Joanna Berry

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Journalism, Media and Publishing
Job title: Senior Marketing Executive
Subject of study: Classical Studies with Italian
Year of graduation: 2016
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Cambridge University Press

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

After graduating, I taught English in Italy for a year before returning to the UK and getting a job as an Editorial Administrator for a scientific journal. I was interested in marketing and events so I took any opportunities that came up at my company and volunteered in the communications team of a local music festival. That experience helped me secure my first role at Cambridge University Press, as a Marketing Services Executive in the English Language Teaching division. From there, I moved sideways into Marketing Communications with a Co-ordinator position in the Higher Education team, and in the past year I have been promoted to Senior Marketing Executive in that team. I have also moved to working fully remotely.

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

I was drawn to marketing because I was looking for a career that would be varied and allow me to use a lot of different skills, both creative and analytical. I really enjoy the variety, from campaign planning to video editing and from building new email templates to analysing website data. I like working specifically for a not for profit, academic publisher because I feel like I am in tune with the company’s values. I also really enjoy mentoring other people on my team.

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

I was a member of Classics Society, Kung Fu Society and Pride Society.

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

It was great to be able to combine classical studies with studying Italian for all three years of the course – Exeter has a really great Foreign Language Centre and in the final year when they didn’t have enough high level Italian students they were able to include me in a first year Modern Languages department class which I really appreciated. I really liked being able to study Latin and study Roman and Greek texts in translation and just spend a lot of time thinking about literature and about a culture that is both so different from ours and influences a lot of modern culture.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I really liked how green Exeter is, and how many hills there were.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It was the only university where I could study Classical Studies alongside Italian for all three years, without requiring me to have pre-existing background in Italian.

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

Teaching abroad definitely helped me get my first job at Cambridge University Press, as the hiring manager was impressed that I already understood the ELT market. It was also an experience that made me both a lot more confident and a lot better at asking for help when I needed it!

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

When I first got into marketing I believed that it would be a skillset I could apply to any product, but my experiences with applying for jobs so far has been that you very quickly get pigeon-holed into a particular sector – so I can apply for positions in publishing and education and will usually get an interview, but it would be more difficult to get a marketing position at a construction company or a skateboarding shop. So if you are sure that marketing is what interests you, consider as well what kind of products you would be interested in selling.

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to start a marketing qualification next year. I am currently thinking about the path to management, as that appeals more to me than becoming a specialist in a specific area of marketing.


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