Tag Archives: media

Career interview: how I became a Copywriter?

This week Careers have been talking again to staff at The Entertainer to find out how their career journeys began, and what advice they would give to graduates interested in pursuing a similar path. This is what we found out from Alex Magee, copywriter at The Entertainer.Alex Magee

What did you study at university and what impact did it have on your career path?

I studied English Literature and Journalism. Both subjects rely heavily on writing, punctuation and sticking to deadlines – things that provide a good foundation for a career in copywriting.

What work experience did you undertake per landing a permanent position?

I did placements at various newspapers whilst completing my journalism degree.

Did you take part in any societies while at university, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

I used to write for the student newspaper. It’s something I’d definitely recommend if you’re interested in a career that involves a lot of creative writing.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting university right now?

Do a subject you will enjoy. It sounds obvious but you’ll be amazed at the number of people who drop out because they chose something they hated. Also, try not to procrastinate too much. The last thing you want is starting a 15,000 word essay the day before a deadline when you’ve had all term to do it!

How important is a brand’s culture when choosing positions to apply for?

Very important. You spend more time at work than with family and friends so it’s got to be an environment that will get the best out of you.

 What is the most challenging part of your current role?

Juggling all the different projects and making sure everything’s done before the deadlines.

Don’t forget to contact Careers on careers@cumbria.ac.uk if you want some help with your career planning and job seeking. Alex mentioned how important it is to get experience, and we can help with this too.

Alumni Spotlight: Alex Louise Hodgson

Alex Louise Hodgson, Class of 2008, Photography, Film & Media

Alex HodgsonOriginally from Lazonby and schooled in Penrith, a career in anything creative seemed miles away until Alex grabbed the opportunity to study in Carlisle.

“I undertook my A levels at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Photography, Film and Media studies from 2006 – 2008. My time spent there really set the ball rolling as to where I saw myself going in the future. The teachers were wonderful: Edward Cooper, Debbie Sweeny, Rachael Elliot and Darren Connor. Darren Connor, who is sadly no longer with us, introduced me and my classmates to topics such as British New Wave cinema which continues to inspire me. I could not praise their influence on me enough and they were all very encouraging.

“Upon graduating, I moved from my home county to study a BA (Hons) degree in Photography and Film at Edinburgh Napier University. Currently, I hope to extend my studies further and undertake a Masters Degree in Screenwriting. In the mean time I have worked on-set and as a film editor on low budget films. Although my years at college are nearing a decade ago, I’m thankful for the doors which studying there opened and the memories made. I could not have spent my most influential years at a better place.”

What are you up to now?

Have you got an exciting new job, working on a new project, want everyone to know about your own business, had something published or exhibited? Perhaps you are getting married or had a baby? Whatever your news, we would love to hear about it and share it with your fellow alumni. Visit our share your experiences page to download the profile form if you would like to be included in the next edition of Aluminate or just email us.

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 27/02/2015


BBC Bristol is filming an episode of the BBC1 antiques programme Flog It! at Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass on Thursday 23rd April 2015, and we are looking for 10 people aged 18 or over to be Event Runners on the day. The role will include assisting in co-ordinating the public and our film crews, organising refreshments, helping to set up the space and also dealing with some of the antiques.

It is a great opportunity for students who are looking to gain experience in television and the media, and to see what happens on a day’s filming for the BBC. We will offer a casual contract and pay the minimum wage. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day. We would be grateful if you could pass the enclosed poster onto students that you feel this would appeal to.

If there are students who are interested, they can contact us by email: flogit@bbc.co.uk

Successful applicants must have a current passport OR full birth certificate with NI Card/P45/P60 for registration and identification purposes.

If you require any further information please call us on 0117 974 7839.

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 06/02/2015 – BBC Radio 1/1XTRA Intern Scheme


Applications for this year’s scheme are open on 2nd February and close at midnight on Sunday 15th February 2015. The selection and assessment process will take place in March 2015. 

Please click here for further information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/trainee-schemes-and-apprenticeships/production/where-it-begins


  • Passionate about music and digital tech and are doing something about it?
  • Already making your own Youtube videos, broadcasting radio programmes, writing your own blogs, making your own films?
  • The sort of person who has ‘get up and go’ and can get stuff done?


  • Want to get hands on experience across all areas of Radio 1 & 1Xtra, from live events to programmes, to online and visualisation?
  • Want a chance to share your creative ideas?


Our paid 8 week internships will give you the chance to work across our shows and departments. You’ll get hands on skills at the heart of BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra HQ.

Here are the dates of the placements on offer:

24th April – 18th June 2015

20th July 2015 – 11th September 2015

About you


  • Be creative and brilliant, passionate about radio, music and everything that appeals to a young audience.
  • Know about current music and you’ll be listening to Radio 1 & 1Xtra
  • Be into new technology and social media and will get how this is impacting on us and our audience.
  • Be 18 or over and available to get to London to work on the dates stated. (The placements are based in our HQ on the top floor of New Broadcasting House, London).
  • Be from any background, and any part of the UK. You don’t need to be a loud mouth! You could be quietly confident in your abilities.


  • Be qualified! NB. You DON’T NEED any qualifications or radio experience. Instead, show us that you have a big imagination and a genuine enthusiasm for exploring and building a career in the media.
  • Want to be the next Greg James or Sarah Jane Crawford. This is an ‘off air’ scheme, for people interested in careers in off air production roles. It is NOT a scheme for people interested in presenting.

More detail about the scheme

During the eight weeks you will work with teams across both stations, spending blocks of time in different departments. You will take part in meetings and brainstorms across R1 and 1X, research topics and complete a range of duties for production teams prior to and during live shows.

Hours will mainly be 10-6pm Monday to Friday. However we are 24/7 stations and keen that our interns experience and get involved with as much as possible. We are looking for flexible people who will be able to work weekends or alternative hours on request.

At the start of the placement, you will be set a research brief to prepare and develop across the 8 weeks. You will then present your findings and ideas to senior management at the end of the placement. This could be on anything, from how we use social media to comedy. We will give you creative and insight training to help you with this project. You’ll have regular meetings with the Marketing and Audiences team to develop your ideas.

During your time here you will also have a mentor. They will be a senior member of the Radio 1 & 1Xtra team who will spend time with you every week to discuss how your placement is going as well as your future plans.

A day in the life of Rachel Murray, Digital Marketing Consultant for Hydrant

Rachel is Digital Marketing Consultant for Hydrant in Carlisle. You can read more about Hydrant in Monday’s post here.


How did you become a Digital Marketing Consultant? Did you need any specific training or education?
I graduated with a marketing degree, but I also had a keen interest in digital marketing, and I actually got the job through LinkedIn. I was interested in working with Hydrant as I am quite local, so I connected with some of the staff on LinkedIn, and saw the job advertised there. I sent off my CV, which led to our first meeting and it went from there! They were looking for someone to undertake their digital marketing and so I joined the team as digital marketing consultant; if a client needed advice, I would be the point of contact. Now that I have been there a year, my role has progressed so that I do a lot of face to face work, networking, and marketing Hydrant – letting people know that we are just around the corner!

What does a typical day consist of?
I do a lot of business development, sales, and tender opportunities, so I usually start the day by looking at the tender portals, finding sales opportunities and then ensuring that we have all the documents together in time for deadlines. Every day has different demands and priorities and so I arrange my workload around those. I do a lot of Hydrant’s marketing, mostly online, so I will create press releases, blog posts, tweets and things like that. I could also be arranging events, such as our recent tweet-up, other Hydrant events, and so on. As I am also a point of contact for people who are interested in our services, I often have clients phone up for advice, or new clients wanting to work with us. I find that working in an agency, every day is different!


What personal qualities do you think are essential to be good at your job?
You really need to be outgoing and creative to work in social media; you don’t want your online presence to blend in, it needs to be engaging and stand out! It is important that you have the skills to create that sort of online presence. I am quite talkative, which is useful when networking, so I’m not sitting in a corner and not really representing Hydrant – you need to be outspoken and have the ability to form relationships and chat with all different kinds of people. You also need to understand the strategy behind the suggestions you make to clients, you need to know the technical theory behind all of that. This is one of those jobs you can really learn as you go, especially within social media as it is always changing, you need to constantly be aware of new trends and be up to date and on the ball!

If you could spend one day in another job, what would it be and why?
I find social media really interesting but I would love to do it for a really different organisation. My dream job is to work for Heat magazine, working in the office and meeting celebrities. Their approach to social media is completely different, it isn’t corporate at all, and it is about building relationships with their readers which I find very interesting. They tweet and post on Facebook about TV programmes, celebrities and celeb culture, it’s a totally different approach.

What is your biggest tip for someone who wants follow in your career path?
My main advice would be to be proactive, just get yourself out there and let companies know you are available and experienced. Form relationships with companies, and people at those companies, rather than just applying for jobs. So, you could send a LinkedIn request to the company founder, and send him a message letting him know what you are about. When I first came out of university one of the first things I did was to get in touch with local organisations to see if I could work with them for a few days – most companies will say yes to someone offering to work for free! Another important thing to remember is that experience is vital, so the more you can do before you leave university, the better. Working for a company for a few days, or on a short project looks better than a blank CV. If you are struggling to get any experience, you could even start blogging about your chosen career. For example, if you are seeking a career in advertising, you could blog about current advertising campaigns, putting your own touch on them, giving advert reviews etc. This is building your experience and shows employers your knowledge and abilities, and you can use it as a reference or portfolio when applying for jobs. Having something to show an employer goes a long way.

Interested in a career in digital marketing? You can read more on the Prospects website at http://www.prospects.ac.uk/features_marketing_whats_on_offer.htm

Hydrant Digital Agency – “We don’t sell fire hydrants!”

Hydrant is a digital agency, creating web sites, digital marketing and software. The Managing Director and co-founder, Leo White, is a member of the University of Cumbria’s alumni, as well as several other members of staff. Leo set up Hydrant when he was a student here with his wife, and the company has grown year-on-year, with an office near Oxford and clients across the country, including the NHS, the Cumberland Pencil company, and the University of Cumbria itself! hydrant-logo-header

I recently visited the Hydrant offices in Carlisle and spoke to Darren Nicholls (Regional Manager) and Rachel Murray (Digital Marketing Consultant). I asked them a few questions about Hydrant, and what it is like to work there.

Hydrant’s office is open plan and was filled with the buzz of people hard at work when I visited. I asked Darren about what sort of people Hydrant look for, and what makes the staff here a good fit with the business. “One word that springs to mind when describing our staff is determined.” said Darren. “We are all determined to produce high quality work, which reflects our individual personalities.” As everyone employed at Hydrant is allowed to bring their own personality to the projects, the work carried out is always fresh and innovative, and unique to Hydrant.

Looking through Hydrant’s portfolio of work on their website, you can see that they don’t stick to working in Cumbria – they have worked with clients all over the country, with the public sector and private sector, from small businesses and local clients, as well as local governments and even the Commonwealth! Rachel told me that the team are able to work with such different clients and on such diverse projects because they have such a broad range of skills. Hydrant enjoys working with local businesses and has recently worked with Tullie House and with the Cumberland Pencil company on their Derwent Arts prize website.

When I asked Darren what makes Hydrant special from other web companies, he said “I guess it’s the way that we work with the clients. We don’t see them as a one off project then send them on their way; we like to build up a relationship with them.” Rachel spoke to me about how important it was to Hydrant that they establish a relationship with their clients. “We are not just given a brief, create a site, and send them on their way,” said Rachel. “We look at what else we can do, and build on that relationship so that three years down the line we can do more work for them.”

One of the most inspiring aspects of the business is the way that the company has grown from a small partnership when it was formed in 2005, to now employing fifteen staff (and freelancers). They don’t just look to their local area to find work, they work nationally on projects, raising their profile and opening an office near Oxford. But Cumbria is where they started, and this is where they want to really grow. “Our client base is not predominantly Cumbrian!” said Darren, when I asked him what was next for Hydrant. “We are based here and we really want to become better known in Cumbria. We would love to work with more local businesses!” So if you are a local business and need some digital assistance, you know where to go!

You can find out more information about Hydrant on their website: www.hydrant.co.uk

Are you interested in starting up your own business? The careers team can help! Visit the website www.cumbria.ac.uk/careers or email us careers@cumbria.ac.uk

Friday’s Featured Vacancies – 20/12/2013

We have two featured vacancies for you this week – aren’t you lucky! Both of these posts are being recruited to through the Business Placement Service  – this is a great resource for finding short-term paid placements. There are lots of great opportunities available on the website.

Exhibition Designer – The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA)

The FBA requires an exhibition to be produced for the Clear Waters Oral History Project. You role will be to design the Clear Waters Oral History project exhibition which includes interpretation panels and a listening station.  You will also contribute to the design of the project website which will complement the exhibition.  Your role will include involvement in the production of the final exhibition by liaising with suppliers.

The Clear Waters Oral History project commenced in April 2013 and has collected audio files of interviews, photographs and other research items, which will all be part of the final exhibition and website. The oral history recordings, photography and research have been collected for the exhibition and website. The Exhibition Designer will join the existing team working on the final stage of the project and will be involved with the design brief and concept.

There is a possibility that some of the work can be completed remotely. We plan for work and start in Feb 2014.  For an informal chat or if you have any queries regarding this post please contact hschwamm@fba.org.uk or Tel: 01539 487717.

Customer Services Co-ordinator – Penrith Building Society

This role will require you to assess and develop the ‘customer journey’ and the way the business currently responds to customer needs in order for the Society to enhance services and to reach new markets. You will develop and introduce ideas for a more personal and bespoke service for each customer with a more contemporary approach, whilst maintaining relationships built on trust and traditional values. You will be a fresh pair of eyes to evaluate how the business currently operates and you will make recommendations to improve the customer experience.

You will also undertake market research in areas such as what customers are looking for and what they might need; brand awareness; and responses to the customer experience.

The post will initially be offered for 8 weeks, commencing mid January 2014. There is a possibility that a role could be offered on a permanent basis at the end of the placement, for the right candidate.

For more information on these roles and to apply, download an application form from www.cumbria.ac.uk/grab and return no later than the closing date to email jobsandplacements@cumbria.ac.uk

Friday’s Featured Vacancy 06/12/13

Marked Events are looking for a Written Communication Specialist … … are you the person for the job? Marked Events are busier than ever, with lots of exciting top-secret projects in the pipeline. Because they keep growing, they require someone to write compelling content across all areas of the business. They are looking for a dynamic and passionate copywriter to join the team at their offices in Preston, Lancashire.

marked events ltd logo

The Job:
You’ll serve as part of a brilliant team of passionate, entertaining and clever people dedicated to delivering excellence it all we do. We’re a relatively small team when contrasted with the huge events we manage, so it’s crucial for us to hire someone who enjoys a broad and multi-faceted position. Some of the best parts of the job you’ll need to see to believe – like BPM, the world’s biggest event for DJs. The show is a hectic, crazy, wild event that will absolutely blow you away. We’re looking for someone who will work their socks off throughout the event and then crack open a beer with the team at the end of it all feeling immensely proud to have been involved. Other responsibilities will include writing website and leaflet copy, magazine articles, news items, press releases, blog posts and social media updates. You’ll also conduct interviews, review compilation CDs and make the occasional brew. There will also be an editorial aspect to the role, so be prepared to flex your proofreading muscles!

We’re a friendly bunch and want someone who is going to fit in. If you are passionate about grammar and crafting creative copy, can fit in well with a close-knit group of fun and hardworking people and have a good sense of humour, then that sounds like you. This is a full-time role based at our office in Preston, which has free parking and good transport links. Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm, with a half an hour break for lunch. However, we’re not looking for a clock-watcher, but someone who will enjoy their work and put in the time needed to complete their tasks to a high standard. We would like our new employee to start in January 2014.

About Marked Events Ltd:
We are Marked Events Ltd. We are also Dancefloor Couture, the BPM & PRO shows and also Pro Mobile magazine. As you can tell, we’ve got our fingers in a few different pies, which is just how we like it! Essentially, we’re a young, creative and forward thinking media, events and entertainment company. Our core business is within the DJ and sound & lighting sector. We manage live events, exhibitions, conferences, publishing and online media. We use cutting-edge technology and the latest media tools to provide effective B2B & B2C communications for our in-house publications and events, as well as our external clients.

For more information, you can find the vacancy on our JobShop (ref: CUM131129/40)

Before submitting your application, spend some time at www.visitbpm.co.uk, www.promobile.org.uk, www.mobiledjconference.co.uk and www.dancefloorcouture.co.uk to better understand what we do. If you like what you see, then send your CV, a covering letter and some relevant examples of your written work to iwantajob@markedevents.co.uk by Friday the 20th of December 2013.

What Do Graduates Do?

Although graduate employment levels for 2010-11 were slightly down on the previous year, there were considerable variations between different subjects of study, according to “What Do Graduates Do?” (WDGD) 2012, based on the annual survey of Destinations of Higher Education Leavers that takes place each year.

One career area that clearly bucked the downward trend was Computer Science and IT which showed an 8.5% rise in graduate employment and e-skills UK have forecast that growth in IT employment will grow at twice the UK average until 2020.  Of course, not all entrants into the industry will have studied IT as a main subject at University.

Less good news came unexpectedly from the public sector with a big fall in entrants and the trend extended to include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers, teachers and probation officers.  These areas each offered over 100 posts less than 2010-11 but the biggest drop was in the number of social work entrants, which fell by 420.  This is certainly not great news for the University of Cumbria, which offers courses in all the professions listed except probation.

The report once again showed the importance of self-employment to graduates from performance arts, media production and art and design. 64.6% or artists and 85.3% of musicians were recorded as being self employed or freelancers six months after graduation.

The Business Studies area is one that exemplifies the “mixed message” theme identified in the WDGD report.  Although it shows up with a higher level of unemployment than average (10.1%) and a sharp drop in the numbers going on to further study, each of the key disciplines of Accountancy, Business Management and Marketing showed high levels of graduates going straight into relevant employment.

They were also some of the subjects that produced less graduates working as Retail, Catering, Waiting and Bar staff, a denomination which covers a large number graduates yet to find a suitable career opportunity by the date of the survey – although longitudinal studies show that many succeed in doing so over a longer period of time.