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Leading Lancaster University alumni join forces to guide current crop of marketing students

(L-R) Forward Role MD Steve Thompson with Marta Ferri and Victoria Metcalf from Lancaster University

The founder of a leading digital and marketing recruitment firm joined forces with fellow Lancaster University alumni to give a group of current students a glimpse into what life is like working in the UK’s marketing industry.

Forward Role Managing Director, Steve Thompson, took to the stage with former students who have gone on to work at leading brands, as well as speakers from companies including Porsche, IBM and the Wildlife Trust at a special ‘Marketing Me’ event.

More than 50 first year students listened keenly to Steve, who left Lancaster in 2001 having completed both an undergraduate and post-graduate degree, as he delivered the session’s key-note speech on how graduates can position themselves for the job market and secure their first role.

And after a short lunch break, the students split up into small teams to put together their own marketing campaigns aimed at reducing the UK’s plastic usage, followed by a two-minute Dragons’ Den-style pitch to present their ideas to the alumni.

The day was organised by the university’s Management School Careers and Employer Relations team.

And the winning team is set to spend a full day with Forward Role, award-winning Cheshire PR, social media and content marketing agency, No Brainer, and Bolton based digital marketing agency Bring Digital at Forward Role’s Manchester city centre office.

Steve said: “I had a fabulous experience of Lancaster University as a student picking up many of the foundations that allowed me to go on and create my own business, but I wish we’d have had something like this event in my day!”

“That’s why I was delighted to be invited back. I think it’s a fantastic way to help current students – many of which will be looking to embark on their own careers very soon – hear first-hand what a career in marketing is really like.

“The quality of the campaigns and presentations on the day was absolutely fantastic too. The students came up with some really interesting ideas and it was a pleasure to be involved in that. The winning team really deserve a lot of credit for their ideas and we’re looking forward to hosting them in our Manchester office very soon.”

Lancaster University Marketing Careers Coach, Vicky Metcalf, added: “We’re so grateful to Steve and the other alumni for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for this event.

“The session was the culmination of a years’ worth of employability workshops that we’ve delivered to give our students a strong platform to get their own careers off to a great start.

“As a university, we‘re fully committed to promoting the theme of employability and as a department, we’ve been recognised as the best in the UK for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide.

“For modern day students, standing out in the crowd is so important, and having the opportunity to meet and chat with former graduates who have gone on to forge successful careers and achieve great things is invaluable for them.”

Arienne Maravilla, a Lancaster University student that took part in the event, added: “It was such a good experience, great way to end the course and I hope you enjoyed too! Everyone I spoke to really enjoyed it. It was lovely hearing the speakers come in and getting to talk to them, although nerve wracking at the beginning but everyone I spoke to was so helpful.”