How Leeds Beckett changed my mind about studying at university

Student spotlight | Jessica Rolph, BA (Hons) in Marketing & Advertising Management


Jessica Rolph

After initially not wanting to go to university, Jessica decided to study BA (hons) Marketing & Advertising Management. During her time at the university, she completed a placement at Johnson & Johnson and was a member of the winning team in this year’s Chartered Institute of Marketing’s The Pitch competition.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to marketing and advertising

When I left high school, I wanted to find an area I was particularly interested in so participated in multiple internships to get a flavour of different careers. I would really recommend anyone unsure about their passions to reach out to connections and small businesses to gain experience as this was invaluable for me in helping decide that I really wanted to study marketing.

I initially had experience working in retail and hospitality as part-time roles but knew I wanted to find an area to pursue a career in. I had an internship in real estate and teaching before finding out about marketing, I found a small agency that took me on for an internship to really understand what marketing is and how it can benefit an organisation. What really inspired me is how with a career in marketing, I could make a real tangible difference while no day being the same.

What made you choose Leeds Beckett?

I fell in love with Leeds Beckett. From how friendly the staff and students were, having never visited Leeds before either I was made to feel completely at home. I was really impressed that the uni went above and beyond in many aspects from helping with accommodation, to disability advice and supporting me with my needs.

Then, ultimately I knew I wanted to study marketing, and in coordination with the friendly approach I had seen from the uni, the marketing course was no different. I had a great experience on my application day where I met passionate lecturers who really brought to life elements that would be covered on the course. This was paired with the fact that the academic staff not only had experience in the classroom but also valuable experience in industry which would allow them to practically draw from examples.

Did you take part in a work placement and how did you find it?

An element that I had always aspired to work towards was to complete a placement year in industry. Leeds Beckett have a dedicated and supportive team always willing to help and prepare you for the application process. I was really lucky to get a placement with Johnson & Johnson within an EMEA Marketing team, which allowed me visibility on a wide span of implementing marketing activities drawing from the course hugely.

Throughout my placement I had a supportive connection with members of Leeds Beckett that helped me grow and make the most of every opportunity. It was really helpful that the placement counted as a module in my final year, taking off the pressure slightly!

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?

I have to say, my favourite thing has been how much I have grown and learnt both personally and professionally as a person. Being that person that didn’t want to go to uni, I am so glad I did for a whole range of reasons. Personally, I have felt so comfortable and supported throughout with a great network of friends and tutors at the uni; Professionally, I have grown into a confident and knowledable individual who is really excited to start my career in marketing.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?

My advice to anyone unsure about this course is to reach out to the course tutors, there will be always be a friendly person to support and answer any questions. I would also really encourage you to try an applicant day as that was definitely the deciding factor for me!

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