Duncan George Slater

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Advertising, PR & Marketing
Job title: Business Development Director
Subject of study: Sociology
Year of graduation: 1988
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


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

I went from Exeter straight into a career in advertising and have been there ever since, working for a variety of national and international companies on a wide variety of accounts including Nike, MTV, PlayStation, Virgin, Disney and many more. I am currently at McCann Central, Europe’s largest integrated agency and a company who has enjoyed 20% growth for the last 5 years (which is just as well because I’m in charge of growth!). McCann Central is part of McCann Worldwide, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.

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

I have always been interested in advertising and the the idea of brands, branding and persuasive rhetoric. To be honest I love my job – the pace is frenetic, there’s never a dull moment and every day is completely different. So much of what we do reflects current trends in society (two current projects are on veganism and gender equality) so I feel a sense of involvement in what’s going on in the world.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

For me, Exeter has the perfect combination of location, atmosphere and resources – all you need to excel in your subject in one of the most beautiful settings. Of course, the friends I made and the fun I had contributed a great deal to that too!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I was originally born in Exeter and had returned many times as a child (despite having moved away when I was very young) so I always felt a sense of connection with the city. Exeter is a beautiful city in a beautiful context but it was the academic reputation of the University that mostly attracted me. That combination made it a ‘no brainer’ of a choice.

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

My degree in Sociology involved a lot of study relevant to a career in advertising (data analysis, mass media, art & literature) so I was drawn to the industry as a career option before I even graduated.

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

Find creative and effective ways to communicate in your time at university – from a radio station to a podcast to a blog to social media to politics. Get immersed in how communication works and how it works best.

What are your plans for the future?

I intend to carry on having fun in my career until they carry me out feet first!


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