Patrick Manderson, BA New Media (now Digital Media) student

Patrick Manderson

Why did you choose to study your BA at the University of Leeds? 

The main appeal of the University of Leeds was the fact that the School of Media and Communication offered hands on, practical media courses – with the prestigious research focus of a Russell Group university. I found it to be pretty much unrivalled in that regard! 

Tell us about the opportunities you took advantage of while at Leeds. 

I took advantage of the opportunity to take a study abroad year whilst at Leeds. It was while in Australia that I realised I wanted to go into advertising, after starting a blog which went viral and landing my first marketing internship. I’ve truly got my year abroad (and the Leeds Study Abroad staff) to thank for the position I’m in now. 

How has your experience of studying this degree helped you in your career?

Studying BA New Media (now BA Digital Media) allowed me to develop countless different digital skills and explore a wide range of potential careers. This included web development, motion graphics and even research topics such as Internet Policy. The breadth of experience offered at Leeds allowed me to realise which aspects of digital I was, and arguably more importantly, wasn’t interested in. When interviewing at Google, I was able to confidently discuss the whole digital landscape, rather than specialising in one particular area. 

What advice would you give to future students? 

Don’t worry if you don’t find 'your thing' right away, or even after your first or second year! It wasn’t until well into my final year that I figured out what I wanted to do. 

Finally, make the most of what Leeds and the University have to offer. Leeds as a city is fast becoming the leading digital hub outside of London. It’s a real gift to have so much free reign and free time whilst studying here – so look into internships, roles within the school, or local tech meetup groups such as Hey! 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I can’t thank the staff of the School of Media and Communication enough. A particular shout out to Bethany Klein for guiding me through difficult times, and the late Kevin Barnhurst for forever changing the way I approach academic writing.