Stornoway Port Authority
Amanda Matheson graduated in journalism, but a year’s placement with Stornoway Port Authority, a not-for-profit organisation, has her thinking more about marketing roles. She tells the story.
What’s your background?
I’m from Stornoway in the Western Isles. I moved to Glasgow to study Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University. The course taught me a lot about the media and communications industry. At uni, I volunteered for the Student’s Association and was the Deputy Editor of the student magazine. All invaluable experience and skills which I use every day in my placement.
Why did you apply?
I had always planned on staying in Glasgow after uni but, due to lack of jobs I moved home for a while. The last thing I expected was to find any graduate-level jobs in the Western Isles - when I saw the placement advertised, I knew straight away it would be ideal for me.
What project were you involved in?
Creating the marketing plan for the organisation. This involved researching and planning the best way to market the Port Authority’s services to lots of different industries, including the fishing, renewables and marine tourism. The second half was implementing the plan.
What have you learned on placement?
My placement had a lot to do with the cruise industry. That’s where the Port Authority is currently focusing their marketing. So, I’ve learnt a lot about the tourism industry in Scotland and how vital it is to the economy. I’ve also improved the skills I learnt during my time at uni and continue to learn new ones all the time.
The main thing I got from the placement is the realisation that I don’t necessarily have to pursue a career in the field I got my degree in. Although I enjoyed my course a lot, I think marketing probably suits me better than journalism.
What have you taken away from the training course that’spart of the programme?
The training course taught me how important it is to focus on what you want from your career. Before the course, I thought of my placement as a job, whereas now I think of it as the beginning of a (hopefully) successful career. The course also taught me how important networking is and how many doors it can open for me.
Any advice for other graduates?
I think in the current environment graduates everywhere are struggling to find work. I’m pretty certain that I would still be unemployed had I stayed in Glasgow after graduation and only applied for journalism jobs. I think the best thing graduates can do is keep an open mind and be willing to try something new and different to start their career.