CAREERS: Comment - For real career satisfaction go back to school

I suppose it happens to most marketers at some time, but I wasn’t expecting my own career to jump lanes perhaps until I reached my 40s.

I suppose it happens to most marketers at some time, but I wasn’t

expecting my own career to jump lanes perhaps until I reached my


So at 28, after three years at Unilever and enjoying my role as a senior

consultant at Marketing Dynamics, the last place I expected to be was

Uppingham School in Rutland, in its new post of marketing director.

Uppingham is one of the few full-boarding schools which are really

thriving, so my job is not to grow the numbers but to articulate a clear

and competitive vision of the Uppingham brand and promote this to target


In ten years, all top UK schools’ A-level pass rates will be approaching

100% and all will have continued to invest in facilities. Therefore, the

basis of choice in private education will be the emotional values of the


The school’s brand can be articulated through videos, press relations

and so on, but it is actually sold by the staff, head teachers of feeder

schools, the parents and alumni and the students.

That is why I made such a big career change, and why I love my job: this

total focus on the expectations, prejudices and memories of vastly

different constituencies.

Russell Speirs is marketing director of Uppingham School in Rutland.


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