Southampton University: Lock up your digital graduates

Months in the making and had the feeling of a Hollywood epic… it was just that.


I’d approached Lisa Harris; Head of the Digital Marketing course at Southampton University a few months ago to see if there was anyway of helping their digital marketing students get into the market. It turns out that Lisa is also a key member of the Southampton career group and was aware of the difficulties graduates find when trying to get work after they complete their course. Universities are always a little apprehensive about recruiters as they’re not too keen on their students having a price tag on their heads, so it took a little convincing however Lisa really bought in to what we were doing and agreed to have a chat.

The conversation went well, Lisa really appreciated the Not-For-Profit stance and the philosophy behind it; which was great. I ran through the market, where the roles sat out there, and how Southampton was really on the map for producing great Digital Marketing graduates. I was however shocked to hear that their graduates were really struggling to find roles in a market that’s so job rich.

The conversations carried on over email and Lisa invited us to come down and present to their first year student about the market, how they can best prepare themselves and how we can help.  The main problem is that it’s a specialist market and the breadth of the Southampton digital marketing course means students get a great holistic understanding of digital marketing and how to apply it; but less of the specialist skills and strategies needed for each discipline (there’s simply not enough time!).
We arrived to a room of around 50 graduates all keen and eager to hear about how we could make their job hunt a lot easier and hopefully fill in some of the gaps.

Neil started off by covering the success stories of some previous Southampton graduates that are plugged into the market, then moved onto talk about a Specialist v Generalist market before breaking down a few of the key areas in performance digital marketing, namely SEO & Content Marketing thanks to Neil’s Restaurant, PPC via Dorothy and her Yellow Brick marketing funnel and Programmatic Buying by way of a bee hive.  He then ran through Agency v Client Side roles before Niklas stepped in to discuss how to best gear themselves up to find a role.

He ran through finding roles using social channels, the rights & wrongs of social media and using their LinkedIn effectively. This was all topped off by a Q&A where we got to answer specific questions one to one with the students.

Southampton is known for having one of the best digital marketing degrees out there and the students portrayed this with a greater than expected understanding of the market, we’re really looking forward to working with them over the next few years to cement themselves as digital marketers.

Up next is Kingston, however if you’d like to discuss how we can help your digital marketing graduates please feel free to get in touch at hello@neils