"MMU helped me grow as a writer, a digital marketing professional and a person"
Not long after graduating I began to seek out and complete freelance content work that I could use to build a portfolio. At the same time, I was applying for jobs left, right and centre as well as sending speculative letters/e-mails. It was one of these messages that resulted in my first role as a Junior Copywriter at Venn Digital, a digital marketing agency in Wilmslow. My next role was as a Content and Social Executive at Evolutia Design before landing my current role as Digital Marketing and Web Officer at Hopwood Hall College in Middleton. The progression has been a natural curve for me and I’m always seeking new challenges to make me more valuable in the industry.
I chose to study English and Creative Writing at Manchester Met because it offered a good balance in creative and academic modules. The opportunities afforded in the city of Manchester was also an appeal but my writing skills improved considerably, as did my speed, and these are both crucial skills in meeting deadlines for clients and projects. Writing outside of my comfort zone and managing my time effectively are also important and from volunteering, studying, working and still socialising, I’ve managed to hone those skills well, with great support from the course’s staff.
I’d advise everyone to start a blog, one that shows your ability to communicate in a range of forms and conveys your passions. Successfully running a blog takes time and patience and shows excellent project management skills. You can see plenty of examples online but I made my own very easily using WordPress and it’s very simple to use. My blog is Innate Wanderings and can start you off if you need ideas.
It’s also important to take every chance – no matter how small – because once your foot is in the door, it’s not likely to close on you. Always ask for what you want but don’t be afraid to negotiate and try new things if it can help you get to where you want to be.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take steps sideways. You never know what might happen in the future. I started content writing to help develop my skills as a writer. I still want to write and sell books in the future but I’m enjoying this career and the challenges it delivers. That’s the most important thing – enjoy yourself as much as possible while you work.
Kaye Tew is one of the most important and inspirational members of staff to me. Her work behind the scenes opened up opportunities to work on Open Days and Creative Writing events – and most importantly the Children’s Book Festival – and she’s always supported me and helped me whenever I needed it.
James Draper and Claudia Conerney are also both important to me in this regard. Lucy Burke, Sherry Ashworth and Linnie Blake made a huge impression on me from the teaching side and I’m grateful for all the support they offered during my studies.
MMU helped me grow as a writer, a digital marketing professional and a person over the three year course and beyond – I’m still in touch with a number of staff members and former students and regularly attend and volunteer on events that are related to my career and aspirations.