Graduation elation

Hands down the best time to be on campus (and for our social media sentiment!) is graduation. Smiling faces and proud loved ones fill every corridor and as members of staff (marketing or otherwise) we can be proud that we've all have made some sort of contribution to their future path.

On Friday I had the opportunity to switch sides by celebrating months of hard work at the IDM (Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing) graduation at the Royal Geographical Society in London for my Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. This was the culmination of months of hard work by all 200+ graduates and was a reward for all of the study hours that we had to in to be there. As already documented, my particular challenge was to find the time to fit in the amount of work needed to write two 5,000 word assignments and sit three 3 hour exams.

With three children and a demanding job (I never leave the office on time - but then who does nowadays?!) this was the biggest struggle but I managed to motivate myself and start early giving up big chunks of the weekend to budget planning! by going back to studying again I found out a lot about myself (and so did my wife) as I swung from the highs of "This diploma is easy - I'm going to pass no problem", to the lows "Why did I do this? I'm never going to pass?!"

Thankfully I passed with flying colours (surprisingly I'm actually pretty good at exams - who knew?!) achieving a credit and some new letters after my name. Therefore, this graduation was the perfect excuse to take some time out with a day out in London with my wife away from the children. We decided to make the most of it and crammed in as much as we could including a ride on the Emirates Air Line, a visit to the Tower Poppies and (following the ceremony) a meal out for just the two of us.
It all went according to plan with a great ride on the cable car - despite the high winds and the threat of closure, and a breathtaking visit to the Tower Poppies - very busy but worth the trip alone. It was then time for the main event in what was a lovely venue crammed full of Digital marketing experts. I couldn't help but look around and think that these are the people with whom I'll be competing I ever go for an interview for another job!

Seeing my course mates again was great as everyone looked so relaxed (and smart!) It was also nice that our significant others could get chatting about the trials and tribulations of being married to a digital marketer and they said the ceremony helped them understand better what it is we all do for a living.

All of the IDM class of 2014 - including me!
(top left, just under the clock)
After 45mins solid clapping all of the awards were handed out and there was a great atmosphere which was added to by some excellent guest speakers. Overall, I'd recommend the IDM to everyone as the tutors really understood the market and I feel this opportunity has really allowed me to think more strategically about the work which my team undertakes. Now I need to find someone to hang the certificate in pride of place at home...!

Finally, in other news we've just got back from the Prospects Postgraduate Awards in Manchester. We were shortlisted for best Campaign for our cinema advert which we unfortunately didn't win. However, Sarah in the marketing team had written an entry for a Postgraduate Sport campaign which we all worked on last year which was a massive success and easily exceeded our targets. It is great then that this hard work was rewarded with a Gold in the Best Faculty Campaign Category! Excellent work for our final ceremony of the year and a real kick to get us working on our submissions earlier ready for the 2015 round of award ceremonies!
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