The MSc Digital Marketing course has been fortunate to have support from various digital agencies and guest speakers throughout the year, including one stand out partner, global digital agency DigitasLBi. During the first semester the agency provided guest talks and a mentorship programme, which was hugely beneficial to all students involved.
The partnership started with a guest lecture lead by DigitasLBi’s Lead Insights Analyst, Blair Walker, and Senior Digital Search Manager, Rachelle Millar. Joining students for an afternoon after travelling from their Edinburgh offices, they gave insight into the exciting industry in which they work. Blair and Rachelle spent time talking about what exactly they do at work and a bit more about who DigitasLBi are. Since the visit was so early in the term, some of the students still had only very basic knowledge of Digital Marketing. Listening to Blair and Rachelle talk introduced a range of new skills that students could look forward to learning.
The students on the Digital Marketing degree all come from varying backgrounds. Many are recent graduates, but some are older and have come from the workplace back into Higher Education. The range of undergraduate subjects studied are as diverse as Multimedia Design, Fashion Management, Music, Photography, Sociology, and Politics, which is similar to the diverse backgrounds of DigitasLBi staff. It was interesting to hear more about the backgrounds of our visitors, especially Rachelle, as she had not come from a marketing background and studied Sociology at University. It shows that a background in Marketing is not essential to excel in Digital Marketing as long as you are enthusiastic and eager to learn.
What was evident from the presentation was that the Digital industry is continually expanding and is fast becoming an exciting industry to be involved in. DigitasLBi, alongside various other Scottish Digital agencies, is making Scotland become one of the fastest growing countries that aims to deliver Digital excellence. In order to achieve Digital excellence, Blair and Rachelle said it was important that they recruit the people with the appropriate skills required and this is what the MSc Digital Marketing course aims to do.
During the first semester DigitasLBi also acted as mentors to the students through regular Skype meetings. Students were split into smaller groups which each had a mentor. Smaller groups allowed students to get more personal time and ask their mentor questions about what had been taught in class and to get advice on coursework. The mentorship proved to be beneficial to students who appreciated the time taken by the mentors to help them do their best in the course by providing inside industry answers and examples.
DigitasLBi Site Visit
One of the highlights of the course was getting the opportunity to visit the DigitasLBi offices in Edinburgh. Setting off in the morning, students were excited to finally get to visit the agency and meet with their mentors in person for the first time. After an interesting bus trip, which involved breakfast rolls at The Horn and an impromptu roadside presentation on the days objectives, students got the chance to meet with their mentors and were treated to a tour of their various offices. The agency appeared as a fast moving and lively place to work and gave students an insight into what could possibly be their work place in the future. The highlight of the day however was a guest lecture by Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi. His thought provoking talk addressed the future of marketing in regards to owned, paid, and earned media, and also privacy issues. Andrew is a very busy person so the students were very appreciative that he took time out of his schedule to talk to them.
The day concluded with mentors joining the students for dinner where they were able to have a more relaxed talk with them over some food and drink. The day proved to be a success and the students left in awe of the agency with many of them interested in pursuing agency-based work in future. All that was left to do was to travel back to Aberdeen; it had been a long day however the journey back was made bearable with the help of some beverages and some late night story telling.
The partnership with DigitasLBi throughout the first semester stood out for many students as being one of the best features of the course. It was good to know that an agency as big as theirs gave their time and knowledge to support the course. During their first visit Blair and Rachelle revealed that their work is not always as ‘sexy’ as working for Coca-Cola, but it is always fun which was clear to see from their genuine enthusiasm in their work. The support and advice given by DigitasLBi throughout the semester helped students to apply the knowledge learned in class to their coursework and the guest lectures were both engaging and informative whilst remaining entertaining. This left students with a positive impression of having a career in digital marketing and assured them of an exciting year on the course.