The sense of focus and real care that they give their students has always stood out for me. They really set you up well for entering the big wide world!
More about Josephine
Placement Company: Adidas
Why did you choose NTU, Nottingham Business School and your course?
Nottingham Trent was by far my first choice – the course gave me exactly the right balance of commercial and industry focus, mixed with encouraging creativity retaining a sense of individualism. Essentially for me, it was a perfect choice for someone who has a creative flair but was never going to make a career out of it. The course was perfectly pitched for those of us who were going to manage the creative process rather than be the creators ourselves. The third year spent in the industry was also a game-changer; it was such a valuable experience, I don’t know why anyone would not want to do that.
What do you think sets Nottingham Business School apart?
The sense of focus and real care that they give their students has always stood out for me. They’re not just churning out grads with no sense of the real world. The courses, discussions and projects are all designed with industry at their core. They really set you up well for entering the big wide world!
How would you promote NTU or Nottingham Business School to potential students in 10 words or fewer?
World-class teaching from lecturers that care about your future.
How would you rate the support available at NTU and NBS? Think of both your course staff, student support, the employability team and global lounges. How did they help you?
Excellent care and support for individuals. Although at the time, 18 feels like a grown-up and you might not admit you need help – having the support network and expertise of the staff involved with the course is invaluable. I’m still in touch with some of my course leaders 20 years later which I think says a lot!
Did you gain any work experience during your course? If so, can you tell us whether it was a placement year, internship, volunteering or another opportunity? What the benefits have been of doing this?
I spent my third year in industry and had an amazing experience working at Reebok. It literally shaped my career path for the future to come (I re-joined Reebok 14 years later!) and was absolutely invaluable both in terms of the head start it gave me in job hunting and experience when I graduated, but also the life experience and confidence. I would highly recommend a placement year to anyone that has the option.
What job are you currently doing and what does it involve?
I am currently the Senior Director for Reebok in Central Europe. I lead a team of 16 people, executing and delivering global product and brand campaigns to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I lead the brand in this region and hold responsibility for the business within this region. I relocated to Germany in 2018 and am employed by Adidas as Reebok are currently owned by the Adidas group.
How has your experience at NBS helped you in your current role? Are there any skills you gained at NBS that you now use every day?
I’m responsible for a proportion of the Reebok business in Europe now, working with key customers like Zalando. The essential business tools learnt in terms of P&L ownership, margins etc come in very useful! But also more generally the sense of how to brief effectively, how to get your ideas across succinctly, how to persuade, how to be confident in meetings (in the same way that it took confidence to speak up at times in seminars etc.)
What would your advice be to those who have recently graduated and are looking for roles?
Firstly, I know it can’t be easy at the moment. But have confidence in yourself and be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you get rejections – it happens to us all – a lot! The skills and experiences you’ve learnt at NBS will serve you well. Also, remember that you don’t need to have everything they ask for on a job description – with the basics, and a keen willingness to learn and get stuck in, you’re in with a shot. Tailor your applications, get good at your ‘personal elevator pitch’ and be curious and humbly confident.
What has been your career highlight so far?
As Global Head of Marketing at Ellesse in 2013-2018, I was there at a period when we brought the business back to profitability and back to major UK retailers, and therefore back on young people up and down every UK high street. I felt very proud of being part of the brand at a time when we were able to jump on the back of the re-emergence of the 90’s sportswear trend and really make it work for the brand.
Do you offer any placements/graduate schemes to NTU students? Could you tell us about your experience with NTU students in terms of their knowledge, skills and attitude?
Unfortunately, not being a UK based brand, I can’t directly offer placements, however Adidas do offer a graduate training scheme, and 6 and 12 month internship schemes. The best bet would be to contact the UK HQ, which is based in Stockport. I have been involved with NTU students as part of the mentoring program, and it’s great to always see their passion, professionalism and preparation.