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DMU graduate takes his career to the Next level after signing up to university as a mature student


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A mature Marketing student has celebrated turning 30 by securing a job at retail giant Next before his graduation. 

Having explored options in computer programming, animation and trying his hand at becoming a musician and professional poker player, it was fifth time lucky for Arturs Cavniss, who found the industry he loved after enrolling at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to study for a BA degree in Marketing. 

Now, after completing a four-year undergraduate course, Arturs is preparing to join Next’s digital marketing team. His new role will focus primarily on search engine optimisation (SEO) within the retail giant’s regional head office in Enderby, on the outskirts of Leicester.

Arturs Covniss

“It’s a great relief to secure a graduate job that early and it feels amazing to know all that hard work at university paid off. I’m very excited to start this new chapter of my life working for them,” he said.

“I’ve wanted to do so many jobs over the years, from starting my own business to going all in and taking up poker full time, and then studying computer science through internet video tutorials. However, nothing fits more naturally for me than marketing and since reading more into famous campaigns, including the Coke II strategy, I’ve been fascinated by the industry.”

Arturs utilised the advice of DMU’s award-winning careers service, DMU Works, and found his eventual graduate position at Next through its weekly newsletter. Staying local to Leicester was a top priority for the 30-year-old, after recently purchasing his first home in the city with his wife. 

His successful application led to an invite to lead a marketing presentation in front what would be his future manager, for which Arturs leaned on the advice and support of his tutors and the DMU Works team.

Arturs said: “The DMU Works placement team went above and beyond with the support and advice they gave throughout the entire process of securing my graduate role. They helped me in various ways, from checking my CV and cover letters, to advising about interviews and assessment centres.

“Prior to applying at Next, I didn’t have a great success rate with applications that included tests, but my tutor went through my presentation with me and we talked about little areas to improve. It proved to be a very useful insight and significantly helped me during my presentation.”

Students can find out more about the services available to them through DMU Works here.

The native Latvian, who moved to Leicester in 2010 to be closer to his mother, openly admits that settling on the right career was a process of ‘trial and error’ but is pleased that he continued his search. He is hoping his experience as a mature student at DMU may inspire others who are unsure about enrolling at university later in life. 

He said: “At first I thought my age would be a weakness, but it turned out to be my greatest strength. I soon got over any fears that I wouldn’t make any friends at university and found many of the younger students came to me for life advice – I may have even passed on something useful to them.

“There are so many useful skills I’ve picked up at DMU, particularly the transferable ones that employers highly value, such as teamwork, communication, presentation, and, of course, time-management. Not many students think of these when starting their studies, but these skills might come in handy when searching for a job or internship.

“I want to say thank you to all my tutors and the DMU placement team for their great help and support. I thoroughly enjoyed all the programme modules and honestly, I couldn’t feel happier.”

Posted on Tuesday 20th July 2021

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