Meet Heather McLean

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Heather works in a Business Support role at Form Design Consultants which she helped to set up. She has recently graduated with a CIM Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing (Level 4).

Why did you choose this qualification?  

Since starting our business in 2013 (just 2 of us back then!), we’ve created a busy design studio in central Edinburgh but have never had a formal marketing function. The CIM course, offered through nesma, seemed an ideal starting point, and I was able to skip to Level 4, already having a BSc Hons.

What have you discovered about yourself in the process?  

  1. I’m a stats geek (really useful for marketing analytics)
  2. I enjoy bringing the models to life and seeing results playout for the business
  3. I’m a life-long learner
  4. I will generally be older than the tutor!

How has studying with nesma helped so far?  

Meeting other nesma students and understanding commonalities between sectors, along with 1:1 sessions with tutors, has enabled me to get a bigger picture view and implement new learnings in a tailored way. Continuing CPD offered through nesma and CIM means a constant feed of information for action, increasing my skill set and benefiting the business.

What did you enjoy most?   

Meeting others, feeling each tutor had a good understanding of my business and its unique challenges; nesma’s organised approach helped make the large workload manageable, and there were lightbulb moments.

What type of things do you do differently now?  

We collect more online data and perform more frequent environmental analysis. We have set KPI’s to measure online and offline activity and client feedback has become a priority.

What words of advice would you give anyone considering a career in marketing/PR?   

Marketing, both traditional and digital, encompasses many areas from creativity to psychology and analytics – there is something for everyone. You can always fine-tune initial training and experience to areas of specific interest to you.

What are the significant changes within your industry at present?  

There has been a rise in awareness of workplace Health & Wellbeing, together with sustainability and office technological integration. We are now seeing a change in workplace social interactions associated with lockdown scenarios and the resultant hybrid working models. 

What do you enjoy when you aren’t doing the day job? 

Early morning jogs with my Border Collie on Portobello Beach, late-night chats with my teenagers, holidays (remember those?), playing my dad’s piano and furniture restoration.

CIM qualifications are designed to help you build on your marketing experience whatever role you have in the business. They provide a great way to learn more about marketing and you will update your skills by learning new techniques as marketing is an ever-changing industry.