Graduate Stories: Dean Prosser, Account Manager
We've been getting to know our marketing graduate community as of late, and the next in our #GraduateStories series is Dean Prosser from Bristol. Dean graduated from the University of the West of England with a degree in Journalism in 2014. Having worked across a number of roles including positions in digital marketing, editorial and communications, Dean is now an Account Manager for a specialist hotel marketing agency. Check out his story here:
How did you get into marketing in the first place?
When I graduated from university I wanted to become a journalist. However, I was told that I would need a masters degree to get a minimum wage job at my local paper. I had moved back home because I couldn't afford to keep living in the city I graduated in, so when looking around my local area (South Wales Valleys) I found a communications assistant job for my local council that paid well. It seemed like a no-brainer to me at the time.
Did your university degree/experience help you when it came to your first marketing job?
I was able to get that first job at the Council because of the transferable skills from my degree and I can't praise my course enough. The lecturers were very aware that journalism jobs just aren't out there, so they gave us some really good digital marketing skills. They taught us to use WordPress, and educated us with a module in PR among other things. It was these skills that I've been able to keep using even now.
How did you identify which area of marketing you wanted to get into?
My career path has taken a very linear path in some ways. I've gone from an assistant to executive to a manager. However, industry-wise I've gone from local government to recruitment to hospitality marketing. I've always been drawn to digital marketing as that is where my skill-set lies. I've just kept applying for roles that needed a similar skill-set and never been put off by a big change in sector.
Is there anything you’d have done differently starting out in your career?
Not really, I think I've been very fortunate and been in the right place at the right time. Of course, that doesn't mean I've not had my fair share of rejection emails from jobs. Just stay determined.
What advice do you have for graduates looking to get into marketing?
Research CVs. Ask as many of your friends who've got jobs to look at their CVs as possible. For example, for my past two roles, I've used a more creatively designed CV (which I made using a template on Canva.com). Try and stand out!
Also, research the job description. If there are things you're required to know like WordPress and Google analytics do some research, watch some YouTube tutorials. It's important to at least be familiar with these things starting out. A lot of marketing functions now I find don't really have the time to train someone as hands-on as they once may have. It's good to be able to hit the ground running.
What advice would you give graduates who are currently searching for their first marketing job?
Do not give up. Every time I've applied for a new role to get higher up the ladder I've had about thirty people say no before the one said yes. Don't be put off if you're not the right fit for a company you're applying for. If you're constantly getting rejected by employers try looking at doing some volunteer work or freelance websites like upwork.com just to build up your portfolio.
If you could give your post-graduate-self any piece of advice, what would it be knowing what you know now about the industry?
Spellcheck your damn CV. Get your friends to look over it because employers won't point it out to you. They'll just put your CV to the bottom of the pile.
Some great advice from Dean here! For more stories, check out the rest of the series and get inspired today.