- Current role: Head of Marketing
- Year of graduation: 1998
- Degree course: Marketing with Business Decision Sciences
We asked Mark...
What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?
I am the Head of Marketing for Dignity Funerals and Funeral Plans and have been with the business since May 2013. I have always worked in marketing since leaving university, primarily within financial service companies. To begin with I spent a bit of time with a communications business and then I moved to Sky in 2011, where I was Marketing Controller for Customer Communications for 2 years before coming to Dignity.
How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?
I was good at maths and had originally chosen to do just Decision Sciences. But the great thing was that in the first year we got to choose a couple of optional subjects. It was here that I fell in love with marketing and changed my course at the end of year 1 to a joint honours degree. Without the choices on offer at the University my career would potentially look very different.
What made you decide to study at this University?
I didn’t get in to my first choice university and I was faced with the choice of re-sits or going through clearing. I chose the University of Hertfordshire on the basis of the course content, and at the time my campus was a small satellite location in Hertford that housed just the Business School. It was beautiful, intimate, and the most wonderful place to live and study.
What is your stand-out memory from your time at the University?
I have so many to choose from. I was a very active member of our student community and was elected as a Student Union Exec, Social Secretary for the campus in my second year. That’s a key memory that created so many others. And scoring the golden goal in extra time of the final of inter-course football competition at the end of year summer party was pretty special.
Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?
Yes. Facebook and LinkedIn make keeping in touch a lot easier than it used to be and I have a group that I set up on Facebook for students from 94-98. So, I actually have contact with most of my friends from then. And we still see each other occasionally.
What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?
I don’t know how I would advise myself to not do anything differently but that’s what I would want the outcome to be. Just follow what feels right at the time, if that means changing and taking a different direction then do that. You’ll find the path that is right for you.
Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?
Marketing is a very different world to enter than when I first started out. You have to be on top of your digital game no matter what discipline you may want to specialise in. Set up your own website, be it a blog or information site (you can use templates) as doing that will give you so much insight that you’ll find useful in whatever role you go into.
What are your future career plans/ambitions?
I am still learning and developing all the time. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and so follow some formal learning for that to keep my chartered status but I also develop myself. I am very happy being Head of Marketing here at Dignity and my career and ambitions right now are only focused on growing with this business and ultimately taking myself and Dignity to new heights.