Media alumni tell us about their careers
Lesley Smart and Laura Mason-Byers both graduated from Coventry University in 2005 with a BA in Communication, Culture and Media. We caught up with them to find out what they have been up to since they graduated.
Why Coventry University?
Lesley chose Coventry because the course was very varied and offered her the chance to study many different segments of the industry. She also felt there was a good feel around the campus, and liked that it was all very central to the city centre. Laura was very impressed with the facilities and felt Coventry was a great fit for what she wanted from higher education.
Lesley always wanted to work in media and the course gave her the opportunity to gain work experience with the local BBC station whilst studying. She achieved her dream of working in media and has done so ever since graduating. Her first graduate job was a Telesales Executive at the Coventry Evening Telegraph, where she worked for 4 years before deciding to move back to East Anglia.
She has also worked in local radio, as well as in a digital based advertising role, and is now a Key Accounts Manager at Iliffe Media, a publishing company, where she has worked since 2016.
I was sure I wanted to be a Journalist, until I started the advertising module on the course!.
How did your course define your career?
Laura was less sure about what she wanted to do when she graduated but found the course helped her define what she wanted to do as she selected different modules throughout the years. Since graduating, she has undertaken many roles in the creative communications space, working in PR, marketing and now as a Group Communications Manager.
Laura says “I think my general university experience prepared me for not just my career but for life. Meeting new people, living on my own and working part time were all important building blocks in making me the person I am today.
Lesley says she made friends for life at Coventry. She is godmother to the daughter of friends she met here. She says"I will always remember my time at Coventry as some of the best years of my life, with some of my favourite people."
Lesley feels the Communications, Culture and Media BA, really helped her to carve out where she wanted to be, with so many avenues in media.
Lesley explained that things can move very quickly within media; when she first started, there was barely any colour in newspaper adverts, yet now, she is working with newspapers, magazines, and the ever evolving digital world. She says “Who knows how we will be working in 10 years’ time, but I love being part of it.”
Finally, Laura has this advice for anyone thinking of coming to Coventry with the aim of pursuing a career in media
Be open minded to the opportunities that will come your way and embrace as many as you can at university before life gets too grown up and too serious. Have fun and enjoy!