Published: 07 May 2019

Business Analytics student Christiana Demetriou secures place at 3-day Creative Data Academy in London

Business Analytics MSc student Christiana Demetriou was recently selected to participate in the Creative Data Academy London 2019. Organised by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Academy aims to shift the perceptions of what it means to work in data-driven marketing.

Creative Data Academy students
Christiana pictured front left with fellow participants

The three-day programme delivers a chance for carefully selected participants to explore opportunities available in the industry, meet like-minded individuals and test and develop their skills through a series of challenges and workshops.  

Christiana shares her experience of this year’s Academy.

How did you hear about the opportunity?

In November, I received an e-mail from TARGETjobs informing me that applications for the Creative Data Academy London 2019 had opened. After carefully reviewing the Academy’s handbook, I decided to apply. I realised that this would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about my subject, explore relevant career opportunities and meet people from the sector.

Congratulations on securing one of 30 spaces on the academy, what was the application process like?

The process was simple, I completed an online application form which included questions about education, work experience, achievements and career goals, as well as around my expectations of the Academy. Due to the extremely high number of applications this year, the application review process took a bit longer than expected. Finally, in early March, I received an e-mail from DMA Talent informing me that I had been successful in securing one of the 30 places on the Academy, after the tough competition!

What did you do on the three days that you attended?

Day 1: We all gathered at the DMA House in Central London early in the morning. We had coffee and got to know each other better, everyone in the room was excited and energised. The day kicked off with a welcome from DMA Talent’s General Manager and an ice-breaker exercise. Jamie Brookes, Insight Consultant at World Food Programme joined us to give an overview of the current and future big data landscape. After a short morning break, we were split into five teams and started working on a real-life marketing campaign for Ralph Lauren. This was done under the supervision of the company’s marketing agency, Rapp Code. Our task was to create a business plan that would help drive more repeat purchases and evoke advocacy towards the brand. It was a very challenging experience which put our data-driven marketing skills as well as our teamwork and communication skills to the test. The day closed with a careers session by Ross Taylor, founder of Hidden, followed by pizza at the DMA House which gave us a chance to reflect on day one.

Day 2: We began the day with a data analytics exercise covering targeting and segmentation, under the supervision of the Managing Director and the Analyst of REaD Group Insight. After the morning break, there was a talk about “Using data in Retail” by Keith Guthrie, Head of Business Intelligence in Sainsbury’s, followed by an afternoon to continue work on our marketing campaigns. In the evening we attended a networking drinks event, this was a great chance to practice networking skills and connect with professionals from the data and marketing industry.

Day 3: Three ex – Creative Data Academy students visited us to present their inspiring stories and career paths after their participation in the Academy. Then, we gathered with our teams to finalise the presentations on the Ralph Lauren brief before travelling to Rapp Code’s offices in London to conclude our three days. Each team presented their findings back in a 20-minute presentation followed by questions. Finally, Rapp Code’s group of judges provided feedback and announced a winning team who were also given a prize! With heavy hearts, we said goodbye and thanked everybody for the amazing three days we had spent together.

What have been your key takeaways from the academy and would you recommend the experience to others?

The Academy has exceeded my expectations and it was great to take part in a programme organised by a group of people who really believe in what they do. Personally, I have learnt a lot about data-driven marketing and its applications in the industry. I feel lucky to have met and been inspired by the speakers who were all well-chosen by the DMA. Their stories prove that we can achieve any goal we set, as long as we work hard for it and remain focussed. Working on a real-life case study in a team and presenting our findings to the marketing agency has undoubtedly helped me improve my teamwork, communication and presentation skills. In addition, the careers session was excellent, as we were given practical advice on all steps of the recruitment process. Finally, I enjoyed meeting other successful individuals working in the sector at the networking drinks.

I am very grateful for being selected to participate and I would definitely recommend the Creative Data Academy to any ambitious person looking to enhance their skills and connect with peers and professionals!

To find out more about the DMA click here or register your interest for next year. 

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