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Alumni stories

Staff profile
Mark Dolby

Mark Dolby

Photographer, Mark Dolby Photography

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Biography

​What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best memories from your time here?

I was keen to get new experiences by moving away from home (in Derbyshire) for University and looked at a number of different places. I thought Leeds would be a fantastic city to study in and I really loved the atmosphere on campus at Leeds Trinity. Home was a couple of hours away on the train which felt close enough to dash home for a weekend with the family but far enough that I could be independent.

While at Leeds Trinity I was an active member of the Students' Union serving as Press and Publicity Officer in my second and third years and as President following my graduation.

How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?

I was keen to work in broadcasting when I arrived in Leeds having had some experience as a college student. However, when I graduated I went in to the business environment, doing sales and project management, and the management side of my degree was essential to understanding my clients and creating marketing proposals for them. I always wanted to return to a more creative role and now as a photographer I feel like I have a business that allows me to do that. Nevertheless, I'm in no doubt that it is a business built on the foundation of my management studies and early career. The accounting and finance topics taught by John Earley are one example of modules which I draw on almost daily!

Where do you do your placement? How did you benefit?

I undertook placements in the Newsroom's of ITV Regional News, BBC Local Radio and at my Godfather's packaging machinery business. I was able to use some existing connections to secure these and I'd definitely recommend trying to build a network and get some experience before arriving at University. Having a few high profile names on my CV heading in to the job market and being able to use some examples from the placements at interview were really beneficial.

What three words would you use to describe Leeds Trinity?

Community, friendship and fun

What is your current job and can you tell us a little about your career to date?

I'm the Founder and Photographer for Mark Dolby Photography.​

When I first studied photography at college I was shooting and developing my own black and white film but I didn't find it particularly interesting or accessible. Instead I channelled my creative ideas through film-making and writing and that's what led me to my choice of degree. After university I was keen to stay in Leeds and took a job with a web development agency working in account management and had the opportunity to work at and with some great companies like Disney, Sony Music and First Direct. Nevertheless, I often found myself more interested in the creative side of the office and returned to photography as my own creative outlet. By this time photography was digital and I enjoyed learning about blending creativity and technology. I soon realised that this could allow me to have my own business and started to build up my portfolio, equipment and client base.

What advice would you give current students and recent graduates embarking on a similar career path?

I think a lot of creative people forget the importance of the business side to running your own company or working for yourself. I felt like my management studies and the years spent writing proposals, pitching and project managing provided me with a great foundation for my own business. I made more mistakes than I care to remember but I had some great people around me to learn from and that made all the difference.