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Alumni Profile

Julie Drummond

Julie Drummond

BA (Hons) English Studies 1993

Julie Drummond followed her dream after graduation and now owns and runs Drummond Central marketing, a creative and digital agency in Newcastle founded in 2004, specialising in advertising, research and planning, direct marketing, integrated communications, online, design, copywriting and artwork. The communications agency’s clients include bet335.com, Newcastle Building Society, Metro, and Stoke City Football Club.

Julie, who graduated from BA English Studies in 1993, originally planned to study for her Masters degree, but a stint working for Wear FM (now Sun FM) while studying at Sunderland, and a year spent in Denmark, changed her outlook.

“I volunteered at Wear FM when I was a student purely for experience, which helped enormously with my CV when I graduated,” she says. “I also worked at a film and TV production company in Newcastle, so I was editing, going to shoots, etc. Starting at the bottom, even just making cups of tea, gave me a real insight into working life as well as putting me on the first rung of the career ladder. 

“I had the opportunity to study in Denmark, which gave me a real global perspective and encouraged me to think about the wider world in my working life and my own business. 

“After graduation I was lucky enough to get a job in a TV production company, then in advertising agencies, TV and film production and ended up working in Edinburgh for eight years.” 

Julie moved back to Newcastle in 2004 to be closer to her family, and also with the idea of setting up her own agency. That same year Julie founded Drummond Central. 

“I was ready to do my own thing, so it was a very easy decision to set up on my own. But once that decision is made you suddenly realise there’s a lot of hard work to be done to make that idea into a successful business.” 

She believes it is essential that modern businesses have a global view, no matter where they are based.

“It's essential for any business to think globally. We are extremely fortunate that the majority of business takes place in English, and that modern technology does give us the ability to fulfil customer requirements anywhere in the world instantly. We don't know how lucky we are! However there are still restrictions; EU, red tape, tax laws that may mean that we can't be as nimble as other countries. But the positives of being based in the UK certainly outweigh the negatives.

“I think whether you're a student or already established in your chosen career you must look at the opportunities in other parts of the world. The world starts to become a small place when you start to think in that way. It can take longer to travel across London than it can to most European cities, and we are lucky that the UK is situated in the centre of Europe and America and that we have superb travel links to the majority of the world from Heathrow. We should all use them more.”

Julie Drummond quote

In June 2013 Julie was named by the University the Blueprint Alumni Business Person of the Year 2013. This was the first time that the award was presented and recognises and rewards outstanding alumni achievement in business in the North East, highlighting the importance of graduates to the regional economy.

She has very clear advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs: “Working for other people taught me an awful lot. I learnt how to do things well, but also what mistakes not to make. It gives you a good grounding to have the experience and confidence to really go for it when it comes to your own company.

“But ultimately, if you’ve got a good idea, don’t delay. You can plan things up to a point, but the most important thing is just to get on and do it.

“Don’t delay even for a day – because someone else will take your idea and make it a success.”

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