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Lois Bell

Career Path: Account Director, Bumbl
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

After graduating from Northumbria with a BA (hons) in Journalism, I got a job as a Marketing Assistant (as through placements on the course I realised I wanted to diversify into the marketing industry). This position was a good stepping stone for me as I knew it would provide me with great practical experience in the marketing industry. I stayed in this role for approximately six months before being offered a job as a Digital Marketing Executive at an agency.

I jumped at the chance as this was yet more great experience, but 'agency side' which I was keen to explore. Within the space of a year I had progressed to a Marketing Manager position at an established local company, which was great as it allowed me to take a step up into a managerial role within the industry. This was client side however, and while it provided me with a lot of valuable knowledge, I missed being at marketing agency. So when Greg, Bumbl's MD, told me about the Account Director position at Bumbl, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

What are you doing now?Lois Bell

I am now Account Director at Bumbl, a Newcastle based digital marketing agency. My role involves overseeing client accounts and ensuring the smooth-running of campaigns. Greg, Bumbl's MD, studied the same course as myself at Northumbria, so even before joining the team I was very impressed with the agency.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I am from Newcastle myself, and as the University has such a great reputation it was an easy choice for me. My older sister also studied at Northumbria and had a brilliant experience, so it just felt very natural for me to study there as well.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I can honestly say I loved my time at Northumbria. All of my lecturers were so helpful and supportive, yet you had the freedom to be creative and work independently on certain modules - which I really enjoyed. It was the perfect mix.

How connected was your course with industry?

I've always loved writing and being creative, so the journalism course was a great fit for me as it incorporated a fair amount of hard news and feature writing with some broadcast work as well. In second year we had to complete four weeks' at a placement, which could be carried out at one or multiple businesses. By this point I had already started to take an interest in the marketing, and as you could complete the placement module at businesses that were linked to the wider media industry, I decided to undertake two placements at marketing agencies.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placements I carried out provided me with such a great insight and experience and, even though I thoroughly loved studying my Journalism, the placement was invaluable as it solidified my decision to venture into marketing following graduation.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria has helped me endlessly in my career. It opened doors for me that would have otherwise been firmly shut if I didn't have my degree and acquired skillset. Plus, the opportunity to experience not one but two placements in the industry I wanted my career to be in really gave my CV an edge.

What was the best thing about your course?

The diversity of students I met, friends I made and the lecturers I was lucky enough to learn from.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I learned so much and gained so many transferable skills during my course, however, aside from writing my main takeaway would definitely be people interaction. Throughout my degree I had to go out and find original journalistic stories, as well as having to work with a wide range of different personalities; all of which helps me in my role of Account Director at Bumbl, as I have to manage different people and relate briefs to various stakeholders within the company.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Honestly, the whole experience. It shaped who I am today and opened up a lot of opportunities for me.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Just do it - you won't regret it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Unforgettable, challenging and fulfilling.

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