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Joanna Jackson - BA (Hons) Business Studies, 2014

Joanna spent four years studying Business at Leeds Beckett before taking time out to travel. She now works as a Digital Marketing Executive, focussing on affiliate marketing, for a leading cycling company.


Person riding bike through city

Digital Marketing Executive, Ribbles Cycles.

Joanna spent four years studying Business at Leeds Beckett before taking time out to travel. She now works as a Digital Marketing Executive, focussing on affiliate marketing, for a leading cycling company.

Joanna says “When applying for university I knew that I wanted to study business, however I didn’t know which area of business I wanted to specialise in. The Leeds Beckett Business Studies course gave me the perfect opportunity to research and learn about various aspects of Business, including marketing, finance and economics, finally helping me to narrow down my career path to marketing, whilst also learning about other business elements which continue to help support me in my current working life.

"My Business Studies course was extremely insightful and gave me a real feel for the business world, particularly when we were given the opportunities to work with and research a variety of businesses across the country.

During her first year Joanna joined the Dance Society to take part in extra-curricular activity and meet people with similar interests, she says “The dance society seemed like the perfect fit and to say I had an incredibly fun fresher’s year with them is an understatement! During the dance classes and competitions, a sports tour in Salou and everything else in between, I met some lifelong friends whilst having lots of adventures all over the country.

“After such a fantastic year with the team I wanted to help provide the upcoming freshers with the same fantastic experience I had been lucky enough to have when I joined the dance society. A few elections and heart-felt speeches later I was elected as the Leeds Carnegie Dance Treasurer. First and foremost, my role was great fun, but I also developed some valuable skills and picked up lots of knowledge which has proved incredibly useful since my time on the committee. Organising fundraisers and social events with my fellow committee members required strong teamwork, which after a few learning curves was extremely successful. We organised and ran the first ever Leeds Met Dance competition which proved to be hugely rewarding when we saw how much fun everyone was having both in the build-up and during the event. Universities came to compete from all over the country and it was both a thrill and a relief when they provided excellent feedback.”

After investing a lot of time and energy into her studies Joanna left Leeds Beckett with her hard-earned degree and knew that before embarking on a career in marketing she wanted to travel, she recalls “Although I wanted to start gaining experience and building the foundations of my career I knew that I would never be able to settle in a job without fulfilling my lifelong dream of exploring the world. Whilst I was away I learnt so many life lessons and I returned having developed a huge array of skills. My eyes were opened to different cultures and my outlook on life was completely different.”

Upon returning from her seven-month adventure Joanna was excited to start looking for a job in marketing and was delighted when she found a job as a Junior Digital Marketing Executive with the worldwide cycling brand Ribble, she says “When I started my role was heavily focused on pay-per-click; creating text ads and adjusting bids for both Google and Bing, amongst a variety of other day to day tasks. I learnt the importance of tracking and adjusting our practice accordingly and how this affects the businesses performance significantly. As time moved on I began to learn about other aspects of digital marketing, the main part being affiliate marketing which is now the main focus of my daily work. I absolutely love my role as affiliate manager as it allows me to communicate with hundreds of affiliates on a daily basis and ensure that they are performing to their highest standards in order to gain the best possible outcome for Ribble. Our affiliate program is now one of Ribble’s strongest marketing channels and it continues to grow day by day. I love how there is always room for development and new challenges and tasks to face on a daily basis.”

Despite graduating only three years ago, Joanna has enjoyed great success in her role – which she accredits not only to her academic studies at Leeds Beckett but also to her activities outside of her course, and her travels after graduation. To recent graduates Joanna says “Do whatever feels good for you, don’t feel like you have to follow a certain path just because that’s the ‘done’ thing. Plenty of people are baffled that I chose to go travelling instead of starting my career straight after university, but that was what I had always dreamed of doing. It has now allowed me to feel settled in a job that I love, with a huge set of skills that I developed whilst travelling and so many fantastic memories and if nothing else, I am definitely never short of a topic of conversation. I know lots of people that feel like they haven’t necessarily chosen a degree that they want to continue to get a job in, but gaining a degree is much more than learning about a specific subject. You learn how to learn, how to solve problems, interact with new people, your strengths and weaknesses, amongst many other things, all of which can be applied to any career path you choose. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how you deal with and overcome them that makes you stand out from the crowd.”

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