Undergraduate to postgraduate journey at RGU: Cameron’s story

BA (Hons) Media alumnus Cameron Taylor returned to RGU this year to obtain a master’s degree in Digital Marketing. After some challenging months trying to find his dream job, he reflects on his short break from education and shares why he decided to embark on a postgraduate journey at RGU.

First, some context!

In April last year, I graduated from RGU with an undergraduate degree in Media. The plan was to move back down to Edinburgh and live with my parents all the while beginning the long, arduous task of finding a job. Despite having obtained a degree in Media, I wanted to start a career in Digital Marketing!

I had been toying with the idea of doing a master’s for the previous few years to gain relevant experience within the field, but I wasn’t 100% sure what path I wanted to go down. One of the first things I had learned about going into postgraduate study is not to use it to postpone finding a job, or just to get an extra year partying away at university. A master’s is, essentially, the beginning of your professional journey. Doing it in something you know you care about is key.

For all those reasons, I opted not to do a master’s immediately after graduating. Instead, I was wishing to gain some professional experience in the digital industry.

The Odyssey of applying for jobs

After a good few months, several dozen applications, a much-needed haircut, and many motivational talks from my parents, all I had to show for my efforts were unsuccessful offers. By this point, I had found a part-time job as a bartender but all the while I was sending off applications for the next big thing. Several months down the line, I had obtained many online certifications that are recommended to boost your employability. In spite of that, I was still only getting to the first stage of interviews at best.

However, by September, I had finally acquired an internship at a small social media marketing agency called Supersize Media. I was learning about so many tools and systems that professionals use on a regular basis and I felt as though I was finally getting somewhere! When I would apply for jobs with this on my CV and LinkedIn, I’d get interviews almost straight away. Alas though, my applications would still turn out unsuccessful.

With the benefit of hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised getting a job in the digital space with little experience would’ve been difficult. More people than ever are graduating from university, and digital is a rapidly growing sector that everyone wants in on. That combined with the lingering effects of the pandemic made it difficult to compete with other candidates.

Why I started a master’s degree at RGU

It was at this point that I finally decided to apply for a master’s in Digital Marketing at RGU. From what my friends tell me about other people they know who obtained a master’s degree, a postgraduate qualification can help you stand out in a busy crowd.

I came to RGU because the Digital Marketing course here has a very good reputation. Given the very practical nature of it as well, I hope it will give me all the relevant experience I need to progress my career. On a slightly more personal note, I also obtained my undergraduate degree at RGU. Given the last couple of years we’ve had with the pandemic and being forced to stay home, I came here to get some closure on my time in education.

So far, I’m very satisfied with the course and have a much stronger sense of what is required from me in the digital field!

In my course, I’m also learning about practical ways I can boost my CV and make myself appealing to employers. I’ve completed courses in Google Analytics and I am planning to volunteer and start a podcast with the aim of gaining more experience.

A master’s degree alone is still not the silver bullet to obtain your dream job. However, I’m far more optimistic and hopeful about my prospect now than did nine months ago. I feel more confident than I have in a long time and actually have a plan for the future.

Some words of advice

To all recent graduates or 4th-year students who are applying for jobs but don’t feel as though they’re getting anywhere, please don’t worry!

Everyone’s career path is different. Where some graduates are getting promotions to junior management roles, others are starting with an entry-level position. I have also recently accepted an offer for a Front of House role at a pub where some of my co-workers with undergraduate degrees are taking some time to figure out what they want to do next. In my course, there are mature students who have spent years in one line of work and want to re-educate! There are many possibilities for you out there.

Cameron Taylor

If you need support to find out what to do after graduation, RGU’s Career Consultants can help you. They offer a wide range of services from exploring career options, sourcing vacancies, helping you prepare your CV, and giving you advice on postgraduate studies. Taking part in voluntary work, placements, study abroad and internships during your time at RGU is a great way to gain experience whilst you study. Read more on the RGU Student Blog:

Placement to permanent job – Ecaterina’s story

Marketing Placement at Aberdeen Football Club

International Tourism Management Placement in the USA

My Erasmus experience in Brussels

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