Advertising Cost Manager, Lidl UK
Describe your career history to date:
I became a Trainee District Manager for Lidl UK and after a few months of training I was visited by one of the Board Directors who came into one of my stores and offered me a job in Head Office in London. I got relocated to London to take up the position of Advertising Costs Manager and have been in this position for almost two years now.
How did you get into your current job?
I found out about the job from the Times “Top 100 employers” book that is available at the University of Stirling job centre for free and was attracted by the development opportunities, the salary and other benefits like a company car, contributory pension, private health care etc.
Describe what your current job involves:
At the moment I am responsible for the entire advertising budget, press bookings and rate/contract negotiations with all national and a lot of regional newspapers that we advertise in.
In what way did your time at Stirling shape your career to date?
My studies have proven to be useful as things that seem logical and obvious during your time in University often get forgotten once applied in the real world - a good example is standardization vs. adaptation. On one hand we aim to provide our customers with the exact same experience in any of our stores throughout the UK but on the other hand, not all stores are the same size and therefore can’t hold all of our product lines, which causes a lot of issues when it comes to National Newspaper advertising, Online advertising and even the printing of our leaflet. Regionalisation of our offers is one solution, as legal restraints, such as the prohibition of promoting alcohol in Scotland for a short period of time, causes us to advertise different lines at different times throughout the UK. It is challenges like this, the early responsibility and my personal development in the company that I love about my job and other than the fact that I think London is overcrowded there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
What advice would you give to current students in terms of preparing for life after graduation?
Don’t think of University as obtaining a degree at the end and that this is the only thing employers will look at. I was quite surprised during my interview that it was actually my extra-curricular activities and the fact that I never wasted my holidays, but did internships or other unpaid projects that made me so attractive to them. It’s a great accomplishment to have a degree at MSc-level on your CV but to stand out from the crowd you need to be able to show your future employer that you are actively looking to push yourself and are enthusiastic about taking on new challenges.