Dale enjoys keeping his skill set up to date

Meet Dale who works at Bond Dickinson law firm

What is your job in a nutshell?

I work for Bond Dickinson, a national top 40 law firm with a large presence in Newcastle. My role is to manage and drive marketing activity across the firm’s northern offices (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle) through various channels including PR, sponsorship, digital, advertising and events. I love that the role is across a range of disciplines as it provides me with the opportunity to further develop my skillset across a range of marketing disciplines.

Tell us about your career journey so far? How did you get your first job?

I studied A-Levels in Maths, Business Studies and Leisure Studies. It was studying A-level Maths which scared me out of a future accountancy career into something a lot more creative! I went on to study Business Studies at Northumbria University. It was during my first two years that I realised I was interested in all things marketing, helped by my part time job promoting student events.

Graduating in 2011, I found it difficult to get a marketing role due to the competitive nature of the marketplace and my lack of real experience. My first full-time job was in a call centre which I combined with an unpaid marketing internship with Cancer Research UK to get credible experience. From there I went on to a couple of roles and although they weren’t completely marketing related, they equipped me with skills such as copywriting, account and project management. I felt these skills would be beneficial to securing my first true marketing role – and it paid off!

I was aware of Bond Dickinson from news stories in the local press and kept a close eye on any vacancies that came up. A marketing role appeared in summer 2015 which I successfully applied for and I’ve been working here since October 2015.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Facing a new challenge every day! The firm is so big which means I am often involved in various projects and pieces of work, every day is literally different from the next. As my role cuts across all marketing disciplines and several channels, I am exposed to a challenging, but very rewarding workload.

I am part of a large marketing and communications team, with colleagues based nationwide across various specialisms. The firm encourages us to work as one team and it pays off when we see successful campaigns or projects which we’ve spent a lot of time working on and planning come to fruition. I am learning and building my experience all the time and I am supported with a learning and development programme to progress my career in the direction I want to take it.

I also enjoy working in a predominately female team, (which is essential as the entire business development team based out of our Newcastle office is female apart from me!) When I joined, I was unsure as to what it would be like, having not worked in an environment like this previously. It has however proved to be a great experience and the team has a nice dynamic. I find it to be a supportive environment and I also think it allows us to approach and overcome problems by thinking of solutions from different angles.

What do you love about working in your industry?

The world of law is very different from your typical corporate business but it’s a great industry to work in. From the structure of the firm to how we go to market, all feels very different. My first 18 months have been a great experience. The partnership structure means you have multiple stakeholders with a vested interest in the results we deliver which can be challenging. However, we work with people at all levels from across the firm to get buy-in when planning our marketing activity.

The legal industry is huge with many different sectors and practice areas in which we operate. There is ‘no one size fits all’ to marketing as every office location and client has different requirements and touch points. This influences the type of marketing activity we carry out and we continue to embrace new technology and advances to reach our clients in new ways.

Has studying with nesma helped you in your current role?

Definitely! When I left university, I couldn’t see myself ever returning to study. However, knowing it would be beneficial for my career, and knowing I had the support of my employer, a couple of years later I was keen to learn more and started studying the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing – Level 6. I have found studying to be a lot more enjoyable this time around as I have more perspective to back up the theory compared to when I was at university. I continue to use the weekly classes as an opportunity to not only learn the theory but also run my ideas and issues past the other members of the class to get their views and experience.

Want to find out how we might be able to advance your career?

Let’s chat over the phone or we can meet you at your place of work.

In addition to a range of CIM, CIPR and DIM qualifications we also have a number of Skills Sessions on offer to help boost your marketing knowledge one day at a time.