Dean Taylor

Dean Taylor standing in urban street

Course you studied at BCU: Media & Communications

Company you work for: Social Chain

Job title: Paid Media Lead

Did you always want to study your chosen subject at university or did you change your mind when you were researching/applying?

I had originally begun applying to universities to study chemistry, but fell in love with Media Studies throughout my A Levels and made a last minute decision to switch my focus and haven’t regretted it once. The course at BCU was my top choice due to the vast amount of choice and control you got over your degree, allowing you to shape it to your own personal areas of interest. Throughout my time at BCU, I undertook modules in: PR, journalism, photography, digital media, radio and television.

What challenges did you face while studying here, and what support did BCU/your Faculty provide you during your degree?

University as a whole is a very challenging, yet rewarding, experience. I almost failed out after my first year but the support I received from my lecturers enabled me to push forward and eventually achieve a 2:1 in my degree, something I did not see for myself after my first year. A lot of my success is with much thanks to the amazing team of staff that work at BCU for supporting me and always pushing me. I would not be where I am today without them.

In what way do you think BCU developed you as a person for you to flourish in your chosen career path?

BCU not only taught me valuable theoretical knowledge, but also incredible professional knowledge due to the big focus on professional development. We were all pushed to do as much work experience as possible, which enabled us to really get a feel for what industry we wanted to work in, and which areas we found most interesting to us. We did regular modules around professional development, from written to practical such as interview experiences or work placements which prepared me for the ‘real world’.

Did you gain any relevant experience whilst studying at BCU that allowed you to easily adapt to your job role?

Lots! I interned at WPR Agency and Story Comms and also wrote freelance submissions for various news and entertainment websites. My transition from university to the office was very smooth and I was able to hit the ground running as a result of all the preparation we went through whilst at BCU.

What key skills have you been able to take into your job role and how have these helped you excel?

Whilst I now work in a slightly different field to what I studied at university, this course allowed me to explore my interests whilst preparing me for the outside world. I have taken a level of professionalism into the workplace since graduating, and have been successful in securing graduate roles due to my level of work experience when up against other students from different universities.

If you have any advice for anyone who is studying the course you studied, what would you say?

Try modules you didn’t necessarily apply to the course for. I originally intended to focus solely on journalism, and ended up finding a love for PR. Take every opportunity you’re given. Do as much work experience as you possibly can. Enjoy the next three years!

I loved my time at BCU and I credit this course and its lecturers to my success. I didn’t let my failures define me, and instead took them as an opportunity to learn.

Can you tell us some exciting things you have been involved in since starting your new job role?

My most exciting role is my current one at Social Chain. I’m given the opportunity to work with huge brands such as Amazon, Frontier Games, EA Games, Sky, Sky Bet, NatWest, ActiVision and more! No day is the same and it’s exciting to go to work and see what campaign is next.

I have also helped out with a networking event in Birmingham called Social Circle, and have hopes to expand this into Manchester once gatherings are allowed!

What does BCU mean to you?

When I talk about my time at BCU, I speak with pride. The University and its staff helped shape me into the person I am today. I owe my career and professional development to this university.