Managing Director

Managing Director

Laura Coles-Wild

MA English with Religious Studies, 2009
From Aberdeen to Managing Director

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
Having always loved Scotland and its history, I wanted to study in a University that was immersed in Scottish culture. The MA English course allowed me to study Scottish novels and poetry whilst also pursuing my wider love of languages. I passed modules in Biblical Hebrew and Modern Tibetan. Plus it has a beach!

Why did you choose your particular course?
An amazing mix of teaching staff, flexible disciplines from language to philosophy, and the location. Think learning about Scottish literature in a building that is hundreds of year old!

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
My most memorable student experience was learning Modern Tibetan in my Professor's office in the main King's College building opposite the Chapel. I used to have to go up 3 floors of windy stone steps in this incredible historic building. There were only three students (including me) in that class. It was like stepping back in time.

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?
Don't feel limited by the traditional routes that are assumed for your degree subject. Lots of subjects let you learn skills that are transferrable and highly desirable to prospective employers. I studied two very different languages and ended up pursuing a career that is based on the same rules and syntaxes.

Did you undertake any co-curricular activities while at Aberdeen, e.g. Aberdeen Internships, Career Mentoring, STAR Award?
I was a paid student support staff member for a year during my degree, taking notes for other students when they were suffering from illness or other difficulties. I got to learn a lot of things that were outside of my degree discipline. It was fun and rewarding.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Marketing Assistant at Yankee Candle UK.

What did your first role involve?
I went from an English degree to a role which involved a lot of proofreading and an eye for detail when it came to language. My time spent helping other students take notes and proof their own work was a huge factor in getting hired for my first proper graduate role.

What is your current job title?
Managing Director at TopRanker SEO Limited.

What is your current role?
I own a Search Engine Optimisation consultancy based in Bristol.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
I went from a marketing role to specialising in digital marketing. From there I became more specialised and added additional qualifications; I am now a certified Google Power User and data analytics features heavily in my work. I did a few technical analyst role before becoming the MD of TopRanker SEO. I also own a very niche travel agency!

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Without my degree, I would never have been able to get my very first marketing role which has led to where I am now as a business owner. I didn't have a relevant (marketing) qualification at the time, and my experience in proofreading was seen as highly desirable.

One Top Tip

Don't settle! You will go for hundreds of job interviews, get knock backs and potentially feel disheartened. Keep going - it does work out in the end. Someone once told me this when I was struggling in the beginning and they were right.