How veterinary epidemiology led into a career in marketing

This summer I joined Think Postgrad, after 17 years of working across diverse universities: Specialised, recruiting and Russell Group. Over the pandemic, I considered exploring HE marketing from a different angle, but struggled with the thought of leaving universities where I have loved working. When I named that struggling thought ‘comfort zone’, it became clear that it was time to make the leap.

Back in 2011, when I worked as a marketing manager at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I had booked advertising with Karen at Think Postgrad. I appreciated the focus on quality and content within the campaigns. This year, when I became curious to learn more about the affiliate business, I reached out to find an opportunity. I then embarked on a new adventure after saying goodbye to fantastic colleagues at Imperial College London, after the team had grown, and life was going back to the old pre-pandemic normal for everyone.

At Think Postgrad, I’m a PGR (Postgraduate Research) Account and Marketing Manager. The role is a mix of marketing and building the PGR web presence, as well as supporting universities with promoting their research courses. Having worked in lots of PG promotion previously, I appreciate that taught courses – PGT – get the lion’s share of the budget. However, supporting faculties, academic departments and doctoral colleges with PGR is just as vital and exciting!

My first role in HE was at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 2005, as an administrator of two MSc courses, supporting inspiring academic staff. At the height of the H5N1 (bird flu) outbreak, professors were advising governments globally, then teaching students in real time the fields of veterinary epidemiology and disease control. Later, I saw a similar fast-turnaround when working at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the height of the Ebola outbreak, then at Imperial during the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems viruses and marketing are forever combined in my experience!

It was awe-inspiring to see how universities mobilised their research staff, and how teaching staff worked together to update their courses, to ensure students got hands-on, world-leading learning and training. Having witnessed world-changing education make a difference globally, is it any wonder I’m still as passionate about marketing Higher Education?

Working at the RVC back in 2005 launched my passion for promoting education. On top of course administration, I found opportunities to show prospective students around, produce newsletters and organise an alumni event. With all these activities, a few academic colleagues suggested I formally explore marketing. A veterinary epidemiologist invited me to sit in on her lecture on geographical mapping and the study of disease spread through space and time. Similar models were used by supermarkets to decide on marketing strategies, such as where they discount goods. This pivotal moment made me realise it was time to hit the books again!

My line manager graciously sponsored me to study the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing. So, 6 years after finishing my degree, I was back to balancing working and studying. In the ever-changing field of marketing, every day is still a school day!

As someone who likes variety and new experiences, I’m energised by this new role. I still love working with universities, so I see this chapter in my professional life as a natural evolution.

Start your campaign today

Contact Us