Libby Appelbee, 24
Course: English Studies, University of Stirling
Employer: Cobra Beer
Job Role: Marketing communications executive
"As part of my four-year course, I studied in the USA at the University of California, Davies. During my year there I ended up working for the entertainment council, which was part of the student union at the university. It was then that I became interested in event management and public relations.
After graduating, I knew that I wanted to work in the media so I took at job at News International working on the media sales team for News of the World. It was a great first job. I learnt all about newspaper production and was given training in marketing and sales. The attraction of joining such a huge company was that I thought there would be room to move around but that didn’t turn out to be true. After nine months I decided to return home and pick up some experience in PR. It was difficult because I knew it would mean a wage cut. I started training for my PR qualification with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and managed to pick up a sixmonth contract with the Health Protection Agency.
When that contract ended, I returned to London and, after applying for some jobs, I was offered roles at Citibank and Cobra – a huge corporation, and a small company. Citibank had offered me £28,000 a year but at the end of the day I decided to take a £8,000 pay cut and take the job with Cobra.
I just loved the atmosphere, which has got a real buzz to it. There are about 75 people in the whole organisation. Everyone mucks in together and wants to do the best for the product, which we believe is hugely valuable. There is a lot of flexibility and it’s a very supportive environment. In a small company it can be harder to find funds for things that you want to do. With three new products there is plenty of work and pressure on the team. But we have big ideas and I’ve got faith in the company."