Bethan Neil

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Advertising, PR & Marketing
Job title: Senior Marketing Executive
Subject of study: Film Studies and German
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA)

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since leaving Exeter, I have now moved to London after pivoting from my initial career goal and have now moved into marketing. My first job straight out of uni was a junior Marketing and Brand Coordinator position, which was a very varied role, and saw me working on social media, employer branding, event production, and even HR and operations. I have moved on from this role and now, I work more in a strategic capacity. This means I support and manage initiatives and work on finding the best ways to get our initiatives out there.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I wasn’t really looking to pursue marketing initially. As I wanted to continue to use the language that I had studied for my degree, I originally wanted to go into translation as a career. When I was looking for internship or work experience opportunities, I came across marketing by chance. After doing a bit of research, I decided I would try and get an internship to see what it was like, and I loved it! Marketing is such a vast industry to work in and there are lots of ways to get involved, for example, there is the more creative side (graphic design/social media management) the more analytical side (data management/SEO), and everything in between. I enjoy working in marketing so much because of the range of ways you can use your skills and the variety of opportunities within this industry. It’s an incredibly fast-moving industry, so I’m constantly learning, and it keeps me on my toes.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

2020/21: Subject Chair of the Modern Languages & Cultures (MLC) department of the Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC); Graphic Designer of TravelExe Society; General Secretary of Exeter BIPOC Society

2019/20: Exeter Leaders Award

2018/19: Deputy Chair, German Subject Lead Representative and Chief Newsletter Editor of the MLC department of the SSLC

2017/18: Filipino Society; Exeter Award; Grand Challenges Exeter (Topic: Gender Inequality in Hollywood)

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

My choice of degree allowed me to study what I was interested in and ensured that I left with the skills needed to do a good job in my career. There are lots of ways to get involved in societies or groups to make friends or get experience to go on your CV. An example of this, and it’s also probably my biggest highlight, was being on the SSLC. I got to work with senior members of the Modern Languages department and make a difference for my fellow peers. It was a really rewarding role and the skills I gained in that position have continued to help me in my career now.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I really loved studying at Exeter because the quality of teaching is so high, and you can really tell that the lecturers are passionate about what they’re teaching. My lecturers were always available and very helpful, so if I wanted to discuss any feedback or ways I could improve my performance, they were always prepared to help me.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

My choice of degree is not available at very many universities, and Exeter’s flexibility with joint honours degrees ensured I was able to study the two subjects I really cared about. This meant my performance was better because I was invested in the work I was doing, but also gave me a well-rounded experience.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I would most definitely say the two skills that I improve the most while at university were critical thinking and being able to explain and back up my ideas/arguments. As my degree was very essay-heavy, by the time I graduated I felt very confident in these two skills. They have been the most useful in my career because being able to think critically means you’re able to think strategically which is essential for growth. Then, being able to communicate these ideas concisely but convincingly is incredibly important.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in marketing or even pivoting into marketing, I would suggest trying to get as much experience as you can in this industry. A way that I did that uni was through extracurricular activities, such as being a Publicity officer or Graphic designer on a committee. I would also take advantage of the fact that many internships require you to be a university student and get as much exposure to the ‘real world’ as possible. Keep a look out on job hosting platforms, such as LinkedIn, to know when these opportunities are open. Attend networking events, reach out to people already working in marketing and ask them about their experience or career journeys – basically, get yourself out there!

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to continue growing as an expert in marketing and to niche down to become a thought leader in a specific area. I am also still involved with the university by being a member of the Alumnae Group, which has been great so far, so I hope to become a more active member of the committee.


Similar Alumni

Koray Kerr

50 Sport. I did my masters at Loughborough University London doing the Sport Business and Innovation course, while also partaking in work experience at Engage Digital Partners. I then took my first professional role at a sports tech company called Fantastec working as a Commercial Account Manager, before moving to my current role as a Research and Analytics Manager at 50 Sport.

Miklos Laszlo

Diverzum. During my Final Year, living back at home due to Covid, I launched my own startup with my co-founder. It is a Gen Z platform which helps brands capture and keep young customers using innovative discounting strategies.