My journey from RGU to a graduate role in marketing

Dara Isles graduated from RGU in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Public Relations and is now putting the skills she learned on her course into use in her graduate role in marketing. Find out more about Dara’s journey and her role as a marketing intern at Fugro.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Dara Isles and I am originally from Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire. After leaving Portlethen Academy in 2015, I felt extremely unsure of what to do next having felt comfortable in a school environment for 6 years. However, upon seeing the BA (Hons) Public Relations (PR) course in the School of Creative and Cultural Business at RGU, it immediately appealed to me as it harnessed my creative skills alongside my interest in writing and people. After taking a gap year to work after leaving school, I decided to take the leap and apply to the PR course which I began studying in 2016.

How was your time at RGU?

I was given fantastic opportunities during my time studying at RGU and learned so many valuable skills that I use in my current job every day. Having had a keen interest in art, media and English at school, I soon found that my course (and future career) offered a perfect combination of these subjects. From 2016 – 2020, I learned about digital marketing, web design, events management and so much more. I particularly enjoyed how hands-on RGU was when it came to teaching these subjects, by allowing us to plan and execute our own exhibitions, produce websites and work with real-life clients.

Where are you now?

Since I graduated from RGU at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I felt apprehensive of which career path to go down. I decided to stick with my part-time retail job until a stable position arose which combined my creative interests. This led me to apply for a graduate role in marketing as a Marketing Intern with Fugro, the world’s leading Geo-data specialist who serve clients around the globe, predominantly in the energy, infrastructure and water industries, both offshore and onshore. The company’s purpose of creating a safe and liveable world appealed to me greatly, and the job description offered exactly what I was looking for from a graduate role.

What is a typical day like working in your role?

It’s fast-paced and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. There has been a lot to learn in a short space of time, including the services that Fugro provide and what each individual service line has to offer. So far in my role, my tasks have included:

  • Creating locally based social media content for the Aberdeen office, in particular the Positioning and Construction Support service line.
  • Running people-focused social media campaigns such as Fugro’s “#MeetTheTeam”.
  • Assisting with the planning and execution of corporate events.
  • Producing written content such as articles, case studies and news pieces.
  • Helping the HR/Talent Acquisition teams to create employer branding materials.
  • Travelling down to the Wallingford office to liaise with the communications team.

What has been the highlight in your new role so far?

I have been exposed to several fantastic opportunities during my short time working for Fugro. Firstly, my role as a marketing intern has allowed me to expand on my skills within social media management (which has always been a passion of mine) and I have thoroughly enjoyed creating and executing my own campaigns.  I have also loved participating in the planning of client events and meeting clients and colleagues from the wider Fugro – both of which have helped me learn more about the company and the energy industry in general.

For me, the main highlight has been the level of trust that the management team have given me when completing tasks. Since this is my first job after graduating from RGU, I was unsure of my abilities and how well I would fit in to a corporate environment. However, I quickly realised that Fugro are a company eager to help their employees develop at their own pace. Whilst I have received amazing support and guidance within Fugro, my managers also trust me to work independently in order for me to grow in my marketing career.

How did your course at RGU help you for your graduate role in marketing?

Several of the modules I studied have helped me in my current role. The theory-based work and practical exercises in modules such as Marketing, Strategic Digital Communications, Events Management and Public Relations have set me up brilliantly to confidently carry out tasks at Fugro. I would have really struggled in a role like this without them!

As well as specific modules, I also think my time completing a semester abroad helped my personal growth and development immensely. RGU offered fantastic study abroad options and I spent 6 months living in Madrid in 2019, which made me realise I can adapt quickly to unfamiliar environments and sharpened my communication skills. RGU were brilliant in supporting me throughout my time abroad, particularly when things got challenging and overwhelming. I learned so much from this experience both personally and academically – and it’s all thanks to RGU.

What advice would you give to students considering a career within marketing?

I would say to take advantage of every opportunity given to you and never be scared of the unknown. The thought of studying abroad by myself for 6 months or networking at an event with strangers would have really scared me before, but throwing yourself into those kind of situations enables you to learn and develop quickly.

I would also recommend a career in marketing to anybody who is imaginative and loves writing . It’s such a fun, creative and diverse career to have and no two days are ever the same!

Dara Isles

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