Claire Pearce studied BA Media and Communications 2009-2012, she was a Student Representative for Media Communications and for the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries; Vice President of the Equestrian Society (2010/11) then President (2011/12). Read below to see how she developed her Skills For Life that she has taken into her career.
What do you currently and do and what has been your career path to date?
I have recently started a new role as the digital marketing executive for a company that builds and maintains luxury retirement villages. My speciality is content marketing, so I have joined the company to look after their email communications and provide copywriting support. I also run my lifestyle blog in my free time (www.claireysweetie.com).
I started at Bath Spa University when I was 22 years-old so I didn’t arrive fresh from sixth form. I had spent the previous three years working in the NHS, first as a ward clerk before pursuing dental nursing. However, since A-Levels I had begun developing a real interest in public relations and marketing and although I enjoyed working in the NHS, I couldn’t ignore this want to explore communications properly and that’s how I found myself at Bath Spa University.
During my time at university, in addition to my involvement with the students’ union, I also utilised the holidays to pursue work experience with local marketing and PR companies.
When I graduated from Bath Spa University in 2012, it wasn’t until the following January that I finally got my break in marketing. From then until now I have worked as a marketing coordinator, communications assistant, content marketing executive, marketing and communications executive, and email marketing executive until landing my current role. In this industry, it’s quite hard to find marketing teams where you can progress, so to build your experience you need to keep moving.
Why did you choose to get involved with the Students' Union?
I have always loved to get involved in things and to use my voice to influence change. I think it was inevitable that I was going to soon find myself as class and school rep, but my involvement in the equestrian society happened following a social and I was encouraged by the then committee to run for vice-president at the next elections… which I did.
What 'Skills for Life' do you feel the Students' Union helped you gain?
I’ll be honest that the two years I was involved with the students’ union it wasn’t all plain sailing. I thoroughly enjoyed being a student representative, but running the equestrian society presented some challenges which on reflection really helped shape me going forward, but at the time it was quite stressful.
I learned leadership, people management and furthered my skills in organisation, but I also learnt that I sometimes try to control situations too much whereas having a more relaxed approach might have helped me, and my team, handle a difficult situation better, and this is true even now.
How did your experiences with the Students' union help your career?
2010/11 University Volunteering and Society Awards Evening:
1. Won the award for Rep of the Year (overall),
2. Won the award for School Rep of the Year for Humanities and Cultural Industries,
3. Highly Commended for Most Innovative Rep.
4. Equestrian Society won society of the year
2011/12 University Volunteering and Society Awards Evening:
1. Won Member of the Year (Equestrian Society)
2. Won the Highly Commended award for Society of the Year (Equestrian Society).
Being involved with the Student’s Union already looked brilliant on my CV (and still does), but showing I was also recognised for my involvement by the university helped hugely in the first two-three years as I worked up the career ladder and built up my experience. My time with the Students’ Union helped me stand out that little bit more in interviews and gave me something positive to talk about, including being able to give examples about a time I faced challenge, to my prospect and future employers.
What would you say to anyone who wants to develop themselves with the Students' Union?
Do it! There is so much more to university than studying and partying, this is your time to grow and explore lots of opportunities to develop yourself, which is a lot harder to do once you’re out in the working world. I have always been a huge advocate for students to get involved at their university, even if it’s just being a member of a club or society. Utilise holidays for getting work experience and use your voice to help impact change by being an active member of the student body. Being a part of the Students’ Union was for me, an incredibly rewarding experience.