr Kipling cakes listed into Walmart Texas. This was a very high profile and complex project that took the best part of a year, but it was successful and reported to The City by our CEO.

Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?
Many of the usual places - family, friends, colleagues at work who you respect, and people who have walked the walk!

Advice for others?
Be yourself. Be nice. Back yourself.

Can you share some exam revision tips?
Don't leave it too late! Plan ahead, divide your time effectively and prioritise where you need to - sometimes it comes thick and fast and all at the same time. If you have a plan you will overcome this. Also, find a study buddy who can challenge you.

What are your top tips for job seeking / interview preparation / career progression?
Do your research. Always be prepared, curveball questions are a guarantee.

Understand yourself and what your super strengths are - the ones that separate you from the pack. There will be setbacks, and it's about overcoming and learning from them!

Plans for the future?
Continue to drive on in my marketing career, looking for opportunities that stretch and challenge me to continue to improve and grow personally and professionally.

Any other information?
I volunteer for the elderly charity, Independent Age, as a telephone befriender, helping the elderly combat loneliness.
Online Graduate Profile Olivia-Mae Foong 22/10/2020  
Name: Olivia-Mae Foong
pic: [/view.image?id=6518]

quote: [I studied on the City Campus, so I really appreciated all of the facilities and places to study like Boots Library.]

Course: BA Hons Business and Management in Marketing
Year: 2017
Job title: SEO Executive
Employer: Impression (

Current role?
I am an SEO Executive at digital marketing agency Impression, which I joined in 2018.

My role involves increasing the online presence of various brands in search engines and working with web developers to improve my client's websites. I have a handful of my own clients but also support our Strategists & Specialists with our larger, bigger brands.

Typical day?
First things first, check my emails and join my team huddles where we talk about how our week has been, what we have on that day, and anything interesting we've seen.

Then my day can consist of anything from writing or optimising content for my clients, analysing datasets, reviewing staging sites for clients that are building new websites, and plenty of meetings or calls!

Management of our graduate recruitment is another one of my responsibilities here. So this involves liaising with universities and managing the Digital Marketing Academy at NTU and UoN.

Career developments?
Upon graduating from Nottingham Trent University, I landed a role in a London traditional PR agency in Fashion and Beauty PR. I worked with clients such as Superdrug's own-brand collections, some of their exclusive beauty brands (such as B. and GOSH), J.D. Williams, and a few luxury fragrance brands such as Parfums de Marly, Initio, and Carven.

A few months later, I moved back to the Midlands and was able to apply the skills I'd learned at University and in my first job role to gain a position at award-winning digital marketing agency, Impression.

I learned that you might not always love your first job - and that is completely fine! In your career, it is just as important to discover what you don't like as learning what you do want to do. There is a huge preconception that you can only have a successful graduate career in London, and whilst I did enjoy my time there, this is not always the case and there are so many great opportunities outside of the capital.

Your NTU experience?
I studied on the City Campus, so I really appreciated all of the facilities and places to study like Boots Library.

At Nottingham Trent, I think the culture helped cultivate our social skills as graduates going into the workplace - as young people not afraid to speak out or strike up a conversation with people in a seemingly awkward situation, especially if that introduced you to the right people in a business environment.

How friendly and supportive an environment did you find Nottingham Trent?
I found my tutors to be really supportive, especially during my final year when stress levels were high!

I also couldn't be more thankful for the Employability Team, who helped me shape my CV and LinkedIn profiles, take part in #Grads4Nottm, and stayed in close contact when I joined Impression.

Career highlights?
I was within the top 5 students of my course when I graduated in 2017!

I'm also incredibly proud to be a part of Impression's algorithm committee, each month I have the responsibility to research the latest search industry news, pulling this in to a blog post to advise client's of any updates or changes to Google algorithms that may negatively impact their business. You can read some examples here:

In my time at Impression, I've also been able to pitch for huge brands and some that I've always loved! It's great to have that exposure to those brands and see who is working behind the scenes, and also establish yourself as an expert to them in your industry.

Where have you taken your advice and inspiration from?
I'm lucky to have worked with so many strong women in my career. In the SEO team at Impression, my line manager Chloe and my colleague Lauren are great examples of how to eloquently get your point across and get things done effectively.

Advice for others?
Focus on yourself and pay no attention to anyone else. It's so easy, especially in second and third year, to be discouraged by people on your course bragging about interviews or opportunities they have lined up. Focus on your own journey and understand that there is no dead set timeframe for how you achieve your goals.

Can you share some exam revision tips?
The 'Pomodoro technique' really helped me: set a timer for 25 minutes where you do full-on concentrated work without being distracted, then when that time is up, give yourself a 5 minute break to check your phone and do whatever you need to.

What are your top tips for job seeking / interview preparation / career progression?
Constantly refresh your CV and LinkedIn profile - I guarantee that you will not remember all of the great things that you have achieved when you are stressed and looking for a job, so let it be a natural habit!

Plans for the future?
I'm really enjoying my career in digital marketing and would like to see how far I can progress within it! More businesses and industries are waking up to understand how important it is for them to have a good website that drives revenue and conversions, so this definitely seems like the right place for me to be.
List has 67 notes on 23 pages << < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>

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