Choosing the University of Derby: How did I get here?

A break from our usual Marketing fun. Here’s my personal experience, picking marketing and deciding on Derby.

As somewhere I’ve been a part of for over a year, universities are institutions that people have depended on heavily to give them a degree that would help uncover and nurture talent. The University of Derby is one of 109 Universities in the UK, so my decision to come here wasn’t clear cut.

A solid plan

When I finished GCSE’s, I already had my clear-cut plan. I was going to take Philosophy, Economics, English Literature and Geography for A-level, go to university and study Geography, then work for the UN (exact job role still TBA).

However, my two years doing A-Levels also taught me about the kind of person I wanted to become and what I wanted to do. I knew university was three years and a lot of money. If I was going to go, it had to be for something I could get a job in. I remained open to a lot of different career paths.

Or a job for the future?

Does anyone remember watching that video called ‘Did You Know’? I remember it being shown it once in an assembly at secondary school and it blew my mind.

“We’re currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet”

Imagine being told that the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. Nothing seemed cooler than studying a job of the future.

After all the research, an exhausted me took the path I was surest would lead to a stable career that could also fulfil my curiosity and create the best skills. I also liked the idea that I would be able to exercise my creative talents during my degree, something I felt I hadn’t nurtured enough during college. As my personal statement read, I was becoming fascinated in ‘understanding the needs of a world where everything comes at the tap of a finger’.

Finding the right place

Marketing (especially digital) is certainly not among the wider spread courses nationally, which I think is strange but perhaps I’m a little bias.

This did make searching for universities more challenging. Marketing is also a relatively modern subject, so online guidance was scarce as well as past student’s reviews. The general advantage of choosing a university for more popular courses is that though you have to more to consider, you can be fussier. A friend of mine had so many choices for Maths, he narrowed them down to universities by the sea!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have this luxury. A lot my decisions once I found the universities that did Marketing where generally were based on ranking and then location.

Being from inner London, I had a (very stereotypical) image of going up north. Being surrounded by countryside and hearing a new accent, but not too far so coming back home was difficult. Derby seemed like a perfect location. After all, it’s in the middle of the middle.

Open day was a success and the university had a great atmosphere. The best thing looking back is the people, I was lucky enough to get along with my flatmates and make great friends on my course, which is to me the key to making the most of university.

There are many editions of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) video updated about every 5 years. For those curious, I believe I must’ve watched the original around 2011/12. Watch it here

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