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Zoe Brimelow, BA Media and Marketing, UK

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Zoe Brimelow, BA Media and Marketing, UK

First class student, Dean's Award winner, and successful business woman

Zoe Brimelow talks about studying marketing at Liverpool Hope was the stepping stone to her dream career.

"I started Liverpool Hope in 2004 and Graduated in 2007 with a first class degree in Media and Marketing and I was also awarded the Dean’s award for marketing.

After finishing college in 2002 I went straight into work as at this point I had no interest in University and I did not know what career I wanted. It was during my gap years when I developed my love of marketing and due to this I applied to University to study this subject and achieve my dream career.

In my first year at University I lived in mixed halls at the Everton Campus. I loved every minute of my first year, the halls were always buzzing with activity. Everyone’s door was always open and there was a great community feel about the block. I met some of my best friends here who I continued to live with during my second and third years and I am still in regular contact with today.

Throughout my second and third year at University I worked part time to earn money to help towards my rent and bills. I always ensured that my course work came first but I found that the extra money helped and I also enjoyed the having another social group to mix with outside of University. However, the job I held was only in retail and I would have preferred a job in the marketing industry to help develop my experience in the sector I eventually wanted to work in.

As work experience was not offered as a part of my course so during my third year I contacted a few companies that I was particularly interested in requesting work experience in their marketing departments. One of the companies I contacted was Christie Hospital NHS as my Nana was diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer of my second year at University and I wanted to give something back to say thank you for all their help in her recovery. Christies contacted me and offered me a week’s work experience in their marketing department which led to an offer of a three month contract in their events department which I gladly took.

Third year of University was the hardest but most rewarding year. My marketing tutor said at the start of the year that at that point we all had a first and that it was up to us to maintain that grade, I took it upon myself to ensure that I did. For my final module of marketing research my tutor arranged that I could be a part of an official research project that was being undertaken for Age Concern Liverpool. I conducted one to one interview with the Age Concern manager and focus groups with the target audience. The research report I wrote was afterwards published.

As a part of my media degree I chose to do a dissertation on ‘People buy brands not products’, marketing focused paper. My dissertation tutor was integral in my career path after graduation. As she not only lectured but had worked and still worked in the marketing industry she kindly recommended me to a global marketing agency based in Leeds where I was appointed as global research executive and she was appointed managing director. After three months I was promoted to global research and brand manager and regularly worked out in the Middle East. The agency decided to close its UK office and focus on working from the head office in Dubai. I felt that it was not the right time for me to move to Dubai so on the 1st July 2008 my ex Hope tutor and two others who I had worked with previously set up The Individual Agency, strategic brand, creative design and PR agency specializing in working with beautiful female brands in Huddersfield. To ensure we are up to date with female trends we execute seasonal countrywide research program of ongoing research into women in the UK to keep up to date with the changing opinions and motivations of the female consumer seasonally. We are currently working with Dr Dave Bamber at Liverpool Hope University to academically publish the research.

As I have experienced how difficult it can be to get a job in the industry that you wish to work in after graduation with no industry experience, we as an agency actively look for opportunities to outsource work to Hope students to help give them the opportunity to work on real projects and enhance their CV and make them as appealing as possible to employers.