Kirby Small, "the opportunities here are also endless."
After completing her A-levels at Harrogate Grammar School, then spending a year working followed by four months travelling around Bali, Australia, Fiji and Los Angeles, Yorkshire-born Kirby Small knew that London was where she wanted to be to undertake her degree.
“London is a very attractive city for students, with so many opportunities, lots of culture and the general hustle and bustle is extremely motivating!” she says. “I researched a lot of Marketing and Digital Marketing courses at different universities around London, but was drawn in by the Marketing degree and the School of Business at LSBU; it has a very good reputation! The high employability rate for graduates and other key advantages such as the Clarence Centre hub for entrepreneurial activity and the encouragement of industrial placements were also factors in my decision.”
A broad degree to widen future prospects
Kirby became very interested in digital marketing way before applying for university, and looked into apprenticeships but she felt that an overall Marketing degree was the most suitable to widen her future prospects and gain a broad knowledge on the industry as a whole. She feels she made the right choice and that a university such as LSBU is the perfect place to do it.
“I believe the best thing about studying at London South Bank University is the variety of resources, the library and virtual learning, which means I can learn as much as I wish to. The opportunities here are also endless. As an example, I am really proud to be a student member of the Institute of Directors, which I’ve been able to join through LSBU. I’ve also had the chance to work with key stakeholders throughout my studies such as staff at the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Metropolitan Police and other new local businesses.
During my first year at LSBU I was a course representative, which involved being responsible for representing my cohort, addressing any issues students were facing and liaising with my course director and other members of the course board. This provided me with valuable experience in formal meetings, liaising with key stakeholders and overseeing changes to make the other students’ time at LSBU more effective.”
Gaining real-world experience
Kirby is currently on an industrial placement year, working for The Body Shop in the marketing department for Fragrance.
“I started at the end of June and in the last few months have gained a lot of knowledge and experience in the industry. My job role is very diverse and fast paced; I support all creative and development of new products within my team, with frequent analysis on existing products both in terms of financial analysis and qualitative measures such as digital and paper coverage. I applied for this placement directly with The Body Shop in March and went through the interview process in April, which involved a telephone interview, online tests involving numeracy and verbal reasoning and finally an assessment day."
"During year two the Employability Perspectives module gave me lots of opportunities to practise my interview techniques and go over my CV. This was one of the most helpful modules when it came down to receiving a placement offer. I am now looking forward to completing my industrial placement at The Body Shop, taking every opportunity and gaining key knowledge which will further help me in my final year and my future prospects as a graduate.”
Before that though, Kirby is looking forward to going back to LSBU to finish her final year and believes that the knowledge she will have gained through the industrial placement, alongside the support from lecturers and tutors, will help her to secure the first-class honours degree she is aiming for!