Heledd Jones studied BA Business Studies with Marketing, and graduated with a 2:1 in 2002. With 10 years of professional experience under her belt, she looks back at her time at UWIC and her career in Marketing.
What has been your career path since graduating?
I was determined to pursue a career in Marketing upon leaving UWIC, so I think I applied for every Marketing vacancy in South Wales while ‘temping’ at the Welsh Assembly Government for 7 days a week to pay off my student overdraft!
After a couple of interviews I was offered the position of Marketing Manager at Traveline Cymru, the public transport information service. As scary as it was initially, I thoroughly enjoyed applying my academic, marketing knowledge to writing and implementing my first marketing strategy which then grew year-on-year for the four years I was there. I was responsible for product quality (call centre and website) and development (we launched Traveline.txt – a bus times’ text messaging service) and marketing of all types – TV advertising to local PR (I secured coverage of the Traveline.txt launch on ITV Wales news and as a full page scoop in the Western Mail – exciting times) to events like Freshers’ Fairs.
From there, I decided I wanted to try my hand at working at a larger brand, and there were a few in Cardiff at the time. I joined price comparison site Confused.com
as Campaign Manager in 2006, the fourth member of the Marketing team at the time. I’m now the longest-serving member of the Marketing team which has now grown to over 40 people! I head up the Search Marketing team – managing an annual budget of c£10M and a team of 8, my role is to drive paid and natural volume from Google, Yahoo and Bing to Confused.com. It’s great for such a big brand to be based in Cardiff, and as we’re part of the Admiral insurance group there are opportunities to work across the group including its’ international offices. It’s funny to think that I work on a marketing channel that didn’t even exist when I was studying at UWIC – I wonder if they teach digital marketing on the course these days?!
Do you have any advice for this year’s graduates?
I’ve done my fair share of interviewing over the last year and unfortunately so many candidates for graduate-entry jobs have been ill-prepared. I know it’s tough when you’re applying for so many jobs, but please do your research when applying for a job – tailor your CV to match the job and if you’re fortunate enough to get an interview make sure you do your research on the role and company, and have plenty of questions to ask the interviewer to show that you’re genuinely interested!
Are you in touch with any other UWIC grads?
Yes – I was proud to be maid of honour at Tom O’Shea and Zoe Clifford’s wedding - we were on the same course; as was Tony Chan who came to meet me in Hong Kong when I took a career break for 6 months to travel around SE Asia and Australia!
Which of your lecturers do you remember fondly?
Terry Breverton’s Marketing lectures were passionate and inspired me to want to pursue a career in Marketing. We used to put loads of effort into his coursework as it was so interesting! Jonathan Lowell’s human resources and people management modules meant these topics were a close second to marketing in terms of a chosen career path, I still remember the fascinating debates we had about McDonaldisation! Angela Joseph was a formidable law lecturer and we all loved Leon Choo’s Operations lectures – who managed to make the boring topic of Operation Management fun! I must also mention Matt Waring who never taught me but was an excellent dissertation tutor!