Travel is one of the industries that has been badly impacted by the pandemic, but whether you are anxious to get on a plane, or can not wait to jet away to a sandy beach, the travel industry will make a comeback, even if slowly.
Melissa Coates is a former student at Southampton Solent University. We spoke to her as she described how her uni experiences helped her land a dream travel job working at Jules Verne.
How was your experience at (your Uni)? / How have these experiences helped you in your working life?
Enjoyable and challenging at times; meeting new friends, making memories and getting my degree was a huge achievement.
How did your University experience/course help you to achieve your chosen career?
It enabled me to develop the ability to anticipate customer demand, identify target markets and communicate effectively with them.
Do you have any exam revision tips?
Start early, so that you can be organised and you’re as prepared as possible. I’d also recommend revising in the morning when your brain is sharper. Using a detailed revision timetable, as well as colourful flash cards and mind maps helps. I also found to practise with past papers helpful, too.
Describe your job in two sentences...
As a team we effectively develop, manage and control relationships between the brand and its target audience.
I contribute to the development and implementation of creatives, product messaging, and media, as well as the planning of channels across all marketing activities to help influence brand awareness.
What are your career highlights to date?
Working on our 2016 rebrand, including the launch of collateral and the website rebuild. This helped us to reach our target of increasing our e-mail marketing database by 10k. I made the move to a professional exhibition stand in 201 and seeing the 2018 launch of our Instagram page also was a great achievement. In February 2020 I also became a mental health first aider which was rewarding.
Give us the low down on your average day?
I check our social media accounts, as well as read and respond to emails daily. I also run any brochure requests for customers and analyse any national press activity. I work alongside designers to create, edit and proof any national press adverts going out. If there’s any web updates, database management or marketing administration I ensure that this is completed on time. Finally, I work on my own articles for either our blog or external content partners/event management.
How did you get here? (Previous work experience, qualifications, any random career moves)
My initial interest into marketing spiked during my A-Level Leisure and Tourism course, prompting my university course decision. Work experience with Essex Police shadowing a Communications and Marketing Officer was a great insight into Public Sector marketing. I then experienced it from agency side, where I shadowed the various roles within the agencies integrated communications and marketing strategy. Post-university, I worked as a Marketing Assistant for a public sector management consultancy firm and then at a mailing house – both of which I knew weren’t quite the right industries for me. I always knew that as a marketing professional it was important to work in an industry or for a brand of interest, so the passion for what you are marketing would show and come naturally. My next move was to a specialist educational tour operator as Product and Marketing Executive - my love for travel kept growing! 3 years later and I still very much loved what I was doing but I was itching to work in London and have the lifestyle that came with it. I remember my interviews for Marketing Co-ordinator at Jules Verne like they were yesterday! 7 years later and my marketing and travel passions continue to grow in a rewarding and dynamic role, as does Jules Verne…
Tell us something surprising about your job
Any marketing role is aligned with the fast-moving pace of technology, so we can optimise and modernise traditional marketing methods successfully.
Tell us the best thing about working for Jules Verne?
The brand itself and the lovely people behind its success.
What’s your number one tip for someone applying to work at Jules Verne?
Do your research – what do you know about us and what our mission is.
Melissa Coates - Southampton Solent University