Bath graduate Kerri Barnes (BA Modern Languages & European Studies French and German 2017) works as Partnerships Manager for software platform LoyaltyLion, forging relationships across European markets. We spoke to her about how she found her niche and flourished in the world of tech start-ups.
“After graduating, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Teaching languages didn’t appeal to me and nor did translation work. Commitments at home meant I also wasn’t able to move to the countries whose languages I’d studied, so I felt a bit stuck.
“I decided to go to a few graduate assessment days with recruitment agencies in London to hear their opinion on the kind of role I’d be a good fit for. Tech start-ups were the resounding answer – a fast-growth sector that was young and exciting, and allowed for international work.
“I fell in love with a sales role at a (then) very small ‘software as a service’ company in London called LoyaltyLion, and joined the team as a Loyalty Analyst in December 2017. My hard work paid off and I wasn’t a small fish in a big pond, so I progressed rapidly up the ranks. I was amazed at how quickly the company was growing. After two years, I moved across to the Partnerships team, and now I get to manage relationships with some of the leading ecommerce agencies and tech vendors across the world.
Skills my degree taught me
“I use the transferable skills from my degree on a daily basis. Balancing coursework and exams means that I now prioritise well, think laterally, work independently and deliver projects to tight deadlines. Group projects (while sometimes frustrating) were beneficial in expanding my network, which has already been useful.
“My year abroad contributed hugely to my confidence in the workplace and, recently, the languages have become useful too – helping to win new relationships with the European market over our competitors who can only speak English.
“I was attracted to Bath by a combination of factors. I loved the community feel that came from it being a campus uni, as well as the city itself and the course. The contemporary focus for a Languages and European Studies degree made Bath stand out from the other options. It felt like a fresh approach to studying languages and I had no doubt that it would make me employable.
The best of Bath
“Each year at uni was different and full of highs. A big highlight was my year abroad, which I spent living and working in Berlin and Paris. In other years, my favourite memories came from the Summer Balls, the dingy second-year house in Oldfield Park, the weekly Scores, the Christmas markets, happy hour at the Plug, pub quizzes in town and that final-year post-exam period. Ultimately, it was the people I met and the friends I made who shaped my experience.
“If you’re a new graduate, don’t be disheartened if you don’t know what’s next. Be confident that having a degree from a top university puts you high on the list of employable candidates. With a broad range of transferable skills, you will succeed in a huge range of roles. If you’re unsure where to start, use your network to get advice and try things. You’ll stumble across something that you’re passionate about!”