The Ruddocks Marketing Excellence Scholarship was launched in 2017. A partnership with the University of Lincoln, it offers financial support to a selected student together with mentoring and regular work experience sessions, a 6-month contract following graduation and the chance of a permanent position. For us, it’s all about supporting education and the local community in which we work whilst also providing an important pipeline of gifted graduate employees for the future.
Our first scholarship student, Tom Marshall is halfway through the 3-year programme and we spoke to him about the scholarship, the projects he’s been involved with, and his future plans.
Hi Tom, tell us a bit about your experience of the Ruddocks Marketing Excellence Scholarship, what does it involve and how has it benefited you?
The scholarship offers practical work-based learning and support. The 3-year university programme comprises of weekly timetabled academic learning sessions which are then supported by mentoring and work experience within the marketing department at Ruddocks. This ensures the practical experience I gain correlates with the theoretical content I’m covering during my time at university. On top of this, Ruddocks also supports me financially, which means I can afford to purchase the latest academic resources and commit more time to my studies.
What are you studying at university?
I am studying at the University of Lincoln for my degree in Advertising and Marketing, which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The first year covers a broad range of business topics from finance to organisational behaviour. The second year builds on specific areas of marketing and advertising whilst the third year focuses on industry specialisms.
What have you been doing during your weekly sessions at Ruddocks? How have your academic studies and your experience at Ruddocks complimented each other?
My first year at Ruddocks involved spending time across different departments to understand how each area plays a part in achieving the overall business objectives. At the beginning of year two I was tasked with working on a proposal for the Ruddocks printed newsletter. This project coincides with topics I’m currently studying at University and allows me to apply learnt theory to a live project. The practical experience also really helps me with my university assignments as I have a much better understanding of how the theory fits within working industry practices.
In your opinion how valuable are scholarships are for students?
This scholarship not only offers financial support but also the opportunity to combine practical and theoretical learning, allowing me to develop transferable skills which will undoubtedly give me a competitive advantage when entering the industry for real. I can experience the theory rather than just read it, and I can see how it has organically developed to fit in with real life practice. The scholarship has given me a focus and energy for the industry that I couldn’t have gained through academia alone.
You are now coming towards the end of your second undergraduate year. What are your long-term plans and goals following graduation?
Ultimately, I aim to build a strong enough skill set that I can go on to lead future growth within the industry. By this, I don’t just mean adhering to historic industry practices to advance my career progression, but principally evolving my knowledge with the times, something without the scholarship I don’t feel I could achieve. Looking ahead to graduation, I hope to find an opportunity within Ruddocks where I can begin a long and prosperous career in the ever changing and exciting creative industry.
Thank you Tom!