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The importance of Business Management and Marketing: Meet Philippa Thompson

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30 July 2020

Across the agricultural sector, a key role is developing, maintaining and improving businesses. To learn the skills it takes to create a successful brand presence and provide good quality products to the consumer takes an understanding of the sector as a whole, alongside having a sharp business sense. The BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing degree pathway teaches just this, as new graduate Philippa explains.

“Business Marketing with Management is a dynamic and engaging course that provides you with the knowledge and skills ready for a professional career within any business sector,” Philippa said. “Studying this course has allowed me to meet some great lecturers and some great friends that made my experience at Harper unforgettable.”

From the start of her academic journey, Philippa knew Harper was the place for her. With an agricultural background on her family farm in North Yorkshire, and hearing the stories of her sister who also studied at the university, Philippa merely had to narrow down her interest in a course.

Speaking on why the Business Management with Marketing course stood out, she said: “There’s a great range of modules, from theory based studies on Consumer Behaviour to more practical activities like Project Management. I also liked that some of the modules could be tailored to include agriculture if I wanted, such as Rural Diversification and Events Management.”

Taking this into her final year, Philippa wrote her dissertation on the attitudes and consumption of dairy free milk. This contemporary look at the industry was prompted by her own dairy free lifestyle due to an intolerance, whilst also coming from a dairy farming background. Phillipa explained: “I was interested to see who and what was the key driver of this market, how it performed against the wider white milk market, and if what the overall behaviour of the market was.”

On top of her day to day studies, Philippa also undertook additional courses to make her stand out from the crowd. She explained: “I attended Commercial Selling, Digital Marketing and the Negotiation Skills classes. I wanted to learn and broaden my knowledge, increasing my skills so that they could be applied to both my university work and benefit my professional performance.”

With professional skills in mind, Philippa was able to develop these in her placement year working for Krone UK, makers of hay and forage equipment. She commented: “Based in West Yorkshire, I was part of the marketing team, supporting the daily activities. 

“Day to day I would help coordinate events such as the Annual Dealer Conference, exhibition shows such as LAMMA, the Royal Welsh and the Royal Highland show. I would also help manage promotional campaigns for the machinery and design artwork to help our dealer network.

“I gained so many useful skills from understanding general knowledge of how larger businesses operate and increasing my professional skills, to very specific skills that only apply to the agribusiness industry.

“I also worked with the public during show season so I was able to increase customer service and sales skills. With coordinating events and campaigns, I was able to be hands on and learn how to manage various projects, to liaise with various departments within the business, and to achieve a rewarding outcome.

“Overall, I was able to learn skills, meet people within the industry. and constantly increase my professional capability. Not only that, but my placement year gave me the confidence within myself that I never had before.”

As a result of her hard work, Philippa has rejoined Krone UK to start her graduate position with the team. She said: “I’m now working as their Marketing and Events coordinator. I have a passion for the events management industry; the reward of satisfied customers of the event and the success for the business is great to see. I have ambitions to continue my passion within this sector and look forward to seeing where my professional career takes me.”

However, her time at Harper was balanced with the fun social activities led by the SU. Philippa commented: “My best experience socially would have to be the Cheltenham Festival this year. I love attending the races and having a bus of fourth years has really made a great memory to look back on the end of university, despite not being able to finish final year how I would have liked due to Covid-19.”

With her final year having now come to a close, Philippa is still an advocate for the Business Management and Marketing degree pathway. She said: “For other people in a similar academic path, I would say to make sure that they do what is right for them.

“Everyone has different ways of learning and passions. It's okay not to know exactly where you want to go; I never did until the second year of university.  The wide range of modules and placement year has helped me find what industry I want to go into and now I’m confident I’m heading in the right direction.”

To learn more about all the business degrees on offer at Harper, click here. To meet members of the teaching business team, click here.

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