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NTU Employability's Spotlight Series - Edition Two: Digital Marketing Academy

The second instalment of our Employability Spotlight Series presents a round-up of the 2020/21 Digital Marketing Academy.

Students working in meeting room

Run collaboratively with the University of Nottingham, and in partnership with local SME industry graduate employers, the Digital Marketing Academy is designed to inform, educate and inspire participants on the essential skills required to become a success in the sector, and for employers to access industry-ready talent.

DMA 2020/21 provides another example of an NTU initiative running on a bigger and better scale compared to previous years. Ongoing COVID-19 uncertainties led to the project running completely online. As a result, over 400 students across the two institutions took part in the initiative, looking to further their knowledge and career prospects within the field of digital marketing. Key highlights from the programme include:

  • Students from all schools at NTU engaged with the DMA, for the first time in the project’s history.
  • This year, local businesses from across all industries and sectors were invited to submit a digital marketing challenge. In total, 29 business challenges were accepted, with 18 of these successfully completed by NTU students.
  • Students felt more employable as a result of taking part in the Digital Marketing Academy (with an average feedback score of 8/10 for increase in employability skills)
  • 85% of participants said they are more aware of digital marketing and graduate opportunities in the local area since taking part

Spotlight Interview

Jack Harris is a Paid Media Analyst at Impression - an award-winning digital marketing agency that works with some of the country’s leading brands. He secured his role just as he graduated from NTU in July 2021, with a BA Honours in International Business, and thanks the Digital Marketing Academy for making this possible.

In my second year I studied abroad in Valencia at ESIC Business and Marketing School. The chance to study digital marketing modules really sparked my interest in the area and the impact digital marketing can have on a business. When I returned to NTU for my final year I decided to take part in DMA to continue my learning and have the chance to learn about and network with local digital agencies in Nottingham.

In an interview with NTU Employability Advisor Anna Beacroft, Jack shared his experiences and advice for anyone considering taking part in the DMA in the future.

What was the most useful part of the DMA?

"The most useful part of the Digital Marketing Academy is gaining that in depth knowledge of different areas of digital marketing which really gives you the skills to fulfil the different needs of a digital campaign. The specialist agency speakers at the events were really engaging and shared up to date industry examples meaning the content was really relevant and applicable."

How has taking part in the DMA impacted you?

“It's been a huge asset during recruitment processes. Right from that start, being involved in DMA meant I found out about job opportunities that I wouldn't have otherwise, through the email alerts and LinkedIn group. If I'd not taken part I'd probably never have found out about the opportunities at Impression where I now work.

The programme is a great experience to reflect on and talk about in interviews and on [my] CV. The industry knowledge gained through the DMA really helped me complete the application form questions and tasks, enabling me to talk confidently about digital marketing at my interview.

Participating in an extra-curricular programme like the DMA also helps you demonstrate your commitment and passion to the subject and shows that you're willing to put yourself out there and go above and beyond what's required in your studies. For example, at Impression there's opportunities to present at conferences and get involved in different opportunities and they want to know you're the kind of person who will step forward.

All of these benefits that I gained from the DMA meant that it was invaluable in me securing my role at Impression."

What advice would you give to someone just starting the DMA or considering signing up?

"Take the opportunity to get involved and put in as much effort as you can. The more you can get done earlier on the more it will help you down the line with recruitment and your studies. If you want to get into digital marketing take advantage of any extra optional aspects of the DMA, make sure you stay motivated and complete the online accreditations and you can even look for further opportunities on employability online."

Latest Updates

Since taking on his role at Impression, Jack has gone on to support the delivery of sessions as part of recent cohorts of the Digital Marketing Academy.

Planning for the next edition of the DMA is underway. For more information about this initiative, employers should contact

Students interested in the project can visit Employability Online.