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Claire's story

“The best thing about my degree was the year-long industry placement, which gave me hands-on experience of applying theory and also helped to build my professional network.”

Some BU graduates prefer to head out into the world of business by themselves, exploring new business ventures and concepts, much like BSc (Hons) Marketing graduate, Claire Timbrell.

In setting up an escape room, Claire knew she could rely on her existing marketing skills to bring an emerging new trend to the UK, that of the escape room experience: “The concept of escape rooms is still new and people are sceptical," she said.

"Marketing is about challenging people’s perceptions and raising awareness. My degree helped me to understand that and use it practically to shape our business.

“No two days are the same. One day we can have 90 people through for a corporate team building event, and the next we can have a group of five teenagers celebrating their birthday with dad."

Explaining how marketing is crucial to the process of business, Claire said: “Marketing underpins everything we do, from the creation of the The MacGuffin Project experience through to the analysis of the business and future planning, hence why we are through to the semi-finals for the Venus Marketing and PR Award.

After spending several years moving around the country, across London, Bristol and Cardiff, Claire set-up shop in Bournemouth: “My partner took on a contract in Bournemouth several years ago and we both knew that we would live here eventually; we never thought it would be so soon.

“When we had the idea for The MacGuffin Project, Bournemouth was the obvious choice. Our target markets are all here (students, corporates, tourists and families), it’s a hub of digital and creative folk, ideal for such an innovative business, and there’s a beautiful beach to enjoy!”

In offering advice to those wishing to follow in her footsteps, Claire said: “Setting up a business isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s life-changing hard work and incredibly scary at times, but can also be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.

“Whatever your vision or aspiration - be brave, try everything and fail fast.  If you’re not prepared to fail and learn, you will never come up with anything new. Finally, surround yourself with the right people - No man (or woman) is an island.”

A placement year often gives graduates the opportunities to apply some of their own learning in real-world scenarios; in Claire’s case, the year was responsible for helping to found business connections and testing things she learned in the lecture theatre: “The best thing about my degree was the year-long industry placement, which gave me hands-on experience of applying theory and also helped to build my professional network!”

As an entrepreneur, Claire can also often be found taking care of a diverse range of business activities: “Outside of the venue, we can be crunching numbers to share with our investors and the next day we are in the London studio testing a talking wardrobe…! It’s a crazy world we have created but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Find out more about studying Marketing at BU