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What's your background?

I am from Larbert, right in between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and I studied at Edinburgh Napier University where I attained a degree in Marketing Management with Entrepreneurship. I had a few different jobs throughout my youth but they all related to business in some way or another... My first marketing job was a summer internship for a printing company back when I was 16, and I moved on to dabble in Sales for a large DIY company within their showroom department. All of these stepping stones led me to my new job as a Marketing Manager for the Food and Drink Hub, acquired through ScotGrad.

Why did you apply for a ScotGrad placement?

I knew about ScotGrad through Twitter connections, and I saw them advertise for a marketing graduate within the Food and Drink Hub. After reading the role description, I knew I wanted the job. It was actually the only job I applied for after graduating once I had spent some time travelling, which I was lucky enough to get!

What did you expect to gain?

I expected to gain a lot of experience, of course, but apart from that I knew it was a great opportunity to make connections within the Scottish food and drink industry, which I am extremely passionate about. I have now worked with over 100 small Scottish food and drink producers throughout the country and built up a good rapport with them. This is one of my favourite things about the job, I am extremely passionate about food and drink and assisting in some way with the Scottish industry, and helping to achieve the target of it being worth £16bn by 2017, which we are well on our way to doing!

What is your role?

My role as a Marketing Manager is based upon all things digital, therefore I assisted with the Hub’s re-branding and new website development with an external digital agency. I now manage and maintain this website by uploading content regularly, writing news and blog posts, and working on SEO. Aside from the website, I also create and manage campaigns for various social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ for the company. This means that I build a content calendar each month with new content surrounding industry topics and discussions. I create all of the agile and content campaigns for these social media platforms and work with PPC methods depending on certain campaigns. My role also requires me to provide accurate reports and analysis of the website and social media platforms to track digital media progress and to demonstrate effective return on investment. My role also includes going to a number of food and drink trade and consumer shows throughout the year. All this and a lot more!

What have you learned?

This job has been an incredible learning curve thus far. As well as building my knowledge on Content Management Systems such as Concrete5 and Magento, I now understand social media marketing more than ever. Aside from digital, I believe I have a good understanding of the Scottish food and drink industry, of which I am learning more about every day.

What were your thoughts on the Residential Training Course?

I thought the Residential Training Course was a great experience for us. To be perfectly honest, I was quite nervous about it due to my shy personality however I was happy to be paired with such genuine people, some of whom I still speak to today. Getting placed with people who are in the exact same position and are going through the same thing as you was a great experience and I really loved it. There was a lot of great team bonding moments and the activities within the scheduled course were very useful, especially to do with Sales and Customer Services. I learnt a lot on that course and I would definitely recommend going should you get the opportunity!

Would you recommend ScotGrad to others?

Yes, absolutely! I think the programme is very beneficial and you can learn some skills that you never thought you would have the opportunity to learn, which will help you with your career in the future – you get a very broad covering of professional skills. At the training course, key benefits include networking with like-minded people and learning about their roles and experience, learning skills you wouldn’t think you would have the opportunity to learn, and just generally having a good laugh whilst bringing benefit to yourself and your future career!

What advice would you give to students/graduates?

Try not to leave everything to the last minute. I know people get tired of hearing that, and trust me I heard it a lot considering my nickname throughout university was “Hannah Mañana” (for those who don’t know Mañana means ‘tomorrow’ in Spanish as I always said “I’ll do it tomorrow”.) So yeah, I would say try to be as organised as possible and go to as many networking and skills workshops as you can. I never went to enough of those throughout university, so I am making up for it now. Also, one that I really would recommend is get as much professional experience as you can. Work throughout university, even if it is just at nights for a few hours, do an internship, go to events, network, do a placement if you get the opportunity. All these things add up, and will put you above your classmates when trying to find a job after graduation. The more real-life professional experience you have, the better.

What are your future career plans?

I am still working with Food and Drink Hub at the moment. There are a lot of very exciting projects coming up that I am involved in - one of my main projects was to oversee and manage the website relaunch and branding project, and we are now working on phase 2 of this which will be launched next year. I am loving working for the Hub at the moment and I am excited to see what the future holds for me.


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