Success Stories

Seizing opportunities Meet Sophie Cochrane and Erin Duff

Congratulations are in order today from the whole of the ScotGrad team and our course providers.

Published: 30/10/2017

Sophie Cochrane and Erin Duff

Meet Sophie Cochrane (pictured: left) and Erin Duff (pictured: right) who agreed to share their study experiences through Jump Digital and the University of Aberdeen; our valued ScotGrad training partners.

Jump Digital and Aberdeen logos

Module 1 of the online Digital Marketing for Business Professionals Certificate (DMB) is offered completely free of charge to ScotGrads… something we are keen to shout about! The free module offers online learning at your own pace and is part of an exclusive set of benefits available through ScotGrad which Sophie and Erin recommend to future participants.

Online learning at your own pace

Sophie Cochrane is the International Marketing Manager at SAS Environmental Services Ltd, and discussed the key highlight of the programme for her: 

I found the ‘Social Media within Digital Marketing Strategy’ module very interesting. This part of the course content gave me new ideas and a wider knowledge of all elements of social media, all of which will be useful throughout my role. 

Sophie’s manager, Mark Zwinderman, confirmed that skills in digital marketing are essential to the future success of the business: 

Our business is incredibly international with over 90% of our sales international. In order for potential clients to find us, existing clients to stay in touch, and to educate the market on our technologies and products the use of digital marketing is critical. The impact she (Sophie) has made on the business has been absolutely wonderful and almost immediate.

SAS Environmental Services logo

Erin, who secured a Digital Marketing placement at Jerba Campervans Ltd., noticed different benefits: 

The mock client interviews were very useful as this is not something that my previous university course provided and will be very beneficial in the future. The analytics section was also very useful as I already used Google Analytics so was able to implement what I learned straight away and improve my work.

Erin’s manager, Simon Poole, explained that the vast majority of customers now rely on online sources to research their campervan of choice and he has been delighted with Erin’s input and progress: 

Erin has brought a new dimension to our digital marketing. She has provided novel and creative input and added a layer of fantastic knowledge that we just didn’t have in our team. Growing our online presence year on year will be vital to our continued success and with Erin now on board I am very confident that we’ll be at the forefront of digital ideas that fit with our target market.

Jerba Campervans logo

Sophie explained the conversion of theoretical knowledge to its practical application:

I learned a lot from the course and it helped me transfer the knowledge of Digital Marketing that I gained at university into real life business situations.

We asked Sophie and Erin what they found challenging and for their advice to future participants. Sophie said: 

To begin was it was quite challenging to simply find the time to do the course. I would highly recommend setting yourself an achievable timeframe in which to complete the course and stick to it. 

Erin offered similar advice for success: 

Schedule in set times during the week where you will just be doing the module. The module requires a lot of focus. 

Both advised that taking notes helped them to stay engaged and has given them something to refer back to which can now inform their work moving forward. 

Open new doors

Choosing to work for an SME through a ScotGrad placement instead of a large graduate scheme doesn’t mean you have to miss out on specialised training. Sophie and Erin agree that professional development is an important factor when selecting roles to apply to, and the availability of training encouraged them to apply through ScotGrad. Erin recognises that “Digital Marketing is a very competitive industry, thus, increasing my qualifications and skills will open more opportunities in my future career steps” and Sophie confirmed the importance she places on training by telling us “I always strive to stay up to date and knowledgeable”. 

Stay connected 

Sophie noticed the value in the networks provided by ScotGrad: It was more than just the training, by being involved with ScotGrad placements I am also offered unique opportunities to connect with a vast network of graduates and ScotGrad alumni. This high level of support and guidance, provided through ScotGrad, was not offered in other applications. 

We didn’t pay them for their glowing feedback… promise. 

Sophie is referring to the wide network of current participants and ScotGrad alumni you can connect with via our social media channels and ScotGrad LinkedIn group. This is a closed group; refer back to your welcome email for your invitation to join. Follow us on our other channels and never miss an update. Choose your favourite platform: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

If you’ve been inspired by Sophie and Erin, are currently on placement, and would like to sign up or learn more contact Jump Digital on or call 01698 744 591. For information about more free training you can complete to gain new skills, engage with materials on FutureLearn, MOOC, and Open University (selected courses free). ScotGrad is not affiliated with these providers.