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Fran Haigh has been appointed by Connect Yorkshire member Shoo Social Media as Social Advertising Co-ordinator, becoming the first student to be recruited through Leeds Beckett University’s Business Recovery Programme.

The scheme supports employers who hire a graduate from the University, as businesses bounce back from the effects of Covid 19. A bursary fund of £2,500 goes towards the salary or recruitment costs of hiring someone from the 2020 or 2021 graduating years at Real Living Wage rates.

Ilkley-based Shoo Social Media helps businesses to reach their ideal customers through targeted social media marketing campaigns. The company has close ties with the university as CEO Rachel Hatfield is a Leeds Beckett alumna and lectures at their Media Professional Workshops.

Rachel said: “This is a new role created as part of our business expansion. We were keen to recruit the right person through the University’s Business Recovery Programme in keeping with our ongoing commitment to education and development – something which is already at the heart of our Shoo Academy intern programme. Fran stayed on board throughout the challenges of the Covid crisis, balancing her studies and intern commitments with us. She impressed us with her drive and passion as well as her abilities.”

Fran, 21, starts work at Shoo in June, and will be directly managing social media campaigns for clients, helping them to design, implement, then optimise, their online marketing strategies. Originally from Driffield, East Yorkshire, she moved to Leeds to study Media Communication Cultures at Leeds Beckett in 2018 and is on target for a 1st class degree.

She said: “I first met Shoo Social Media through a university module and my passion for marketing flourished from then. I was an avid user of social media before, but I didn’t realise that this was an opportunity I could develop into a career. But then, as a part of the Shoo Academy for over a year, I had so many projects and opportunities thrown my way.

“I’m so excited to be starting at Shoo Social Media and beginning my career in marketing and to be able to stay in the Leeds area which I’m thrilled about. I feel very lucky to have been given a work opportunity in an industry I want to pursue. I’m excited to be able to learn more and be a part of helping Shoo to grow too.”

Mike Hall, the University’s Careers and Employability Engagement Consultant, explained: “As well as helping the students with their careers, the Business Recovery Programme enables employers to bring affordable technical expertise, degree-specific knowledge and higher level skills into their organisation. Participating graduates receive ongoing support in the form of a ‘Graduate Skills Booster’ training programme delivered by our Leadership Development Centre, to ensure they can maximise their impact within the organisation for which they are working.

“Fran has been a fantastic student to work with over the past year as she’s taken part in a number of extra-curricular activities including our Make It In Marketing programme, a mentoring scheme and several careers events. Her confidence and positive attitude towards embracing career learning opportunities have seen her gain skills and experience that I am sure will make her an asset to Shoo as she begins her graduate career in digital marketing.’

Dr Daniel Kilvington, Senior Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett University said: “Fran has been one of the shining stars on our Media degree. Ever since day one, she has worked incredibly hard and performed exceptionally and her success is without surprise.

“Fran has always had the ability to seek and develop opportunities but working with Shoo Social Media in her second year on the Media Professionals Workshop module was the game changer. This module, which offered an insight into the digital marketing industry, allowed her to gain industry experience and develop important contacts. Fran continued in this role following the module and all the way through her final year.

“Balancing her university work alongside co-founding the Shoo podcast and leading a team of interns at the Shoo Academy illustrates just how much of a special talent she is. The future is bright for Fran and she will certainly benefit from the expertise, experience and mentorship Rachel and Chris have to offer as she moves into her full-time position with Shoo.”