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Maddie Saunders

I’m proud that I can look back at the university and see that it’s growing and it hasn’t stopped developing.”

My job is mainly to look at really new and exciting ways we can tell the stories that naturally come out of the business to the people who want to hear them. So I’ll do a lot of campaign planning, a lot of research and market research into latest trends. I head up social media as well, so I’m often looking at the latest conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re always reviewing our processes to make sure that we’re managing the production activities and see that it’s going smoothly. If we need to, we can tweak it at any point.

Then, managing those review sessions after a campaign is finished to see what we’ve learned and what we’ve succeeded in, as well as continually  keeping the senior manager and the leadership team up to date with our wins and our learns.

At BU there were a lot more skills that I learned as well as the subject I was studying. That’s the thing that I really enjoyed about my course, and I think this is quite typical of Bournemouth University courses - it doesn’t just centre around the traditional subjects but brings in other areas that are relevant to really round off that knowledge. With English, I had my traditional literature-focused modules but then I also had modules around news journalism, the media, blogging, digital narrative and communications. That really helped to give quite a broad view and helped inspire me in terms of the options that I had when I left university as well.

I think BU really reaches out into the community a lot. I remember seeing a lot about BU and a society that had done a food drive to help the homeless people of Bournemouth. And there was a lot of involvement with other local businesses as well. It’s great that the university already has those touch points because you have access to that real life experience while you’re still at uni.

My placement was a really valuable part of the course. If you come out of university and all you’ve had is the academic elements in your course but you haven’t had any of experience of how those skills and knowledge transfers into a career, then it can be quite difficult.

Having that placement as part of your course - and having the support from BU to guide you in terms of what you need to get out of that placement and the skills that you can bring to it - is really helpful. It’s great for building confidence for when you do actually go out there to apply for your first job.

I think what I remember the most about my time at BU is probably the Summer Ball, I think those are probably the memories that will stand out most for me - very, very happy memories.

But it’s also about the little victories along the way as well.  A lot of the remits, especially for coursework, were quite open and allowed you to be quite flexible and quite creative. Being able to infuse those projects with a little bit of your own creativity without being funnelled down one specific route and to then have that success and be praised for that work is really affirming. That makes it a really positive experience, to be working hard and to be getting those grades.

But the Summer Ball was definitely a really amazing experience, one that I’m not sure that you get at a lot of other universities. But there were also the other opportunities you got with being on a course at Bournemouth University. For example, the lecturers were really keen to open up side projects for students to be able to round off their knowledge and round off their skills.

One side project I was involved in was exploring the medium of video games as an alternative narrative, focusing on one video game in particular. Part of that project involved blogging on a regular basis about your experiences playing this video game. To have been able to apply some of the skills that I learned on the course to something else that I was passionate about and to have that encouraged by my lecturers was really exciting as well.

I think what makes me BU proud is the fact that I can look back on the university and see that it’s grown even more and that it hasn’t stopped developing. It hasn’t stopped pushing out all these really exciting projects for its students. I had so many opportunities that have become stories for me to tell and have been something that I can get excited about. Stories that have been great to share with other people as an example of the environment where I learnt a lot of my skills.