A former Psychology graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has credited an academic trip to San Fracisco in 2018 with “changing the trajectory” of her career.
While completing her studies at DMU, Wilhemina Gilbertson-Davis took the opportunity of visiting the US city through DMU Global, the university’s international experience programme.
The trip was organised with Colorintech, an organisation set up to improve diversity in the tech industry.
The trip inspired Wilhelmina to found B-DigitalUK a social platform for Black graduates seeking specialist roles within marketing and advertising.
She said “the trip was amazing it changed the trajectory of my last year at university and my career.”
“It gave me a vision to create a road plan. Just getting to know the people on the trip was great because I was really shy back then I hated public speaking, and everyone tells you to mingle and go to fairs and talk and I really didn’t like doing that.”
“Someone said to me I have the voice and presence and everyone in the room wants to stop and listen to me – and I never heard that before. So, I knew I needed to start believing what the people around me can see – these people in positions they know what they are talking about
The experience led to the creation of B-DigitalUK, a digital marketing platform which has attracted more than 400 people to join since it was launched in 2020.
Wilhelmina, who now works as a Search Engine Optimisation specialist at British American Tobacco, said: “I had never gone to a jobs fair or seen job roles for like SEO.
“There are careers out there which you can enter. I learnt a lot of my job skills on the job. But as a university student if you can have information before you graduate it is helpful.”
B-DigitalUK hosts careers talks about getting into and staying in marketing, mentoring for graduates and is a space for people to ask questions.
“We created B-DigitalUK to give people a safe space to speak and offer support. I had to message a random person that I knew on Twitter who talked about her career to say ‘I am about to start this role, what’s it like?’ Do you have tips?’
“I wanted to create a space for graduates to do that, to show them it has been done before.”
B-DigitalUK hosts talks about getting into and staying in marketing, mentoring and offers a space for people to ask questions.
Wilhelmina said: “We realised that there weren’t many people of colour, especially Black people who were visible to inspire others or those have a similar story to you.
“You kind of want a public mentor and we saw very few. We knew that there must be people are already there, previous graduates who are there, there must be people in manager roles people in senior positions. We just couldn’t see them; they were not visible.”
She said: “We realised that there weren’t many people of colour, especially Black people who were visible to inspire others or those have a similar story to you.”
“You kind of want a public mentor and saw very few. We knew that there must be people are already there, previous graduates who are there, there must be people in manager roles people in senior positions. We just couldn’t see them; they were not visible.”
“We get a lot of calls about imposter syndrome in graduates who are transitioning into a new job. They feel like they don’t know if they can do it.”
“But its ok to ask for help. You are taught when you apply for jobs you need to demonstrate you are the best. So, everyone worries they can’t ask for help. But everyone wants to help. You learn best by asking.”
Both co-founders have plans to grow B-Digital further and help other graduates to enter roles across marketing.