Manchester Metropolitan University

Sam Harwood

Faculty Marketing Officer at Manchester Metropolitan University

"As a history graduate, the research and analytical skills that I built up, have been useful in my marketing roles."
About my career

I have always been passionate about history and was fortunate to have brilliant teachers throughout secondary school. I continued to excel in the subject at A Level, making the subject an obvious choice for higher education. I was born in Manchester and wanted to stay in the North West for university, so this, coupled with the course content, meant that Manchester Metropolitan University had instant appeal.

I enjoyed all of the topics covered in my degree but in particular, I enjoyed studying the American Civil War as it was an area I had not previously studied and found it fascinating. The Geoffrey Manton building had also just opened when I joined Manchester Met, and was a great learning environment.

My passion for history never left me and while I never had an obvious career path mapped out, I have been fortunate to continue my history studies after Manchester Met and then ended up moving into museum marketing seven years ago.

I undertook a part time MA War, Culture and History at Manchester University. In 2011-12 I undertook my CIM Marketing Diploma by distance learning. Both of which have benefitted my career and helped me progress from retail jobs to marketing and then develop my marketing expertise. When I undertook my MA, I did additional work at Imperial War Museum North on a voluntary basis and this really helped me to progress my career.

I recently took up my current post at Manchester Met marketing for the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science. It is great to be back especially to be back in the faculty I studied in!

I think the key skills I picked up during my degree, which were important in my career are time management and organisational skills. These are important in all jobs. As a history graduate, the research and analytical skills that I built up have obviously also been useful in my marketing roles. 

The main skills that I use in your career that I would advise students to work on are organisational skills; these are exceptionally valuable! In marketing, organisation and being able to prioritise your workload is vital, as there are always multiple deadlines to meet. Effective organisation is a skill that benefits all areas of your life, not just your work life.

My top tip for students is…

It is essential to get hands on experience in either a voluntary or a paid capacity. Scope out potential career paths and look at what those positions require and remember it takes time to find a job, so it is important to be patient but also determined.

I’m inspired by…

Gervase Phillips was my tutor during my time at Manchester Met and was very helpful, particularly when I had a few personal difficulties in my final year. I was given exceptional support and encouragement.

Why I love Manchester Metropolitan University

I was given exceptional support and encouragement.”

Student Profiles