BA Hons Media and Communication. Class of 2012.
SEO Strategy Manager at IG Group
We were delighted to hear from Tamara and find out where life has taken her, it's clear that her commitment to hard work and continued professional development has carved out an exciting career since leaving Swansea University. Having started in copywriting for various media agencies and tech start-ups. She then moved on to SEO, which led her to IG. Tamara now works as a website content strategist for one of our news and research websites, DailyFX.
What brought you to Swansea University?
The location, student halls, community spirit and host of student events, and the flexibility to mix modules across the Humanities department to shape a course that was primarily media studies with journalism skills, but also included elements of history, sociology and more.
How would you describe your time here? do you have many happy memories from your time at Swansea?
Lots of happy memories and I have made friends for life. The course was engaging and well structured, with supportive and knowledgeable lecturers. The library was a fantastic student resource and the student campus a lively and safe hub. The halls of residence during the all-important first year were in good nick, secure and comfortable.
Swansea University student life was fun and involved lots of events and community-building activities throughout the year (fresher’s week, varsity, pub crawls, carnage, summer ball) and the local nightlife (quite famous for the range of venues and student nights) always meant a great night out.
Tell us about your career path and your journey towards your present role at IG Group?
After graduating from Swansea in 2012, I moved to Bournemouth to take a fast-track NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) diploma at the Daily Echo newspaper.
In Feb 2013 I began interning at various news and showbiz agencies, national and digital magazines and an events-booking website (DesignMyNight.com) – putting my journalism skills into practice and discovering the early developments of SEO and key digital marketing.
I then secured my first full-time job at a B2B marketing agency (Memiah) in 2014 as a digital content editor, moving into an SEO executive role 18 months later at a digital marketing agency (MRS Web Solutions). Keen for a new and bigger challenge – and to marry my love for volunteering and digital content / SEO - in 2016 I took a job as a content editor at a national charity and moved to London.
At the charity, I was able to influence and shape the content strategy to prioritise SEO best practice, while using my journalism skills to interview case studies and medical experts, network at events, organise and direct photoshoots and present and direct educational videos. In late 2017, I was contacted by a recruiter at Kode working for IG asking me to interview for the role of SEO manager, and the rest is history.
What insight or advice would you give to current students at Swansea?
I’m sure a lot has changed at Swansea since I was a student, but I would say make the most of the beach and the walk across the Gower (even when it’s wet) and the library (especially when it’s wet) as both are great places to escape and have some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of student life.
I loved the range of books at the library and the little cubby holes to spend hours pouring over my work (#geek). I also recommend getting involved in as many activities, sports and events as possible as it’s a great way to make friends and ensure University life is even more enjoyable and worthwhile.
What has been your biggest challenge since graduation?
Learning all-important life skills and lessons in the early days of my career – like navigating lots of internships before securing a proper job, having confidence and self-belief during interviews and internships, dealing with rejection, and knowing when to walk away and find something better for health, long term success and happiness.
Imposter syndrome has also been (and is) an ongoing challenge, but one I feel also drives me and encourages me to do better and work harder.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
To continue progressing, improving, learning, overcoming and growing. To continue meeting like-minded and not-so-like-minded people who I can learn from, be challenged and inspired by. Secondly, to continue my ascent to greater and bigger things. And to enjoy the journey and make memories along the way.
If you could re-live one day or experience at University what would It be?
Too many to choose just one! If I could blend a range of experiences, days and memories into a week, that would be awesome.
I recently made a 30th birthday photo book for one of my best friends (who I met at my halls of residence in Swansea) and the majority of photos were from our student years.