Emma Van Carlen
MA (Hons) Psychology, 2012
From Aberdeen to Chief Marketing Officer
Your Time at Aberdeen
Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
Aberdeen University is one of the most distinguished universities in the UK and has an amazing location in the north east of Scotland. With a mix of heritage and innovation, I knew it would be the place for me.
Why did you choose your particular course?
Aberdeen has one of the highest-ranked Psychology departments in the UK and at such an an amazing location. I had heard wonderful things about the faculty and wanted an opportunity to study and learn under their expert guidance.
What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
The student experience at Aberdeen University is incredible. With over 300 student organisations, campus life is vibrant and there's never a dull moment. One of the most enriching parts of my student experience was joining the Dance Society, eventually becoming a dance tutor and finally running the society as President for my two final years of university. The experiences I have had because of student life at Aberdeen will be cherished memories forever.
If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
Joining societies is the best way to make friends and try new things at university, and Aberdeen has some of the most dedicated society individuals I have ever come across. Societies greatly enriched my university experience and I would encourage all new students to sign up.
If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
The first thing I would say is to attend the Freshers' Fayre and to sign up to as many free taster sessions for societies and sports clubs as possible. Societies and clubs are not only a great way to make friends, but also a great way to develop your leadership skills if you get elected onto a committee.
Did you undertake any co-curricular activities while at Aberdeen, e.g. Aberdeen Internships, Career Mentoring, STAR Award?
I took part in the STAR Award, gaining Gold in 2012 for my role as President of Aberdeen University Dance Society.
Your Time After Aberdeen
What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
President for Societies and Student Activities at AUSA.
What did your first role involve?
It involved overseeing the 140 student societies and organisations at the University of Aberdeen as well as chairing the Societies Union Committee and the Student Activities Committee. In my role I organised student-facing events on campus including the Societies Festival and the annual Kings Ball, and worked to make campus life as fun and engaging for our students as possible.
What is your current job title?
Chief Marketing Officer at Flowin.
What is your current role?
I run the online and digital marketing for fitness company Flowin. I manage their social media, website, affiliate marketing, and advertising.
What is your current location?
Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
My first job after graduating was still on campus, with AUSA. The job involved coordinating a large number of organisations and events, and marketing the Aberdeen Student Societies to new and current students. After finishing my two years with AUSA I wanted to expand my training in marketing and communications so I applied for a two-year Masters in Communication Management at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA. After finishing that I worked as Student Communications Officer at Swansea University, which eventually lead me to my current job as Chief Marketing Officer at fitness company Flowin.
Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
My degree at Aberdeen, together with the extracurricular activities I was able to partake in there, was essential for me to get to where I am today. I was able to gain a strong degree which prepared me academically to pursue my masters degree in the United States and graduate with straight As and two distinction awards. My experience with extracurricular activities helped me land my first job at Societies President at AUSA. And all my experiences put together have been essential for me to be where I am today. I am eternally grateful to Aberdeen University and everything I gained there.
One Top Tip
Make sure you complement your degrees with extracurricular activities, whether that's societies, sports clubs, volunteering, STAR Awards, etc. Having that extra item on your CV will set you apart from the competition.