Stirling student named national marketing star

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A University of Stirling student has won a prestigious Marketing Society Scotland award after taking part in a competition involving students from across the country.

Holly Millward, a fourth year Business Studies and Marketing student, is the Star Marketing Student of the Year 2020 – making her the third Stirling student to triumph in the competition in the last five years.

This year’s competition was sponsored by Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, with Holly’s prize being a three-month paid internship with the company, and a year’s graduate membership of the Marketing Society Scotland.

Holly Millward, winner of the Star Marketing Student of the Year 2020

Holly said: “The Marketing Society Scotland competition was an invaluable experience to be involved in from start to finish, and to win it is a fantastic bonus. I’d like to thank my tutors and lecturers at Stirling Management School for putting me forward to be involved, and for all of the support and teaching I’ve had over the last four years.

“Being able to transfer the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from my time at Stirling, put me in a strong position for the competition. Without that experience, I know I wouldn’t have performed as well and I believe my time studying at Stirling has prepared me well for taking the first steps into a career in marketing and business.”

After being nominated for the competition, Holly and other candidates took part in an Apprentice Day at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK’s Glasgow office. Following a presentation from the company, the students were given a brief to develop a marketing strategy for one of its most popular products.

After the Apprentice Day, Holly was informed she’d made it through to the next stage of the competition. This involved an in-depth interview with senior members of the company, designed to determine the students’ marketing knowledge and ability to transfer it to a real-world business setting.

The University of Stirling’s participation in the competition is coordinated by Dr George Maglaras and Dr Ines Branco-Illodo, from the Marketing and Retail division at Stirling Management School. Stirling is ranked 2nd in Scotland, and top 10 in the UK for Marketing, by the Complete University Guide.

Dr George Maglaras, BA Marketing programme Director, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Holly and reflects her consistently excellence performance and enormous potential. We are pleased for her and proud that this marks the third win by our students in just five years.

“This highlights the continuing effectiveness of Stirling Management School’s courses in developing relevant skills, and the excellent industry links we have here. We’d like to thank the Marketing Society Scotland for organising this competition, which offers students a great experience, and its support for the University’s Student Marketing Society.”

As well as being named Star Marketing Student of the Year 2020, Holly is also set to graduate this year. She acknowledges the role which the flexibility offered at Stirling has played in her development so far.

Holly added: “When I started studying at Stirling, my original degree was Business and Media Studies, but I quickly realised I have a real passion for marketing so I made the change during my second year. Being able to do that, combined with the professional development programmes which the Stirling Management School team encourage students to take part in, has been hugely beneficial.

“Despite the current disruption being caused by COVID-19, 2020 has had some real positives for me and I can’t wait to undertake my internship later in the year and get my career underway.”