The rich opportunities for developing people skills at Lancaster are something Steve Morgan values at least as much as the academic skills he learned during his time at university.
As a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategist for Box UK, based in Cardiff, he is in a client-facing role which requires a big element of confidence building, in order to figure out their business priorities and boost them in the face of their competitors.
Steve says: "There's more to university than doing the course. You can learn a lot of life lessons beyond the obtaining of the degree. I learned people and organisational skills whilst I was at Lancaster."
His work is extremely varied – sometimes acting in a consultancy and training role, and at other times getting involved in practical 'techie' aspects of helping clients make the most of their websites.
He admits that he fell into his career rather than planning it, but that Lancaster prepared him to take a proactive, flexible and practical approach, even though his arrival there too was also something of an accident. He had had a bad experience at another UK university and dropped out of it in his first year, coming to Lancaster to make a fresh start.
Studying media and psychology alongside marketing in his first year allowed him to gain a much broad perspective, which he finds useful in his current work. Without that 'painless' opportunity to choose, he feels he might have felt he had taken the wrong university path.
"The media course was hugely challenging and interesting," he recalls. His course gave him the freedom to able to choose modules from other degree courses including American studies and marketing. In his second year he worked with fellow students on a documentary about a music co-operative in the city of Lancaster, which was threatened by council redevelopment plans.
This tapped into his genuine interest in music. As the chief event co-ordinator of LULUMS – the live music society – he had booked local bands to play on campus. As a result of this, Steve was given a slot as DJ on 87.7 Bailrigg FM, which developed his public speaking and confidence.
He met his wife Emma (née Buxton), who was studying English literature, in his second year. After graduating they stayed on in the Lancaster area for a year, but unable to find a job, they decided to move back to Steve's home town of Cardiff, to help his brother in the setting up of an SEO and online marketing company.
The work has proved to be a revelation he could never have imagined whilst he was a student. Having helped his brother build a successful company with more than 100 clients, he has now moved to a similar job at the software and web design company Box UK in July 2012.
He says: "I'd recommend getting stuck in and helping a society out, if you have the time to spare. Beyond your studies, it can really help you to develop skills that can help with your employment later on.