Western European Marketing Supervisor: Oral Care Solutions Division, 3M
Alumna Joanne studied Management Sciences at Loughborough, graduating in 2001. Joanne is working with a group to bring a new community centre to the Shelthorpe area of Loughborough, to provide much needed new resources for local residents. Here she talks about her drive to get involved with the project, challenges, how her degree set her up for volunteering, and working as a Marketing Supervisor.
I have lived in the Loughborough area for 10 years, and I am also a committee member of the local Haddon Way Residents Association (HWRA).
The Grange Park Centre charity began as a sub group of HWRA, as a response to feedback from residents about the need for local community facilities in the Shelthorpe Ward, Loughborough. I joined the project team 2 years ago when time was running out to secure the land and raise the funds needed to build the community centre. The area is in the top 20% of deprived neighbourhoods in the country for education, skills and training, and income deprivation affecting children.
The community centre will provide much needed services including a youth club, parent and toddler group, IT skills training, counselling and community events. I wanted to do everything I could to secure this much-needed facility for local residents, and help build a stronger community.
The charity is overseen by four Trustees, and a wider working committee. I hold the role of Secretary. This is a varied role which includes organising the public and committee meetings, taking minutes and preparing regular on and off-line communications.
I am also leading the fundraising sub group. This involves assessing possible funders, managing the priority list, writing funding applications, and co-ordinating the overall fundraising plan. It is a real team effort, and as complete newcomers to fundraising we are delighted that £670,000 has been secured for the project so far.
The main challenge has been managing the size and pace of the workload for the project. I work closely with the Chair of Trustees to help ensure that we are aligned and focusing on the priority areas. I find that having a lot of lists helps! I also maintain detailed records of what we have done – this helps save time, and reminds us of the processes we have gone through.
The Management Science Degree taught me some key business skills that are benefitting the community centre project. The funding applications are very reminiscent of skills learnt during university coursework. The applications require understanding and analysis of a lot of information, must fit within specific criteria, be written persuasively, and often within a set word count.
I have utilised my marketing skills to communicate the story to residents and potential funders in an easy to understand way. The project management module has really helped prioritise the work, and the accounting module has helped with preparing budget proposals for funders.
I chose the Management Science Degree because it would give me a grounding in all the key areas of business, and would help me to decide where I wanted to specialise in the future. I spent my placement year at 3M in a product management role. This was an amazing opportunity to see real business life, and gave me lots of experiences and examples to use in my final year. Having a broad based Degree, and real-life work experience really helped when applying for Graduate trainee schemes.
My current role at 3M is very varied, and involves all aspects of product management. I still draw on what I learnt during my Degree – especially when preparing my annual marketing plan! Having an insight into all areas of management has given me a greater appreciation when working with colleagues from different functions. Although marketing has changed a lot over the years, the fundamentals are still the same. I would definitely recommend the degree to others.
Find out more about the Community Centre project in our news story.