Boat culture

Professional development to further develop marketing skills.

Personal and professional development are factors that we rank highly important when considering job satisfaction for our crew. The Bigger Boat offers a company-wide training scheme to give staff members the chance to expand their skill-sets – all funded and supported by the business. First in line to set sail on her further education journey was account manager Ruby. We find out what course she opted for, her thoughts on training on the job and plans for the future.

What encouraged you to take up the offer of funded training?
When TBB announced it was rolling out a new training scheme, it really got me thinking about my time at university and what I got from my course. I already had a BA Hons under my belt, but with this being geared towards fashion communication with little marketing modules in between, I knew I’d gain a lot from taking on a marketing-specific qualification.

I’d already completed various online courses from Google, SMART Insights and other reputable marketing bodies as part of my ongoing development with TBB. However, I really wanted to hone in on the more strategic side of marketing and understand the principles on what that’s built on.

What course did you choose and why?
Originally, I applied for a place at The University of Manchester on its BSc Management (Marketing) course, but after discussing this further with my employer, found that it was a lot to take on and another full student loan on top of my original degree! After going back to the drawing board, I found the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing, which really struck a chord with me. It looked like it covered everything I was keen to expand my skills in including digital strategy, managing brands and strategic marketing. It’s also a shorter course and felt more manageable to complete while still working full time.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about further education while working full time?
Do your research, and then some. You need to make sure you’ll get as much as possible out of your learning. I looked around for ages before finally choosing the CIM course. I scoured all the modules with a fine-toothed comb and wanted to make sure everything could be really tailored to my role. I understood that I was further educating myself but wanted to make sure I could build on everything I’d learnt and bring that into my day-to-day at TBB too.

I’d also consider how much time realistically you need to invest in whichever course you choose. Fitting it in alongside house renovations, captaining a netball team and full-time work was a challenge. Be prepared to give up most of your weekends and evenings in the short term – but it’s worth it to achieve great results.

Why do you think further training is important?
For me, I want to make sure I’ve invested as much time in myself as possible as a professional, to ensure I can provide the best service and recommendations. I learn from my peers every day and I think learning from them alongside investing in my own professional development are key pillars of what’s helped me grow in confidence in my role and deliver real value to our clients.

How do you plan to use what you have learnt in the workplace?
The managing brands module was probably my favourite, as it’s an area in which I was keen to broaden my knowledge. Of course, we work with amazing brands every day but getting to the real crux of the strategy behind a brand, corporate branding and brand equity was really interesting. I now feel more confident making suggestions and recommendations alongside the creative team.

I passed the course with a merit overall, which I’m really pleased with! I used real clients as ‘live briefs’ in my assignments and have already started putting my learning into practice at work. Completing the course has given me more direction in regards to areas that I’d like to be more involved in at work – and I feel more so now that I can give strategic input as and when it’s needed.

Written by Ruby Ribbons
Senior account manager, social secretary and resident 'baller'.