Lucy Bolland graduated in 2017 in MA Advertising and Marketing from the University of Leeds. Currently an Outreach SEO & PR Specialist at Hub MDP she also has her own blog Life of Luce. Before moving to Leeds to study she completed a BA in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland.
My first graduate job
In September 2017, roughly two hours after handing in my dissertation, I bagged myself a role as a Marketing Assistant at a designer ladieswear shop in Sheffield. I ultimately wanted to stay in Leeds, but with huge competition from other graduates and no real digital experience other than my own blog and social media channels, I began to realise how I may have to make personal sacrifices at this early point in my career.
In my first role since graduating from my masters, I discovered more about a website’s CMS (Content Management System). I’d very much recommend setting up a blog before graduating, as I already knew the basics of navigating a websites backend which really helped me with my first role. I also learnt the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which would then lead me into my next role.
After completing work experience whilst studying, I realised I ultimately wanted a role within a marketing agency setting. This time, I found it easier to get a job whilst already having a job. In October 2017, I began working for a relatively new digital marketing agency. It was here I learnt more about SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and social media marketing. I even gained Google Awards Certification!
Learning more about digital marketing
I began to learn how outreach (the process of using social networks to raise awareness for your brand, content or to build new relationships) and digital PR are very much interlinked. Being a blogger and a PR/ digital marketing hybrid gives me an interesting perspective into the industry. You spot where other brands and agencies are going wrong with their marketing and PR strategies (because I’m on the receiving end of blogger relations). So I take this information and adjust my strategies and campaign processes to become much more streamlined. I have now built up good relations and contacts in the industry that have helped my campaigns across various sectors to become huge successes.
I loved how in this role I had input at every stage from pitching the campaign to the client, to creating a brief for the designer and interacting with the bloggers to gain links. As I realised how quickly my career was heading in the digital PR direction, I knew I’d be happier developing my career back in my favourite city, Leeds.
In August 2018, I secured my latest role as an Outreach SEO & PR Specialist at Hub MDP. Hub MDP is a full service agency and provides SEO, copywriting, online PR, PPC, print and packaging. The agency also has its own studio, allowing photography and adverts to be produced on site. Hub MDP was founded 11 years ago and is based just outside of Leeds in the scenic village of Calverley. The agency to date has around 40 staff.
My advice to anyone just starting out in their career is to be completely open to every new opportunity and experience. Your first few roles are often not your dream roles, but you’ll learn a lot. And learning as much as possible in your early career, is really the best thing you can do.
You can find out more about Digital Marketing and other Marketing careers on the Careers website.