Barbara Zarzycka

Marketing BSc (Hons)

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  • Year of graduation: 2022
  • Current job title: Marketing Executive
  • Industry sector: Publishing
  • Social: LinkedIn | Instagram

Your University Experience

Why did you decide to study at the University of Northampton?

Because I live in Northampton, and the campus was brand new and shiny! They also offered free laptops for everyone, showing how the University cares about its students. Everyone is equal.

Does your course offer a placement?

Yes, I worked full-time as a Marketing Assistant in Cummins Inc. for over a year, but I worked from home the whole time, as it was in the middle of the covid pandemic. Some of my duties are listed below:

  • design and content development of intranet pages for Cummins’ European distribution sector and the Global Transportation team
  • support with Polish translations across different marketing channels, including a marketing brochure and company website
  • liaison with colleagues across Europe to obtain contributions for quarterly internal business updates
  • creation of an external facing PowerPoint presentation on Cummins Europe to help attract new customers
  • proofing and despatch of the Cummins Magazine to customers across Europe
  • co-ordination and branded signage despatch and merchandise to Cummins dealers across Europe using the DHL+ account (learning new shipment processes post-Brexit, invoicing and shipment creation). Creating detailed dealer address/contact sheets was key to ensuring smooth distribution.
  • creation of news stories on a WordPress site for a monthly customer newsletter
  • event support for Cummins attendance at the Genoa Boat Show in Italy
  • updating the Cummins letterhead templates for all European countries
  • part of an internal project team working on a critical business initiative to measure business performance. This involved analytical monitoring of communications and intranet pages, close co-operation with a design agency to create specific visuals every month, preparing PowerPoint presentations, and creating and updating an intranet page.
  • support internal Town Hall webinars by briefing artwork changes to agencies and checking and editing recording transcripts.
Please describe how your placement benefitted you?

I got a fantastic job straight after graduation. The things I did and learned during my placement were widely discussed during the interviews.

What employability skills did you develop during your placement?

Communication, teamwork, interpersonal skills, self-management, organisation, computer skills, collaboration with stakeholders, problem-solving, public speaking.

How do you think the placement helped you with gaining employment after graduating?

It helped me to find a new job and I can use my theoretical and practical skills to prove my experience.

Do you have any tips on applying for, or getting the most benefit from your placement?

Yes – I even wrote articles about it:

What advice would you give a student about to begin a placement?

Ask a lot of questions! Use this time the most – it’s only 12 months. And believe me, it goes fast!

What extra-curricular activities did you participate in whilst studying?

There were many:

  • Dance Society
  • Volleyball Society
  • Tennis Society
  • Student Ambassador
  • Student Representative
  • Welcome Team member for UK/Home students
  • Welcome Team member for international students
  • Translator and multiple different jobs via Unitemps agency.
  • Pet-sitting via Rover

I also worked 30 hours a week as a waitress.

How do you think these extra-curricular activities enhanced your career prospects?

They helped me a lot! My new employer was impressed with the number of activities I did while studying.

Your Career

What are your career goals/aspirations?

I recently got a job in publishing (Science/Higher Education) as a Marketing Executive. I hope to develop my skills there and see where it takes me.

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

Going to the University of Northampton was the best decision I ever made. I learned a lot on a professional and personal level. I had the chance to work full-time for a year in marketing, as a Marketing Assistant – I learned a lot from the people I worked with as well as making some great connections. My placement year opened many doors for me, and finding a fantastic new job took only a couple of weeks!

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree do you feel will be most useful in your future career?

Everything that I experienced during my university journey affects me today. Teamwork is a big one and I gained confidence during workshops when we were asked to express our opinions, thoughts and arguments. I think that anything else can be learned, but how I developed on a personal level and the soft skills I nourished are what I value the most in terms of the things I gained at the University.

Your Advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

Marketing is so dynamic and every day is different. You will meet amazing people on your journey and you won’t regret that you applied! It changed my life. And please remember, “The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.” Keep pushing, keep learning and make those dreams come true!

In ten words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

I went out of my comfort zone and learned how to enjoy it!

* This course has now changed names to Marketing BSc (Hons).