Bolton School Former Pupils
Jonny Christmas (2001-2008)
Name: Jonny Christmas (2001-2008)
Occupation: Marketing Executive, Woodley Equipment Company Ltd.
Qualifications: Consumer Marketing MSc, Geography BSc
Awards: None Yet!
What were your favourite subjects and who were your favourite teachers at School?
My favourite subjects were Mathematics with Mr Holmes & Mr Stevens, Geography with Mr Hunter, Sport with Mr McMillan and Mr Duxbury and, of course, I musn’t forget Dr Holland’s fantastic GCSE English lessons – a particular highlight!
What further study have you undertaken since leaving School?
I studied for a Geography BSc at The University of Liverpool, gaining a 2:1 qualification, before completing an MSc in Consumer Marketing also at The University of Liverpool, for which I achieved Merit.
What does your job involve and how did you progress to your current role?
After completing my undergraduate degree, my future was slightly uncertain. I have always been interested in business and, having undertaken Marketing work experience in Germany during the summer of my AS Levels, I decided to do a summer work placement with the Marketing department at O2. Afterwards I volunteered at a local Marketing agency. Having thoroughly enjoyed my time with both companies, I decided to study for a Masters degree in Consumer Marketing.
It was an absolutely fascinating experience and, after graduating, I moved back to the Bolton area to join Woodley, a B2B company in Horwich, which sells veterinary equipment on a global scale. As Marketing Executive for four of its five divisions, I am responsible for international press releases, advertisements, brochure development, website management and SEO. I am heavily involved with long-term projects such as organising international exhibitions and the branding and launch of future products from the planning stages through to the implementation stages.
What/who influenced your career choice?
Doing a whole range of different work experience really opened up my eyes as to what it would be like to be a lawyer, a teacher or a lecturer. Without doing this, I wouldn’t have learned of my unsuitability to become a lawyer, or that my passion for business would be misused if I became a teacher. It’s really important to seize every opportunity for experience so you find out what you like and don’t like. The work experience in various marketing firms around the north-west was what really influenced me into deciding that Marketing was the career for me!
What/who has been your biggest inspiration?
The drive to succeed that the teachers at Bolton School instilled in me from day one of Year Seven really inspired me to strive to be the best that I can be. In particular, my A Level Maths teachers helped me to believe in myself during a very challenging two years and this was what helped me develop my full potential.
Which skills do you consider to be essential for your job?
In an international company which is very egalitarian, confidence and strong organisation skills are essential. I have meetings with the MD and other Managers on a weekly basis. Despite being a ‘raw’ Graduate, it’s important that you not only listen but also share your opinions on new product launches and marketing strategies.
What do you like most about your job?
Theunpredictability. Although usually office-based, we exhibit and visit as delegates at conventions all over the world. From Las Vegas to Dubai, we get the opportunity to travel with the job.
What is the biggest challenge in your current role?
Trying to learn dozens of things at once while remembering the ones I learned the day before. The unpredictability of the job really keeps me on my toes and ensures that I always have to be alert. My Manager may give me something to do for a week’s time, or even by lunchtime of the same day, so prioritising my work is crucial.
What do you consider to be your greatest career achievement?
That would definitely be my securing a graduate job so soon after graduation during a time of economic difficulty.
How did Bolton School help you to be successful in your chosen career?
The guidance that the School gives you throughout the seven years of Senior school is second to none. From the end of term reports which help to highlight areas for improvement, to the help that you receive from Dr Holland when you are writing your personal statement - the School tailors you into a promising prospect ready for higher education.
What advice would you give to pupils interested in your field of work?
I would say that any degree at a red brick university is good preparation for getting into the field of Marketing as the independent knowledge you gain can be transferrable to the world of work. A real interest in the operations of business is a must. The sheer volume of work experience I undertook during my four years at university undoubtedly worked in my favour when it came to applying for a job, so I’d advise taking every opportunity.