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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Ashley Stout MSc Digital Marketing,  2016

PR and Media Relations Advisor, Southampton Solent University

Ashley Stout's Photo

The programme offered a more forward-thinking view of the marketing profession that I felt would be invaluable when it came time to start my career.

I decided on Southampton because it is one of the top universities in the UK and one of the few that offered a digital marketing programme. I had actually previously accepted a place at another university for a programme in traditional marketing, but after researching Southampton and the Digital Marketing MSc I couldn’t pass it up. The programme offered a more forward-thinking view of the marketing profession that I felt would be invaluable when it came time to start my career.

The absolute highlights of my time at Southampton would be my mentors and my coursemates. My programme leader always went above and beyond to provide guidance when needed and was constantly getting me involved in ways to better the university as part of the Digital Champions club. Additionally, my coursemates have made my time here unforgettable; the majority of my cohort consisted of international students and I was lucky enough to hear about their views and experiences, most of which were very different from my own.

The main opportunity I pursued this year was with the Digital Champions as an extra-curricular activity. This has helped both my personal and professional development because I was able to meet new people and work directly with numerous marketing departments across this university. As I hoped to pursue marketing as a career, this engagement was invaluable, both in practice and on my CV, and was one of the main reasons I secured my first full time role after the programme ended.

Working with the Digital Champions definitely helped me hone skills that I will use after leaving university. Liaising with the university’s marketing departments has provided insight into what it means to actually work in the field. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to put the skills learned through the MSc programme into practise. One of the jobs required me to provide an event coverage analytics report, which I had never done. Looking back, this hands-on experience was the absolute best way for me to learn how to produce such a report, and has given me confidence for when I will need to complete a similar task in my career.

The thing I enjoyed most about the MSc Digital Marketing course was the fact that we had so many group projects. Although they can be a bit nerve-racking, it boosted the feeling of comradery amongst my coursemates and it was always fun to see what the rest of the class had created in their marketing campaigns.

I have attended a few of the Southampton career fairs held on campus and found them to be very useful to build connections with potential employers. On multiple occasions I had found interesting roles online and was able to meet recruiters from those businesses at the career fairs and speak with them in-person. I feel this gave me an advantage during the application process because I was able to re-connect with the recruiters after the event and they were able to put a face and personality to my digital application.

I would consider Southampton a very “supportive” place to study. Although the courses can be difficult, the lecturers and staff are very accessible and willing to help. Additionally, the campus offers endless materials and side-courses aimed to help you succeed. For example, there were English language courses for international students, as well as software courses to help us through the dissertation process. There are also ample spaces on campus to meet for group projects and the staff in the library is extremely helpful.

I would tell students starting their degree at Southampton to get involved as much as possible. Being a part of a club or sport really helps the campus feel more like home and will help you make memories outside your academic studies that you’ll remember for a lifetime. 

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