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Thursday 8 May 2014

Alumni: Joe Nillsion

Joe Nillsion, a graduate of BA (Hons) Extreme Sports Management and director of sales and business development at X-treme Video, reflects on his time at Southampton Solent University.

Since graduating from Southampton Solent I’ve been pretty busy. Following an internship in extreme sports marketing and PR, I took up an opportunity with an extreme sports media company, X-treme Video, where I’ve progressed to my current position as Director of Sales and Business Development.

Joe windsurfing

My primary role is to manage the sale of extreme sports video media to media buyers from around the world. To say I’m a workaholic is a bit of an understatement but it definitely helps if you enjoy your job. Having graduated in 2012 it’s fair to say that I’ve climbed the career ladder quickly, but it didn’t come easily. I’ve taken risks and responsibilities, bluffed and learnt quickly, and all because of my single mindedness to earn and achieve more.

From my experiences I think I can share some insight on how to get in the room with employers and how to make an impression.

One of the best things my ‘alternative’ degree gave me was the ability to stand out from a crowd. I recommend you use that differentiation to your advantage when presenting your CV, while being proud and enthusiastic about doing something you’ve enjoyed. I’m now in a position where I receive a lot of CV’s and I can’t tell you how off putting a generic one is, especially for creative/dynamic roles.

As and when you get an opportunity to show your potential in an internship or first employment role I recommend you make yourself indispensable and quick. From an employer’s/manager’s point of view, if they can’t imagine you not being there, you’ve got a secure position.

Take every opportunity to go the extra mile, take responsibility, be innovative and make/save the company money. The honest truth is, these days going the extra mile is a pre-requisite as there’s a long queue of people ready to step up if you don’t.

You’ll hear a lot of advice before leaving university and from my experience there’s no hard and fast rule or guides to follow. The biggest influence on your success and progression after university is you. If you’ve got the right mind set, goals and ambition you’ll find the methods that get you to where you want to be. As clichéd as that sounds…