Joanna Oman is Director of Marketing & Recruitment at a Business School.
What is your
MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language / three years of teaching in
universities / two years of admin work
What initially attracted you to your job?
As a lecturer I was on a temporary contract and found myself unemployed every
15 weeks. After three years of working in 15 week phases I felt I needed
something more secure and stable. I wanted to be able to plan my holiday and to
know what I will be doing in one year or four months time. I also found
teaching repetitive and felt there was a glass ceiling I couldn’t get
through. The university was not willing to pay for my PhD or offer me a
contract although I was one of their better teachers at that time
Define your job?
As a marketing and recruitment director I oversee the admissions department and
develop marketing strategies for the school. I work with representatives all
over the world, travel frequently to promote the school, and create systems
which will help us generate and maintain a good number of students and build up
Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
The first thing I do when I get to work is to check my emails. I respond to the
urgent matters and make a to-do list for the day. I then visit the head of
school office and address various marketing plans and activities that will need
funding or approval. I go over admissions reports and look out for any negative
trends. Then I do some marketing research or work on a specific marketing
project (this could be creating new promotional materials or planning the next
How has your job changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
In the almost two years I have been in that position I felt that the political
situation has influenced our systems at work. We had to make many adjustments
to accommodate the stricter immigration laws for international students
What are the key issues facing your sector?
I feel there is a very dangerous trend in visa scams / dishonest
representatives. This has been a pain all the time, with the opening up of the European
union private institutions find themselves in a bit of a pickle, as they must
compete for new EU students with government subsidised universities offering
the same courses
What are the best things and worst things about your job?
I love the travelling. It is VERY hard work, but the glamour of it never fades
The worst bit is the small talk and the ‘business face’ you have to put on
during countless hours of talking to clients who are sometimes not the most interesting
to others looking for a job?
What attributes do you need/what are you looking for when hiring someone in
Someone who is confident, tolerant, willing to learn, curious about the world,
different people and cultures. A very fast learner and honest about their
lack of knowledge. Someone who is very committed and for whom this job is a
life and not a living
What are your tips/advice for those starting out?
Don’t worry if you don’t know something… these people in front of you are
also bluffing their way out of it
Click here to read the article; Taking control of your career