Robert Jones

Robert Jones

Robert Jones – musician, teacher, avid reader, writer, runner, humanist and ‘Ambitious Futures Graduate Trainee’.

I graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2011 completing my MMus with distinction, with the aim of becoming a professional musician. My time at the Conservatoire had prepared me well for this, and when I finished studying I was already working as a cello teacher and freelance musician. However, with a distinct lack of performing jobs to apply for and the realisation that for the most part I found teaching at best irritating (and at worst soul-destroying), I began to reconsider my career options. The prospect of working in a place where I had already spent the most interesting and enjoyable years of my life was highly appealing to me.

I am currently on the ‘Ambitious Futures Graduate Scheme’, which is a graduate programme with a view to getting into higher education management. The way that this scheme works is that it is run nationally with thirteen Universities in the UK currently participating. Each graduate works three placements over fifteen months, two of which will be within their ‘host’ University (the University at which they studied) with the third in a different (but geographically proximate) University. So I am currently within Birmingham City University’s Marketing and Communications department, which is where I will be working until June. The rationale behind three different placements is to gain maximum experience (not only for a future career but also to discover which areas you enjoy working in), while still being in each one long enough to get involved with real ownership of projects.

In the ten weeks I’ve spent so far in Marketing and Comms I have already gained a great deal of experience of the various facets within it. Primarily based within the Internal Communications team I have done interviews and written articles for Connect magazine, and conducted a comprehensive audit of internal electronic communications sent out by all the different faculties and service departments within the University, as well as regularly writing press releases and news stories, and helping with events for the Press Team. I have also been working with the Strategic Marketing team, regularly recording email campaign results for them, and with the Alumni team dealing with their graduate profiles database, as well as getting the opportunity to work at all the graduation ceremonies which was something very different, and almost felt like having a week off! I also recently helped to lead on part of a student focus group regarding communications around the move to Phase 2. Another project I have just started working on is writing profiles for the Values Case Studies. There is too much to list it all.

Having had the opportunity to work in many varying areas with different teams, and to manage my own projects from start to finish, I believe that the experience I have gained (and will continue to gain for the remainder of my time here) will stand me in good stead for my future career, whether in marketing or not. It has also opened my eyes to seriously considering a career within this area, which is something that I really thought about previously.

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