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Where Are You Now?

Jerri Murtagh

Jerri Murtagh

BA (Hons) Public Relations 2008

Graduate Jerri Murtagh has managed to stay on the top of the trends and now has a successful career in the PR industry. She currently juggles her full-time job as a Sales and Marketing Manager at West Nautical with managing her own company. 

Jerri launched her own creative agency in 2009 and was awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum. She is also the owner of Epernay Bridal Limited in Newcastle, a family-run wedding shop that specialises in bridal gowns, headwear and accessories. 

More recently, the 30 year-old joined the superyacht sales, charter and management company West Nautical based in Newcastle.

She said: “I am responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s marketing strategy, in addition to supporting and generating new business opportunities with a targeted approach to further develop the company’s focus on providing luxury holidays on-board yachts.”

“Staying on top of the trends can be quite challenging as the industry changes so fast. I think you have to ensure your skills are very diverse as a lot of companies now require someone who can provide a mix of disciplines.” 

Asked about what attracted her to the University of Sunderland, Jerri replied: “When I was looking to study my degree, this was the only course in the region that was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and offered the ability to join once I have successfully completed my degree. The course was extremely diverse and provided a great insight into every aspect of PR and marketing – something which has been crucial to all of the jobs I have worked in.” 

Although she believes that all of her lecturers influenced her a lot, she reserves special praise for Kevin Overbury who provided a lot of support, especially in the final year of her degree. 

“He continued to support me after my graduation by providing advice when I started my first in-house job and needed a bit of guidance,” Jerri explained. 

Jerri’s advice to current students is to gain experience whilst they study. 

She said: “When I was in my second year I secured a PR Assistant job within an agency and worked two days a week whilst studying. In addition to this, I worked as a Matchday Press Officer at Newcastle United Football Club and subsequently went on to work as their Marketing Manager for over four years. I think I would have struggled to get my foot on the ladder without some practical experience as it can be a hard industry to break in to.” 

At the moment Jerri is enjoying her role at West Nautical and has got great plans for both the UK and worldwide sales and marketing strategy. 

“It’s such an exciting industry to be working in and the fact they are based here in the North East is fantastic,” she concluded.

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