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Sam Grimley

Graduate, Marketing

Sam Grimley

Sam Grimley shares his experience of studying Marketing at Bradford, including why doing the 4-year placement option helped forge his current career as a client manager for an augmented reality company, Blippar in London.

"I currently work at Blippar. Blippar is an image recognition, augmented reality platform. My current role at Blippar is a client manager, looking after various clients from financial services, FMCG, retail, beverages, CPG products and many others. I also help out looking after the social media, due to my past roles at HSBC.

When I left university in 2009 I'd already secured a job on the HSBC Marketing Graduate programme. I completed that and then did another role at HSBC, digital marketing, for about 13-14 months, and then from there I joined Blippar.

The things I learnt at university that I use most in my day-to-day job is mainly time management and working in teams. Our clients and colleagues are based around the world so time management is key, and obviously working with teams, especially remotely even in the building we are at the moment we're spread across the building. It's quite a challenge to keep up-to-date with everyone.

I chose a placement year before I even joined the University, it was something I was looked for. I'd been advised in my career to work in healthcare and financial services as early as I can because if you can work in those regulated industries, you will be able to work in unregulated industries quite easily. 

So I applied for a few different placement schemes. I ended up working at 3M - who make Post-it Notes. I worked in their healthcare division as a product manager for a year.

Doing a placement year made a huge difference in applying for my graduate role. One, it gave me actual real experience;  two, it gave me sort of actual knowledge to use in my fourth year, real examples and case studies; also it just gave me a break from studying which was really nice; and it gave me some finances for my final year.

I think being part of the non-academic side of university's really crucial. One, it gives you an avenue to let off steam, instead of being at university all the time you get to go and play football Wednesdays and Saturdays. Also it gives you examples to use in your placement year interviews. I was a team captain in my second year - that actually gave me some qualities that I could use in my placement year interviews about leadership, management, organisation. Instead of just saying 'I worked as a waiter when I was 16', it doesn't really give you as much as 'I've organised a squad of 40 people and got them here and done this and organised the finances'.

My motivation for keeping in contact with the University is sort of giving a little bit back. I got some support at University from people who had left and I think it's really key that you keep affinities with the University. I'd also like to come and complete my MBA one day so hopefully it may look favourable if I come back to Bradford.

In the next few years I’d like to progress with Blippar. Blippar is expanding on a daily basis, and internationally we're just opening our New York office. I would like to soon become a country head for Blippar, or in another role more senior at Blippar as we keep expanding."

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