19 March 2020

My UEA Story: Claire

Languages and Communication Studies Alumni

Job Title: Head of Brand and Marketing Planning, Continental Europe
Employer: HSBC
Location: Canada Square, London

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.

Upon graduation, I worked for a marketing agency in Paris. After three years I went back to the UK and worked for Barclays in various international marketing roles for seven years. I have been at HSBC for two years with responsibility for marketing in Continental Europe.


What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

Working with great people, doing interesting work, travelling internationally and using my French learnt at UEA on a daily basis.


What steps did you take in finding employment (e.g. careers centre, job websites, networking events)?

In my final year I attended a careers fair in London and found a marketing agency with an office in Paris. I asked to do an internship with them during my Christmas holidays - they then offered me a job when I graduated.


What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?

Language and general communication skills.


How have they made a difference in your career?

Communication skills and presenting yourself well verbally and in writing is vital within my line of work.


Do you have any tips for current students or recent graduates?

Start your job search early and approach companies for work experience before you graduate.


If you use languages in your job, how do you use them and what do you use them for?

I use my French on a daily basis as I report to France and travel to Paris at least twice a month.


What is the professional and personal value you place on being able to speak a language other than English?

Languages are of massive value as it widens your horizons enormously both personally and professionally. Being able to speak fluent French does give me quite a competitive advantage at work and was one of the factors I was selected on for the role.


Can you provide a short description of an incident from your time at UEA, your year abroad or your professional life which stands out (language related or not)?

My year abroad teaching as a language assistant in a school in Toulon in the South of France.

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