Meet James Brennan

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James is the marketing manager at BSW Timber and he has graduated with a CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing in addition to the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing. His role encompasses a broad range of functions, from working on internal campaigns with other departments to launching nationwide campaigns that promote their products, timber as a material and the wider industry.

Tell us about your career journey so far?

I studied journalism at the University of Sunderland and realised it wasn’t quite for me – but I hadn’t considered marketing at that point. I worked part-time after uni before getting a marketing job, but I was made redundant after only nine months. I then joined BSW Timber in 2016 as a marketing assistant (in a temporary, maternity cover role initially) and have since become the marketing manager.

How did you get your first job?

I got my first marketing job after a few people I know had spoken about it as a career and the transferable skills between marketing and journalism. I took the opportunity to have a trial period as a marketing assistant at a student accommodation company while I was working part-time at a cash and carry. For the first month, of my trial period, I was split between departments. In the morning, I worked in marketing and the afternoon at the cash and carry. I got my foot in the door after that trial period and the rest is history!

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

I love how different marketing can be, primarily when it covers so much of the mix rather than focusing only on a specific element such as social media or events. By its very nature, a marketing role means talking to a lot of people across the business and industry – both internally and externally – and these relationships form the reason why I love my job. Within that, it’s, of course, vital that you believe in the company and that the company believes in you. The importance of being given a platform from which to develop and expand your knowledge cannot be overstated.

What do you love about working in your industry?

My experience of the timber industry is that it’s full of friendly people who always have time to support you. There’s a sense of all being in it together. As timber is a natural material, there’s a science to it, and you’re always learning. The industry is vast, with so many opportunities for product development and promotion.

Has studying with nesma helped you in your current role?

Absolutely. I virtually finished Level 4 one month and started Level 6 the next – so I think that’s proof in itself that I found many benefits to studying with nesma. I was always adamant that I wanted to learn with other marketing-minded people from different roles and industries as I feel it is conducive to forming good ideas and becoming well-rounded. I looked forward to every session with nesma as on top of the apparent learnings it’s a great laugh – and I’ve made friendships with other students and tutors that I hope will last a lifetime.

All of nesma’s qualification and training sessions have currently moved online to support our existing students and potential clients. We are running all our CIM and CIPR qualifications via interactive webinars to replicate our popular classroom experiences.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with Lucy Davidson.