Senior Communications Officer, Leeds Trinity University
I knew I'd made the right decision on a campus visit when I saw the very green campus, the community spirit, the friendly ambassadors and how personable and supportive the staff were.
Why I chose Leeds Trinity as a place of study and my student experience
Being a local lad, loving the city of Leeds and having Leeds Trinity on my doorstep meant I could study while still living at home. I was aware of Leeds Trinity's outstanding reputation and the fact I could take advantage of placements during the course made it a no-brainer.
How my time at Leeds Trinity changed me as a person
Coming to university really set me up for my career. Initially, my feeling was of gratitude just to actually be studying a degree, but over time I built up a really strong work ethic. I ended up with a first but I really had to work hard for this. When I had a chance to reflect on the quality of my work during my three years as a student I couldn't believe the difference in what I was able to produce as a final year student. I put this down to the University lecturers and the support they gave me. As a student I was really able to work closely with the lecturers as opposed to just disappearing after a lecture and getting stuck into an assignment.
My internship was in IT and this was an amazing opportunity for me to make my own mark on how we engaged and communicated with students digitally. Although it was only a small period of time, I was able to improve the social media presence, stimulate new engagement as well as launch campaigns centred on student awareness of the IT support and opportunities available to them.
Being able to look at communications and campaigns from three different angles
This has been one of most interesting and beneficial ways in which I have been able to approach what I do now. Reflecting on my student days, I don't think you always realise what is really going on behind the scenes and how much people do to support you. As a student, I really only got the information I required when I needed it. I didn't engage as much as I could, I just did what I had to do to get through. I now think about this when I'm running a campaign – what can I do to get through to the old Joe Burrows and stimulate engagement with him.
My role is all about communicating with students and making sure they have the best information available and the most efficient ways of receiving it. I have introduced 17 new digital signage screens across campus, led on NSS campaigns, produced intro week brochures and led on the Love LTU campaign. I also look after the main Leeds Trinity social media accounts - for which we have circa 30,000 followers.
The most important thing I do is engage directly with students and make sure they are aware of what's available to them. As a University we always want to give them the best experience possible so it is very important that we not only hear but put measures into place about how we can improve the student experience.
Career highlights so far
The highlight for me is doing a job I love every day and working within a great team. We all get the chance to do different jobs to contribute to the success of the Marketing Department and I'm constantly presented with opportunities to develop new skills as well as leading on campaigns.
I love the whole community ethos on campus and I regularly bump into my old lecturers, other teams I work closely with and our amazing student ambassadors who support with so many of our campaigns.
If I had to pick one personal highlight, however, it would have to be receiving a bronze HEIST Award for our 2017 NSS Campaign in the Internal Communications Campaign category. I'm particularly proud of this achievement with it being done on a small budget.
How I'd describe yourself in three words
Hard-working, personable and determined.