Alumni project creates a community of learning for Marketing students

Posted on 16th February 2018

A new community approach to learning is proving to be a rich resource for students on the Marketing Management course at the University of Chester Business School, thanks to an innovative project which links learners past and present.

Students and Alumni Mentors
Students and Alumni Mentors

Led by Julie Marshall, Senior Marketing Lecturer, in collaboration with the University’s Alumni and Development team, the exploratory alumni mentoring project has seen first year Marketing students linked with high profile marketing professionals, who are all alumni of the Business School.  The alumni are acting as mentors to the students, offering their professional experience to help the students gain a current view of the marketing industry.

Julie, a Lecturer at the Business School for more than 15 years, is proud and delighted by the willingness of former Business School students, who graduated in 2014, to help her current Marketing students.

She said: “We have such a rich pool of graduates from Chester Business School and I wanted to explore linking up our first year Marketing undergraduates with this fantastic alumni resource and offer them the chance to network with local organisations while studying. Our thanks goes to the Alumni and Development team of the University for helping us get in touch with our former students and identify mentors for the project.”

Andy Lyon, the Head of the Department for Marketing, Tourism and Events, added: “It is really encouraging to see our former graduates achieving such great things in their careers and then being able to bring their knowledge, experience and expertise to help mentor current students. The students have really valued meeting with industry professionals to gain greater insights into working in Marketing and this is something that we will look to roll out in the future.”

The Alumni Mentors include Jas Baxendale, who is now National Account Executive at Red Bull; Emma Cox, who is Global Digital Marketing Manager at Welocalize and Joseph Kelly, a Digital Marketing Strategist at Prodo.  

Jas Baxendale has teamed up with student Beatrice Pemberton. Jas said: “As someone who has been through countless interview processes and has had to find my own routes to my current career, I'm confident I'll be able to reassure my mentee and open her mind to exploring various experience enhancing options.

“In my job I'm also looking at interview process support and development as a potential venture, so for me, this is a great opportunity to see how it goes too. I’m really looking forward to the project!” 

Emma Cox, has teamed up with marketing student Rae Murray. Emma, who also attended the Business School recently as a guest lecturer for second year Marketing students says: “I am very proud and honoured to be a mentor and I look forward to sharing knowledge, skills and tips with a young budding marketer.”

Julie is already seeing early benefits for the students of being part of a community of learning and sharing of opportunities. One alumnus invited all the mentees to attend a recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) event where he was presenting, which they might not have considered otherwise.

The participants have also been using a group chat function to help cement the community that has been formed. One mentee said: “I have already received good advice and had help on looking for placements and working through assignments. I believe this project will be very beneficial to both of us.”

The project is also welcomed by the mentors’ companies, who value such collaborations and community relationships. Louise Law, Global Communications Manager at Welocalize, said: “It is so important that the next generation of marketers gain insight into the functioning world of global business. Welocalize actively supports Marketing undergraduates at the University of Chester through the Alumni Mentoring Programme to help guide them through their academic studies and in their career ambitions.”

Joseph Kelly, Digital Marketing Strategist at Prodo, said: “I’m excited to be part of this project to help undergraduates gain a real insight into the world of practical marketing. Having been a student at Chester, I have an understanding of what first years are going through and can’t wait to share knowledge” 

Fiona Roberts, Alumni and Development Manager at the University, said: “Our alumni community is a fantastic group of people, with skills and experience in many areas.  It is great to be able to link them with students to provide them with a unique insight into a specific industry or career path, and for them to have a contact to whom they can turn to for guidance and inspiration.

It is particularly rewarding that the project has come into fruition via a fourth alumna, Hayley Naldrett, who is also a member of the Alumni and Development team.”

The Marketing teaching team at Chester welcomes enquiries about the project and about studying Marketing Management at the University of Chester. For further information visit: