My life working in education started many many years ago. I was running a business where I had to work outdoors all winter …. and it was cold.
I decided I wanted a job in the warm and thought teaching might be cushy. Of course I was young and naive then! A few months later, having scouted around all the local colleges and training providers, I was asked to teach an evening class … a few months later I was teaching much more and decided it was warmer but definitely NOT cushy!
The college was in Cambridge and taught landbased topics (in those days this meant agriculture and horticulture). Roll on several months and I was asked to become the Farms Manager. The College had three landholdings around the county and I have to be honest; although I was keen, I was unqualified for the role; in fact I was rubbish. I knew it, and so did the Principal. In fact the day he appointed me he smiled and said he expected to sack me in six months due to my potential incompetence! So it wasn’t a great start …… but decades on we are still good friends and live a few miles apart in the Midlands.
Anyway before I was sacked, in fact even before I accepted the Farms job, we decided that marketing is where I should be and that this job was a fill-in until I could raise sponsorship for a marketing post (no one said getting into marketing was easy!)
In a few months I found the cash to support the new role and became the first full time FE marketing manager in the UK …… I did say it was a long time ago …… in those days marketing posts didn’t feature as full time posts in colleges. The idea of college marketing teams was still a long way off.
To be honest I didn’t know much about marketing a college. But I had marketed the products of my previous business and I had just sold it for a very healthy price. The learning curve was steep but I was determined to make this my niche and before long I was being asked to speak at conferences.
Since then I’ve been Director of Enterprise in one college, Director of Marketing and Admissions in another, then Director of Marketing Resources in a 157 Group college.
More recently I’ve been Interim Head of Marketing in a very large college. This started as a few months work and evolved into a 16 month assignment and a huge amount of work where we completely restructured the way marketing was carried out, built a new “responsive” website and eventually recruited my successor.
So over the years I’ve learnt a bit about marketing. I’m a practitioner with very recent experience and know about colleges. This site isn’t about marketing theory … it is about college marketing reality.
In 2005 I went freelance and now advise providers all over the UK …… and as far away as the US, Africa and Europe. My clients include 157 Group colleges, government departments, Sector Skills Councils, National Skills Academies and other consultancies such as Tribal, LPMG, Protocol, Sector Skills etc.
Now I’m also available to help you ……. via this website and on a one to one basis if required.
Enjoy your marketing and business development.